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NOAA Director Toes BP Line; Won't Confirm Sub-Surface Oil Despite Evidence

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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:18 PM
Original message
NOAA Director Toes BP Line; Won't Confirm Sub-Surface Oil Despite Evidence
Edited on Wed Jun-02-10 06:25 PM by Are_grits_groceries
Despite more than three weeks of accumulating scientific evidence that gargantuan plumes of oil lurk beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico -- presenting an imminent threat to sea life and a possibly decades-long threat to the nation's coastlines -- NOAA Director Jane Lubchenco on Wednesday refused to contradict BP CEO Tony Hayward's statement over the weekend that "the oil is on the surface" and "there aren't any plumes."

Scientists on NOAA and academic research vessels have been reporting since the week of May 10 that they have spotted -- and sampled -- oil suspended in the water column. And the Huffington Post has learned that lab results from a previously secret NOAA research mission have been analyzed; its results just haven't been made public.

But to Lubchenco, the Obama appointee running the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all the accumulated evidence is just "circumstantial."

And what others call oil, she calls "anomalies."

"I can tell you that there have been a number of anomalies identified by a number of different cruises," she told reporters in a conference call. "Those anomalies are features at various different depths in the water column that may be oil, they may be other features."

"It is quite possible that there is oil beneath the surface," Lubchenco finally acknowledged under repeated questioning. "I think there is reason to believe that may be the case." But that's as far as she would go.

"I am not at all in denial," she insisted.
There's more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/02/noaa-director-...

If you are in a hole, quit digging.

Even if they don't have a direct connection to this research, every scientist and scientific group has a dog in this fight. Why are they disparaging the work of scientists who have a great deal of experience and knowledge? Why are they making them sign agreements not to talk about their findings while on board the NOAA ship that just went out?

This will be a discussion among many scientists no matter what field. They will begin to wonder about accepting government money for any studies.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Perhaps she is the next one to get the axe..........
Do these people work for the American people or what??
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. "next one to get the axe" and may be lobbying for a lucrative position in the oil industry.
Why else? Hasn't she seen the ABC reports?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Do you remember that NOAA engineer that ratted them all out to Greg Palast
after he was threatened with his job for trying to warn people the levees had breached before the WH gave the okay?

He's in Big Easy to Big Empty.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. "anomalies" -- undersea oil: the "new" crop circle.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Aliens in the Gulf??
Who would have thought...??
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Jane Lubchenko's a scientist. NOAA's a scientific agency.
They wait for all the results to come in before publishing their results.

That's how science works.
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Using BP's lab or a lab with connections to BP
is not how science works. Nobody will believe anything that comes from a lab with any ties to BP. The problems that arise if you don't use an independent lab should be obvious.

Texas lab with BP ties handling samples from Gulf oil spill
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texass...
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. People who believe anything that comes out of trash tabloids like Huffpost...
are in no position to tell anybody else what they should or should not believe.

And did you even bother to read that article? Kee-rist.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. So is the video from ABC posted on Huff Po faked? Video here:
Underwater Oil Plumes In Gulf EXPOSED By ABC News (VIDEO)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/02/gulf-oil-spill...
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Is ABC a peer-reviewed scientific publisher?
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Oh, fer fuck's sake...
Really?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. After watching the video read this:
Edited on Wed Jun-02-10 06:54 PM by mod mom
Nature reports from the research ship Pelican as scientists map the hidden extent of the Deepwater disaster.
Nature 465, 274-275 (2010)
Mark Schrope -- May 18, 2010

The first oceanographic research expedition into the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill zone has uncovered evidence that a deep-sea plume probably made of oil, and not visible on the surface seems to be spreading from the ruptured wellhead.
<...>
The team that found the plume is from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST), a cooperative effort between the University of Mississippi in Oxford and the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, Maryland. The researchers had originally been scheduled to map sea-floor formations in the Gulf of Mexico, just 15 kilometres from the Deepwater Horizon platform, and to survey historically significant shipwrecks using autonomous underwater vehicles launched from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium's 35-metre-long research vessel Pelican.

