Casaubon's Book

Thanks to fellow science blogger Ed Brayton for the link to this New York Times article, which suggests that because of ties to the company, BP chose to flood the Gulf with a dispersant that is both more toxic than many of the other options and also less effective.

So far, BP has told federal agencies that it has applied more than 400,000 gallons of a dispersant sold under the trade name Corexit and manufactured by Nalco Co., whose current leadership includes executives from BP and Exxon. And another 805,000 gallons of Corexit are on order, the company said, with the possibility that hundreds of thousands of more gallons may be needed if the well continues spewing oil for weeks or months.

But according to EPA data, Corexit ranks far above dispersants made by competitors in toxicity and far below them in effectiveness in handling southern Louisiana crude.

Of 18 dispersants whose use EPA has approved, 12 were found to be more effective on southern Louisiana crude than Corexit, EPA data show. Two of the 12 were found to be 100 percent effective on Gulf of Mexico crude, while the two Corexit products rated 56 percent and 63 percent effective, respectively. The toxicity of the 12 was shown to be either comparable to the Corexit line or, in some cases, 10 or 20 times less, according to EPA.

Definitely the way to go – my theory is that BP is trying to help out Wildlife biologists, who at this point don’t really know how the dispersants and oil will affect marine life. What they need is a little more certainty in their projections – a little extra poison, a little less effectiveness and those predictions get to nearly 100%!

Of course, there is the money:

Critics say Nalco, which formed a joint venture company with Exxon Chemical in 1994, boasts oil-industry insiders on its board of directors and among its executives, including an 11-year board member at BP and a top Exxon executive who spent 43 years with the oil giant.

“It’s a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically,” said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife.

What a great opportunity to send Nalco’s stock rising! It just gets better and better.



  1. #1 Don
    May 20, 2010

    I just saw on the news this morning that experts who have studied the photos of the oil gushing out are estimating up to 95,000 barrels per day. Is BP sticking with the 5,000 bpd figure? Only a small amount–3,000 bpd, is being siphoned into that tanker.

    If we go with the 95K figure, that means that in two more days, 3 million barrels will have poured into the Gulf.

  2. #2 darwinsdog
    May 20, 2010

    Profits before people or the environment. That’s capitalism for you. When government colludes with corporations that’s fascism. We have a sociopathic fascist government facilitating the destruction of the Gulf of Mexico on behalf of a multinational corporation that only cares about its bottom line. The system is insane, people, and those socialized to it to the degree that they approve, support and participate in this system, are insane. Worse than insane: malevolently & misfeasently insane. Evil.

    95K bpd from two of the three leaks. Some of that volume is methane, though, a potent greenhouse gas but not as toxic as petroleum. BP doesn’t want the public to know the true volume of the hemorrhage, for legal & propaganda reasons, and government colludes in keeping the truth from being known. Didn’t we just hope for change less than two years ago? “Here is the new boss, same as the old boss…” Bush & Obama, alike puppets jerked around by their corporate puppetmasters. But oh well… if the GoM has to die so that we can drive to work, so be it.

  3. #3 Don
    May 20, 2010

    If you can believe it, it appears that even the Coast Guard is taking orders from BP:

  4. #4 MsEithne
    May 20, 2010

    I read on the BBC just now that British Petroleum is now conceding that that the volume of the spill is greater than 5K barrels/day… because their tanker ship is now siphoning up 5K barrels/day and the oil is still clearly spilling.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what will happen if the pressure on the oil is significantly reduced? Is there a chance of collapse of rock structures from the altered balance of pressure?

  5. #5 NM
    May 20, 2010

    Now my head hurts.

  6. #6 Jim Thomerson
    May 22, 2010

    It was said on TV that the company supplying the present dispersant has made a huge profit. I think $400 million, but memory is fuzzy. The better detergent is sitting in storage in Houston, ready to go.

  7. #7 jjfdjdf
    May 27, 2010

    I despise these people more than I can aptly convey. They’re the scum of the earth. I’d willingly kill them had I the chance.

  8. #8 mantolama
    July 5, 2011

    Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

  9. #9 Doruhan Otomotiv
    July 11, 2011

    they are very intelligent people like you, and even the world-renowned scientists awarded kullanabilmişler mind that 3 percent can do something by doing so, We, thank you for everything

  10. #10 patlatma tas
    August 10, 2011

    Both presidents deserve their share of credit, and the great majority of the credit goes to the anonymous intelligence analysts, spies, and special forces who did the hard work.

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