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President Obama Speaks About BP Oil Spill in Gulf

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
15 June 2010, 4:10 PM
This is a live blogging report as the president speaks from Oval Office

<Update at 6:05> The Atlanta Constitution expressed disappointment that President Obama "squandered" his "crisis moment." The president mentioned the moon-shot of another generation, but the Constitution said he failed to make one of his own.

A more evenhanded assessment came from The Washington Post, as it wondered whether the president had "turned a corner" with his speech. The New York Times said it was vague on content.

<Update at 5:50> For those of us looking for something drastically different or dramatic from President Obama in tonight's speech, there was little. He did stand strong in pushing for his energy bill, but gave no clue whether it would morph or not morph from being a climate bill. Energy tax or price on carbon? Not a word.  Here is his strongest statement after calling out for comprehensive energy legislation:

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.

<Update at 5:30> In a speech as short in length as it was broad in reach, President Obama vowed to take on BP and make the company compensate its many Gulf coast oil spill victims; restore the Gulf coast; set up regulatory assurances that this kind of spill will never happen again by making the government a watchdog of the oil industry; and put the country on course to a clean energy future. There are few details to pull from the speech and little that hasn't already been reported on the president's programs.

The president promised a full court press approach to recovery and restoration of the Gulf coast, but wants the public to be realistic -- it won't happen immediately.

He said he was meeting with the head of BP tomorrow to set aside a compensation fund to make sure BP does not allow the Gulf oil spill victims to unnecessarily suffer short term or long term. He will insist on a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes on beyond tonight or tomorrow.

He vows a program to make sure this kind of spill will never happen again, and said, "We need to know the facts before we allow deep water drilling to begin" again.

The president referred to the Minerals Management Agency, which was supposed to oversee the drilling industry, but as we have seen with the BP oil spill, was virtually run by BP and other oil companies instead. He mentioned that Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar had been working to reform the agency, but admitted the pace of reform was too slow. He referenced how his new MMS chief, just announced today, had been given orders to re-make the MMS into a true watchdog.of the industry.

Re-stating what he has recently said, the president noted that "drilling for for oil these days entails greater risk. We have less than 2 percent of oil reserves yet we consume 25 percent of the world's reserves. For decades we talked and talked about America's addiction to oil... Time and again the path forward has been a lack of political courage and candor."

He said he was pushing for a new approach to energy. "This not some distant vision for the future." He called on citizens to join in the new, green march to the future.  "Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us...only if we rally together and act as one nation...the public and the private sectors."

"The one approach I will not accept is inaction," he said."What has defined us as a our capacity to shape our destiny...a faith in the future that sustains us as a people."

"If we summon the courage to reach for it..."

4 p.m. PT (one hour before speech begins):

Today – after his own panel announced that oil is gushing into the Gulf at a shocking 2.5 million gallons a day   – President Obama was preparing to tell the nation it's time to impose stronger limits on BP, tighten regulatory control of the oil industry and pass legislation that puts America on course to a clean energy future.

What isn't certain, an hour before the president's speech from the Oval Office, is whether the president will insist that global warming be addressed in that legislation through some sort of cap-and-trade system. This is one of the most contentious aspects of legislation passed through the House to the Senate, where it has languished for months. The Gulf oil spill has focused so much attention on energy issues that some version of the legislation is now likely to be pushed forward. Here is Reuters'analysis/prediction on what the president will ask:

-- Removing a $75 million cap on what individual companies have to pay in the aftermath of an oil well leak or other disaster

-- Imposing tougher rules on the way new offshore oil drilling sites are leased by Big Oil and more stringent safety standards for both the planning and implementation stages

-- Reforming government agency oversight after years of its cozy relationship with industry. Obama already has announced he is revamping the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service. But Congress might decide to legislate some additional changes. One idea -- to create a totally new, independent agency -- has some significant opposition in the Senate

-- Requiring electric power utilities to use more alternative power sources, including wind and solar energy, so that there is less reliance on dirty coal-burning plants that contribute to global warming. Government aid for building more nuclear power plants too

-- Encouraging the development of more fuel-efficient cars and thus reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil

-- Possibly imposing a new "cap and trade" pollution permit system on utilities to further encourage the use of cleaner-burning fuels.


TECH TRANS UNLIMITED CORP – CEO – J. BYRON WALKER announces up N.F.P.A. Code 68 Compliance to systems availability for GULF OIL SPILL Clean-up.

“Systems are now in place which offer the highest safety margin for oil collection as it has been determined that methane gas and other flammable gas is embodied within these oils. Our most advanced and currently available systems have been constructed in compliance with both explosion venting, internal fire suppression (Co2) and flameless venting components. These features along with A.S.M.E. Certifications of build and A.N.S.I. compliance standards present the safest solution for high volume vacuum recovery of the oils, both on the surface as well as in “plumes”. “

HISTORY : TECH TRANS UNLIMITED CORPORATION has been providing high volume vacuum recovery systems to the major U.S. Automotive industry since 1991. System capacity provides the point of collection, transfer , and containment of these oils. Operating under intense vacuum levels, those oils collected stay contained during the transfer cycle for finite separation.

