“It’s a terrible predicament,” said Ann Costello last night in an email to MHN.com. “Everyone is very concerned, understandably, about not sinking the local economy. Tourism is vital here,” she added. Ann and her husband are small, marine-related business owners in Pensacola, FL. stuck between a rock and a hard spot for a long time to come. Ann was one of a number of small business owners invited to participate in a press conference July 14th at the Gulf of Maine Research Insitute on Commercial Street. The event was hosted by Repower Maine.
Ann wrote in another email early last week: “We are all dismayed about the rather cavalier way the white house and BP have declared the oil is gone. Poof!……Those of us who live on the Gulf, are not OK with the humiliating dismissal. Big oil should not be off the hook. We are bracing ourselves for the reality of this unprecedented spill and reeling from the knowledge that even the US government was pushed around, lied to, and corrupted by BP.” Then Ann referred me to a report just released by the Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc. and written by Chasidy F. Hobbs – the “Chasidy Report.”
The Chasidy Report contradicts an August 4th report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – of the Department of Commerce) which made claims about the sudden disappearance of the oil from the Gulf. The well-publicized report states: “The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed much of which is in the process of being degraded.” It states further that “a third (33 percent) of the total amount of oil released in the …… spill was captued or mitigated by the United Comand recovery operations..” The same report says that “more than 25 of the best government and independent scientists” worked on these “best estimates” of what happened in the Gulf. The Chasidy Report disagrees.
Robert Carney, a biological oceanographer at Louisiana State University says “such figures are ‘notorious’ for being uncertain. To accurately figure out how much oil is left, you need to know how much went into the Gulf to begin with,” he said. That figure varies. David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer at the University of South Florida said NOAA estimates are “ludicrous.” The government can acount for only about 25 percent of the spilled Gulf oil – the portion that’s been skimmed, burned off, directly collected and so on. The remaining 75 percent is still unaccounted for….the report considers all submerged oil to be dispersed and therefore not harmful..But, given the unknown effects of oil and dispersants at great depths, that’s not necessarily the case,” Hollander wrote in the Chasidy Report. Biological oceanographers Markus Huettel and Joel Kostka dug trenches on a cleaned Pensacola beach and discovered large swaths of oil up to two feet (nearly a meter) deep. “Oil gets trapped underground when tiny oil droplets penetrate porous sand or when waves deposit tarballs and the cover them with sand,” said Huettel, of Florida State University, Tallahassee. The six page Chasidy Report continues in this scathing criticism of the NOAA report.
In her July 14th talk, Post # 522 herein), at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Ann said: “You are very similar to us. You love the water. Please do not listen to the ads. We are not okay; nothing has been fixed.”