But when the oil-well blowout happened, just days before the ship was scheduled to depart, team leaders decided that the group should divert to oil studies and set about getting approval from NOAA, which is funding the expedition through a competitively awarded grant.
<...>
The team spent much of the remaining time at sea mapping the boundaries of a plume that extends about 45 kilometres southwest from the wellhead and roughly 10 kilometres wide at depths of 1,0001,400 metres. On returning to previously sampled sites, the team showed that the plume was shifting, but that it generally remained at least 100 metres above the sea floor.


I have no idea why this Director is ignoring the evidence and toeing the BP misinformation, but it is suspect, isn't it?


oops on edit I forgot the link to Nature (a journal some here find credible):

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100518/full/465274a.htm...
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I read the article because it was by Dan Froomkin.
Edited on Wed Jun-02-10 06:43 PM by Are_grits_groceries
I believe he is a reliable source.

I read the article. You can disparage the source and me to try to hijack the thread. Any possible bias is being dismissed by the lab.

I don't care if that lab is pure as the driven snow, their connections to BP make their results suspect. I believe they could find a lab with no connections and under nobody's control. Then they should be allowed to run tests, publish their methods in detail, and then release the data.

If there is no problem it will be evident.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. "their connections to BP make their results suspect."
For fuck's sake. It's an independent, third party contract laboratory that specializes in petroleum analysis. It makes sense that they do contract work for both BP, and NOAA, and anybody else who wants analysis of petroleum.

And's the "connection" between this lab and BP. BP is one of their clients.

The problem isn't the lab. Or NOAA. The problem is your tinfoil's on too tight.
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. From the article:
"But the laboratory that officials have chosen to process virtually all of the samples is part of TDI-Brooks International, a College Station-based oil and gas services company that counts BP and other oil firms among its biggest clients."

I don't think they will be exactly eager to offend BP and their biggest clients. I don't think it requires any great leap to be suspicious of them considering all that has happened.

You can curse at me and continue to disparage me. That is a level you can drop to. There are many scientists and others already questioning this. There will be many more, and it could have been avoided.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
25. She's an extremely reputable scientist.
Knowing what I do of Lubchenko and her reputation, I cannot believe she would "toe the line for BP" or any other corporation. There has got to be far more to this than what was in that article. No way she's a stooge for BP.
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. This IS a Corporate Admin
BP is one of the biggest corporations on the planet.

It's really no surprise how much control $Billions of dollars will buy.
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #25
31. I would like to believe that also.
if she is truly the person you are referring to, she must feel as if she is caught is a huge vise. If she resigns or defies them, she will lose a great deal. I'm sure they have made her very aware of the consequences, even on the 'outside', of what her career would be. Trashed.

NOAA is being allowed to give BP government cover. When they take the side of Tony Hayward and his claims, he can use them as his shield against criticism. Her reputation also provides that. Even if what he says is partly true in some manner, he is the worst person she could be identified with. Hayward has proven himself to be arrogant, unfeeling, manipulative, and those probably are his good characteristics.

The scientists and the evidence she is completely denying aren't figments of imaginations. Many of them have the same reputation that she does. Lubchenko isn't even hedging. She calls the plumes anomalies. She discounts them entirely even as the evidence mounts. I have read as much as I can find about the plumes. If this was only an experiment conducted by the same people under the same conditions, she would still be making statements that defy logic.

This is the complete disconnect for me. On a scientific level, I find her statements to be unbelievable. I am astounded by her position because of the complete denial. Many people who have a lot more experience than I will ever have will also will find her remarks to be incredible. Many of these people may not have any strong political leanings. They do know scientific methodology though.

Lubchenko and her reputation are covered by the toxic oil spill metaphorically. I am not sure if she will be able to clean the stain off.
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Kalun D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #4
28. She's a Corporate TOAD
brought to us by a corporate White House

BIG surprise
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. When somebody goes on about the dangers of aspartame and fluoride...
I can't take them seriously when they disparage real scientists.

Or the WH, for that matter.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. Yet another soon-to-be BP executive....
Ahhh..the revolving door...
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
14. Government of, by and for the corporations,
:mad:
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
15. conflict of interestt:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Conflict of Intersts Worries Raised in Spill Tests


Local environmental officials throughout the Gulf Coast are feverishly collecting water, sediment and marine animal tissue samples that will be used in the coming months to help track pollution levels resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Im not a conspiracy theorist, but there is just too much overlap between these people, Mr. Kirschenfeld said.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, since those readings will be used by the federal government and courts to establish liability claims against BP. But the laboratory that officials have chosen to process virtually all of the samples is part of an oil and gas services company in Texas that counts oil firms, including BP, among its biggest clients.

