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
Bill Nye the Science Guy, by now a bona fide cable news pundit, helped CNN evaluate different oil spill solutions submitted by YouTube users. Some, like one user suggesting further drilling, confused him, and the various items people suggested tossing over the oil-- sand, hay, a ShamWow-like towel-- he seemed to find were on the right track, but some might work better than others.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
To end the day on a somewhat downbeat note: In response to the mounting pressure surrounding their lack of transparency about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, BP has released the first underwater video of oil and gas gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, 5,000 feet below the surface.
While we applaud BP for releasing the video, it highlights, in instantly graspable terms, just how bad it is down there: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