Root Causes of the BP Oil Disaster

Recently here in the Bay Area, Mobilization for Climate Justice-West held a Teach In on the BP oil disaster, to prep for an upcoming action on the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Here’s an excerpt from Carla Perez from Movement Generation, talking about root causes:

3 Responses to “Root Causes of the BP Oil Disaster”

  1. 1 Free Transit Aug 12th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Why all the discussion? One word explains the cause: “cars”

  2. 2 Joshua Kahn Russell Aug 14th, 2010 at 12:58 am

    and check out other amazing talks from the Teach In. David Solnit gives context:

    Antonia Juhasz, leading oil industry expert and critic, just returned from the Gulf, meeting with impacted communities and groups. She is Director of the Chevron Program at Global Exchange, and the author of The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most powerful Industry and What We Must Do to Stop It. Juhasz has been featured on Democracy Now, written for the Huffington Post and is writing a new book on the impact and meaning of the BP disaster.
    VIDEO: Antonia Juhasz
    VIDEO: Antonia Juhasz

    Byron Encalade is the President of the Louisiana Oyster Association and a leader for the African-American oyster fishermen in the region. Oil infrastructure has led to the erosion of the wetlands that oysters depend on, which were previously damaged further when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Since the BP disaster, Encalade has been a leading spokes person for impacted communities on the Gulf Coast; including being interviewed by PBS and the New York Times.
    VIDEO: Byron Encalade

  3. 3 MARK Aug 22nd, 2010 at 6:04 am

    COVER UP COVER UP Reports, filtering through from oceanologists and salvage workers in the region, state that the upper level strata of the ocean floor is succumbing to greater and greater pressure. That pressure is causing a huge expanse of the seabed-estimated by some as spreading over thousands of square miles surrounding the BP wellhead-to bulge. Some claim the seabed in the region has risen an astounding 30 feet.

    The fractured BP wellhead, site of the former Deepwater Horizon, has become the epicenter of frenetic attempts to quell the monstrous flow of methane.

    The subterranean methane is pressurized at 100,000 pounds psi. According to Matt Simmons, an oil industry expert, the methane pressure at the wellhead has now skyrocketed to a terrifying 40,000 pounds psi.

    Another well-respected expert, Dr. John Kessler of Texas A&M University has calculated that the ruptured well is spewing 60 percent oil and 40 percent methane. The normal methane amount that escapes from a compromised well is about 5 percent.

    More evidence? A huge gash on the ocean floor—like a ragged wound hundreds of feet long—has been reported by the NOAA research ship, Thomas Jefferson. Before the curtain of the government enforced news blackout again descended abruptly, scientists aboard the ship voiced their concerns that the widening rift may go down miles into the earth.

    That gash too is hemorrhaging oil and methane. It’s 10 miles away from the BP epicenter. Other, new fissures, have been spotted as far as 30 miles distant.

    Measurements of the multiple oil plumes now appearing miles from the wellhead indicate that as much as a total of 124,000 barrels of oil are erupting into the Gulf waters daily-that’s about 5,208,000 gallons of oil per day.

    Most disturbing of all: Methane levels in the water are now calculated as being almost one million times higher than normal.

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About Joshua Kahn

Joshua Kahn Russell is an organizer serving movements for social justice and ecological balance. He is an action coordinator, facilitator, & trainer with the Ruckus Society, and has trained thousands of activists. He has helped win campaigns against banks, oil companies, logging corporations, and coal barons; worked with a wide variety of groups in a breadth of arenas, from local resiliency projects, to national coalitions, to the United Nations Climate Negotiations. He has authored chapters for numerous books, most recently The Next Eco-Warriors. His articles have appeared in Yes! magazine, Left Turn, PeaceWork magazine, Upping the Anti, and Z Magazine. His blog is and you can follow him on Twitter at @joshkahnrussell For a full bio see:

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