First the oil leak, now the data dump. British Petroleum disclosed to the press yesterday that one of its employees had lost a laptop containing the personal information on approximately 13,000 people who had filed claims related to last year's disastrous Deepwater Horizon leak. According to CNN, the laptop contained "names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers for those who filed claims related to last year's Deepwater Horizon spill." While the laptop was password-protected and capable of being remotely disabled, the data was not encrypted. BP says that the data was lost by an employee during "routine business travel," and that "there is no evidence that the laptop or data was targeted, or that anyone's personal data has in fact been compromised or accessed in any way." BP has offered to pay for credit-monitoring services for the 13,000 people whose personal data was lost, although according to an AP report, some claimants have not yet received the letters BP sent out notifying them of the data breach. (via CNN, WSJ, NPR)Read More
We've heard a lot from Aquaman in the months since the beginning of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, whether it's an anonymous internet photoshop, or the artwork of Kate Beaton (but nothing from the Sub-Mariner, hmm).
However, (as I realized in a moment of contextual horror while watching my Justice League Unlimited dvds on the train yesterday morning) he's known about the dangers of oil rig destruction for six years now. Or, at least, J. M. DeMatteis, writer of the Justice League Unlimited episode Ultimatum has.Read More
So far, it sounds like the cap is working. According to BP, their latest attempt to stop the oil gushing from their offshore rig and into the Gulf of Mexico is currently containing the leak, and that for the first time since April, no oil is escaping the well.
This isn't a permanent fix:Read More
Earlier today, Republican Congressman Joe Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for what he called a "$20 billion shakedown" on the government's part with respect to BP in the wake of the oil disaster in the Gulf Coast; thereafter, Barton 'apologized' for his apology, saying his words had been subject to "misconstruction."
Tech journalist and Internet provocateur Mathew Honan has put together a handy site in which you can read Barton's 'apologies' to such misunderstood figures as King George III, the Confederacy, tobacco companies ("for the off-putting warning labels"), Kim Jong-Il, and (low blow?) AT&T.Read More
This page exists to get BP's message and mission statement out into the Twitterverse.to
We are not associated with Beyond Petroleum [sic], the company that has been destroying the Gulf of Mexico for 51 days.Two weeks ago, BP seemed to have a far different attitude toward the upstart feed: Read More
Last night, a person who identified him or herself as "Leroy Stick" took responsibility for the fake @BPGlobalPR Twitter account, whose satirical stabs at BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak have earned widespread media attention and more than 100,000 followers. While "Leroy Stick" is still a pseudonym -- the writer explains its meaning in a long, folksy anecdote about a stick for beating away a mean mutt named Leroy -- the essay provides a revealing, largely serious look at a surprisingly resonant humorous attempt to deal with a global crisis.Read More
It's not a sure thing yet -- BP's chief operating officer for exploration and production told the New York Times that "it would be a day or more before it was clear whether the top kill had worked," and neither the government nor BP has made an official declaration -- but it sounds encouraging.Read More
As if BP needed any more bad press: The Daily Beast has obtained a jaw-dropping internal memo from the oil giant that effectively prices the lives of its workers using a "Three Little Piggies" analogy. The gist of it is that while it's worth it to build a more wolf-resistant, less vulnerable house for a little piggy up to a point, it ceases to be worth doing when the 'house' gets too expensive.
The document -- which is several old -- gives credence to the claims of BP critics who charge that the company values cost-savings over safety. The lawyer who released the memo claims that BP's Risk Management office at the time valued the lives of its workers at $10 million apiece.
In 2005, 15 workers were killed and 170 people injured when a BP refinery exploded, and the 'blast resistant' language of the document becomes considerably less cutesy when you consider that BP allegedly killed the option of housing workers in blast-resistant buildings which might have saved their lives because they thought the buildings were too expensive. More recently, a $500,000 safety valve, had it been in place, could have prevented the devastation of the Gulf oil spill.Read More
One Breaux Mart grocery store in Louisiana was spotted carrying this darkly comedic political statement of a cake. (This has got to be the only time anyone has ever written "darkly comedic political statement of a cake." --Ed.) Bearing a sign that reads "Thank You BP!" it depicts dark, shiny oil-frosting encroaching upon shiny blue water-frosting at the shore of the grass-frostinged plain, while clouds of Oreo, whipped cream, and cherry look helplessly on.Read More
Yet more bad news about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak: The amount of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico is more than ten times greater than previously thought, according to a recent analysis.
Recently, BP succumbed to mounting pressure to release their underwater video of the leak so outside experts could use it to make estimates. NPR took them up on it: they assembled a group of experts to analyze the video. Their conclusion? The oil leak is already far worse than the Exxon Valdez: Whereas the official estimate pegs the BP leak at 5,000 barrels a day, NPR's analysis concludes that 70,000 barrels have been leaking each day, plus or minus 20 percent.Read More
The oil spill that, for more than a week now, has been growing in the Gulf of Mexico is getting worse and five times faster than originally estimated. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now saying, after closer investigation, that the spill that started with the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig is leaking oil at a rate of 5000 barrels per day, versus the original estimate of 1000 barrels a day. While that doesn't put the spill on the scale of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, it has already reached and exceeded the size of Rhode Island. That's not some past oil spill that happened in Rhode Island, mind you; that's the actual U.S. state.Read More