Collection capabilities are in excess of 500,000 gallons per day / per system.

Our recently developed “FLEXX-HEAD” skimmer contours to wave action at the surface and utilizes debris sensors and buoyancy control. Surface contact area per head is 24’ (feet) in diameter encapsulating a higher percentage of oil than water. This system incorporates our patented “PULSED-CLEANING” process which has been proven in multiple applications to optimize heavy and difficult to move materials for more efficient collection. Combined with the high volume recovery systems noted above, we are confident that we will collect a higher % of oil over water of a traditional skimmer / pump arrangement. We estimate 85-90% oil 10-15% water with each placement.

TECH TRANS currently has one system available in Detroit which could be delivered within two weeks with a sized capability of recovering 500-600,000 gallons per day

In addition to patents and proven experience in regards to the agitation for collection of heavy debris and oils, we also have a patent-pending for the cleaning of loose debris, including used oil filter paper and printer ink jet foam. This demonstrated process could recover the oils from sand as well.

Environmentalists share a huge responsibility in this oil spill accident. While forcing companies to search for MUCH NEEDED AFFORDABLE ENERGY in areas such as deep water, the risk goes up exponentially. If this had occurred in a few hundred feet of water, instead of 5000, we would not be facing these daunting issues.

Lets face reality. Energy - of all kinds - is good for civilization. When countries have energy, their economies boom, they produce more and BENEFIT ALL NATIONS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH - ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THIRD WORLD NATIONS TRYING TO RAISE UP OUT OF POVERTY.

Oil, Gas Coal etc are the most economically feasible products we have right now to enable the increased standard of living of all people on earth. Yes, other forms of energy should be developed, but they must be commercially viable. Solar, wind, etc are just not there yet - and indefinite taxpayer subsidies of these technologies is not the answer.

Environmentalists stifle one of the most proven technologies of 'clean' energy we have available. NUCLEAR ENERGY. No one has ever died as a result of issues at nuclear plants in the US. The Three Mile Island was a press inflated story, that help kill the US nuclear industry - and HURT AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE ON ITS OWN ENERGY SUPPLY.

Costs of nuclear plants are high because of all the ridiculous and repetitive regulatory agencies and the environmentalists using the courts to stall projects where they become economically unfeasible. So, who is making us more dependant of oil? Looks to me like the environmentalists.

Again, do you want a lower life style for all of mankind? Of course we should be good stewards of the earth that God has given us and we should have a balance to make life better. Energy is the driver of innovation in our free market system - and it benefits everyone worldwide.

BP Oil disaster, we see so many attempts to stem the flow, a successful attempt was made to sever the fractured pipe of oil using an R.O.V and cutting blade, this was successful, why not use the same technology with pincers and crush the remaining pipe closing it off or at least reducing the flow to a lower level that can be managed.

Youve got to put the pressure coming out into consideration.

People blaming BP are not necessarily ignorant. Yes there are some out there who see the oil spill and know nothing more than BP "caused" it. There are also many people who are more informed on the subject. Was the oil spill an "accident"? I would say yes in the fact that BP did not deliberately try to cause an oil spill. However, it does not mean that they don't take blame. It's no different than a person who has a car accident because they were driving recklessly or were texting and not paying attention to the road. BP knew they were "driving recklessly" by moving forward on the drilling when they knew that all safety measures were not up to standard. They should be held accountable for their accident, just as a reckless driver would be. Unfortunately, in order to fix this accident, as is always the case, we will need the help of many and cannot just rely on BP to make the problem go away.

In simple layman’s terms, the general public must agree that BP is a company of professional oil recovery, storage, and distribution. For many years, they have found oil, refined it, and distributed it so we can fuel our cars. This refers to years of experience of a professional business.
Suddenly, something goes wrong. And all the country wants the problem fixed. Yet, how many volunteers are seen on the coast line cleaning up? I believe BP has an emergency contingancy program for this. However, it must be on paper only. I mean, how often does this happen?
Blaming BP for any confusion, not working fast enough, or whatever, is ignorant. It was an accident no different than driving to work in the morning and crashing you car into another. It’s called an accident. The question is - are you going to fix your car yourself?
What I’m saying is this. It was an accident and should be forgiven as such. I am positive all efforts are being offered in the best interest of clean-up as practical. Stop hating and blaming! Don’t blame BP. Don’t blame Obama. And don’t be upset if the planet is stained with oil. God knows it’s stained with a lot worse than that. Life will go on until the sun burns out. I promise.

-Michael J. Morgan
Indianapolis, IN.
June 2010

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