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      There’s some important events happening today: another Brexit vote, and the Canadian federal election (whose results are not obvious), but we won’t know how either of those end till later, so let’s discuss some popular protests of massive size. In France the protests were sparked by an increase in diesel taxes. The demands included an […]
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BP Backs Down on Threat to Shut off Live Feed of Oil Tsunami

Exclusive ABC News video of Philippe Cousteau and Sam Champion diving in the Gulf of Mexico. A couple of quotes:

Announcer: “…it appears the mixture [of oil and chemical dispersants] is now breaking into small droplets, capable of passing right into the flesh of fish and birds.”

Sam Champion, ABC News after swimming in the Gulf water: “I am slippery. I feel like I was just…buttered.”

The Boston Globe has published a series of shocking, horrifying, depressing photos of the oil spill aftermath. After looking at them, I cried. Then I felt nauseated. Now I’m angry, so very very angry.


Meanwhile, I just got an e-mail from my Congressman, Ed Markey.
Here’s the text.

BREAKING: BP Attempting to Blackout Live Video Feed for “Top Kill” Operation

Today, BP informed the Select Committee of their intent to pull down their video feed of the oil spill during their so called “Top Kill” operation. This move would deny the public access to vital footage from the ocean floor. Chairman Markey was the first to uncover this information and has been pressuring BP to keep the cameras turned on. The White House also believes the public should have access. [Yeah, right….]

*Stay tuned to the Select Committee Web site for breaking information on the availability of live “Top Kill” video footage.

Since Chairman Markey pressed BP into releasing the live feed to the public last week, response has been overwhelming. Several thousand people have sent comments and suggestions on the BP video. Chairman Markey took several of those suggestions and put them into a letter to BP [PDF], calling for:

1) More Video: BP has as many as 12 different camera feeds from the ocean floor, but they are only offering one view to the public. Click here to see an example of BP’s multiple cameras. Markey called on BP to make all video available.

2) Archived Video: So that scientists, engineers and students can learn from the underwater operation footage. This archived video can help protect against future disasters.

3) Time Stamp: To ensure the video the public is watching has time and date information.

To read this letter, click here.

BP Oil Spill HEARINGS this WEEK:

WED & THURS: The Natural Resources Committee will hold two days of hearings on the Deep Water Horizon oil spill (Wed & Thursday). Click here for more information.

THURS: Chairman Markey’s Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment will hold a hearing entitled “Combating the BP Oil Spill” on Thursday, May 27, 2010, in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

INVITED WITNESSES:

· The Honorable Lisa Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

· Timothy Keeney, Assistant Secretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

· S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, Director, Minerals Management Service

· Peter Neffenger, Rear Admiral, United States Coast Guard

MARKEY QUERIES FDA on DISPERSANTS in FISH, FOOD CHAIN

In light of continued use of chemical oil dispersants by BP, Chairman Markey asked the Food and Drug Administration for information on how Gulf seafood that could be purchased and eaten by humans will be monitored for potential long-term exposure to chemicals.

According to a new CNN Opinion Research Poll, 51% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of this global environmental catastrophe. The Hill says they blame BP more, so I guess that’s supposed to somehow show that Obama is doing OK?

Anyway, the plutocrat in chief plans to drag his sorry ass down to the Gulf on Friday.

This is an open thread.

UPDATE: Apparently, Markey’s leaks to NPR and other new outlets today, along with his mass e-mail, have had an impact. CNN reports that BP has agreed to keep the live feed going during the “top kill” procedure tomorrow.

Democratic Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts expressed concern Tuesday that BP might terminate the images during the top kill attempt.

“It is outrageous that BP would kill the video feed for the top kill,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Massachusetts before BP’s announcement to continue the live video.

Markey chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Now what about those other 11 live cameras?

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