Some people are questioning the independence of the Texas lab. Taylor Kirschenfeld, an environmental official for Escambia County, Fla., rebuffed instructions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to send water samples to the lab, which is based at TDI-Brooks International in College Station, Tex. He opted instead to get a waiver so he could send his countys samples to a local laboratory that is licensed to do the same tests.
Mr. Kirschenfeld said he was also troubled by another rule. Local animal rescue workers have volunteered to help treat birds affected by the slick and to collect data that would also be used to help calculate penalties for the spill. But federal officials have told the volunteers that the work must be done by a company hired by BP.
Everywhere you look, if you look, you start seeing these conflicts of interest in how this disaster is getting handled, Mr. Kirschenfeld said. Im not a conspiracy theorist, but there is just too much overlap between these people.

snip

Critics say a revolving door between industry and government is another area of concern. As one example, they point to the deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the Interior Department, Sylvia V. Baca, who helps oversee the Minerals Management Service, which regulates offshore drilling
She came to that post after eight years at BP, in a variety of senior positions, ranging from a focus on environmental initiatives to developing health, safety and emergency response programs. She also served in the Interior Department in the Clinton administration.
Under Interior Department conflict-of-interest rules, she is prohibited from playing any role in decisions involving BP, including the response to the crisis in the gulf. But her position gives her some responsibility for overseeing oil and gas, mining and renewable energy operations on public and Indian lands.
Officials in part of what will remain of the Minerals Management Service, after a major reorganization spurred by the events in the gulf, will continue to report to her.
When you see more examples of this revolving door between industry and these regulatory agencies, the problem is that it raises questions as to whose interests are being served, said Mandy Smithberger, an investigator with the nonprofit watchdog group Project on Government Oversight.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/science/earth/21confl ...
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Ruby the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. Lets see how "circumstantial" it is after the first hurricane storm surge.
:(
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ReverendDeuce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
20. Toes the line? Whaaa? You mean TOWS... Why am I the first to notice this?
Jebus...
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Maybe because: "Toe the Line," NOT "Tow the Line"
A lot of people who don't know the origin of the phrase picture someone pulling a rope, cord, or some other "line"--"tow the line"--as a way of working for whomever the "line" belongs to. Thus, if the administration has a "line"--i.e., a "party line"--then those who side with the administration help to pull it ("tow" it) along.
Wrong.
The phrase "toe the line" is equivalent to "toe the mark," both of which mean to conform to a rule or a standard. The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002; ed. by Glynnis Chantrell) says, "The idiom toe the line from an athletics analogy originated in the early 19th century" (514).
The specific sport referred to is foot-racing, where the competitors must keep their feet behind a "line" or on a "mark" at the start of the race--as in "On your mark, get set,
go!"
So one who "toes the line" is one who does not allow his foot to stray over the line. In other words, one who does not stray beyond a rigidly defined boundary.
http://grammartips.homestead.com/toetheline.html



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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. that's Beyond the Pail.....
:P
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Heh! nt
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tnlefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-10 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
24. "I am not at all in denial"...
just lying my ass off.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
26. K & R !!!
:wtf:

:mad:

:kick:
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Trillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
27. Maybe it's a UFO!
Underwater Floating Object.
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TheWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-03-10 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
30. Maybe it's America ITSELF that is in denial.
Edited on Thu Jun-03-10 01:13 AM by TheWatcher
Thinking that we actually have a functioning system of Representative Government, instead of being owned, ruled, and indentured by Corporations who are our True Masters.

At what point will We The People wake up, Rise Up, and say ENOUGH?

Because This Foolishness will never stop until We Do.

The Oligarchs are so Arrogant, they feel they never need to fear this.

But the hopeful side of me knows that if it ever comes to pass, these monsters, this waste of oxygen who thinks themselves to be Gods, their come-uppance will be so Epic it will defy description by any known language.

And to them I say simply:

REAP.
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