Posts Tagged 'Louisiana'

BP Doesn’t Want You to Film Them, OK?

What more is there to say? The oil spill is a disaster and BP are jerks.

Watch the above video as Drew Wheelan, conservationist coordinator for the American Birding Association, tries to film BP’s offices in Houma, Louisiana — from across the street.

Wheelan: “Am I violating any laws or anything like that?”

Officer: “Um…not particularly. BP doesn’t want people filming.”

Wheelan: “Well, I’m not on their property so BP doesn’t have anything to say about what I do right now.”

Officer: “Let me explain: BP doesn’t want any filming. So all I can really do is strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense.”

Article from Mother Jones (via Thomas Hawk)

Nice Day for a Bath

Photo by BP America © BP p.l.c.

BP’s Photo Clampdown

Rescued sea turtle. Photo by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

It’s official: The BP oil spill is now bigger than that other catastrophic disaster, 1989’s Exxon Valdez, and the worst in US history. And as you might expect in the nefarious, super-connected, high stakes world of Big Oil, there are a lot of people who don’t want the full calamity of that known and reported on.

So local and federal officials, under orders from BP no doubt, are trying to restrict where photojournalists can go. We posted on this earlier in the week, when a CBS News crew encountered some Coast Guard officers and BP contractors who threatened them with arrest if they didn’t leave the oil-covered shoreline.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t a one-time occurence. A Mother Jones’ reporter wrote about his own account of coming up against local officials while trying to survey the scene at Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge (he was told BP’s in charge because “it’s BP’s oil”).  And in a Newsweek piece that runs down the restrictions on press coverage,  they mention a Times-Picayune photojournalist whose flyover of the affected areas was canceled once BP officials got wind of it.

“It’s a running joke among the journalists covering the story that the words ‘Coast Guard’ affixed to any vehicle, vessel, or plane should be prefixed with ‘BP,’ ” says Charlie Varley, a Louisiana-based photographer. “It would be funny if it were not so serious.”

Unfortunately BP’s efforts are futile. There is no damage control in a situation that’s already bad beyond belief. They would do more to burnish their image by appearing to be willing and accommodating with every effort that’s being made to cover and control the spill.

Article from Newsweek

Oil Spill Photos Reveal Tragic Scene

The images keep coming, and they’re getting more and more depressing. While at first the BP oil spill was just an intangible leak out in the middle of the water, now there are sharks and sea turtles washing up dead and dragonflies and herons soaked in oil.

BP CEO Tony Hayward says he’s devastated, but it’s hard to imagine his life will really be all that affected by this. He still gets to go home at night and count his bags of cash, with no threat of losing his job, money or well-being. You know what’s really devastated? The Gulf Coast of the U.S.

· See the Boston Globe Big Picture blog’s photo essay here.
· See a Yahoo News photo collection here.
· See TreeHugger reporter Brian Merchant’s coverage, both still photos and video, here.

BP Threatens CBS Camera Crew

If you needed any proof that the U.S. is pretty much run by big oil, here it is.

In an apparent effort to control the coverage of the catastrophic oil spill (which, by the way, cannot be done at this point), BP is trying to limit the media’s access to Louisiana’s damaged coastline.

On Tuesday, several BP contractors, accompanied by two Coast Guard officers, ordered a CBS Evening News crew filming the beaches to leave and threatened them with arrest. On the tape, the contractor says, “…this is BP’s rules, it’s not ours.”

Since when does a private corporation own the shores of Louisiana? They are responsible for a colossal, irreparable, shameful mistake, and then they get to throw their weight around and control the coverage afterwards — and, then to make matters worse, the US government is totally complicit in all this?

Well, not in theory, says the Coast Guard. From their statement:

Neither BP nor the U.S. Coast Guard, who are responding to the spill, have any rules in place that would prohibit media access to impacted areas and we were disappointed to hear of this incident.  … The only time anyone would be asked to move from an area would be if there were safety concerns, or they were interfering with response operations.  This did occur off South Pass Monday which may have caused the confusion reported by CBS today.

Article from Gawker

Spill Baby Spill

Photo courtesy of Governor Jindal’s Office

This oil spill business is scary. If you’re not yet freaked out about this, you should be. BP initially estimated that around 5,000 barrels are pouring into the Gulf every day. Experts think the number is closer to 95,000. At least 6 million gallons have already been spilled. The Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, considered the most environmentally damaging  spill ever, released around 11 million gallons into Prince William Sound. 

On Flickr, there is a set of photos of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s tour of the marshlands, which are now, a month later, being overcome with syrupy oil. See it here.

Poor Louisiana. The state just can’t catch a break.

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