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BP plc And The Administration Replace First Amendment With $40,000 Fine And Class D Felony

Tyler Durden's picture


CNN's Anderson Cooper, one of the few people who apparently hasn't or isn't leaving the troubled news network (surely Ted Turner has learned by now from CNBC that his female anchors should wear transparent body suits, show belly button deep cleavage, and install a stripper pole or seventeen for those ever more elusive Nielsen points), reports some troubling developments out of New Orleans. "The coast guard today announced new rules keeping photographers, reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms, out on the water or on beaches. In order to get closer you need to get direct permission from the coast guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. Shots of oil on beaches with booms - stay 65 feet away. Pictures of oil soaked booms useless laying in the water because they haven't been collected like they should. You can't get close enough to see that. And believe me, that is out there. But you only know that if you get close to it, and now you can't without permission. Violators could face a fine of $40,000 and class D felony charges. The coast guard tried to make the exclusion zone 300 feet before scaling it down to 65 feet." While Cooper's conclusion is spot on, "we are not the enemy here, those of us down here trying to accurately show what is happening down here, we are not the enemy. If we can't show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what is happening, and that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence", it doesn't matter, and little by little, nothing else matters, except for what the administration, the Fed, and the megacorps think it is in America's best interest to be able to see, hear, read, do, and what assets they have, where they can invest... especially if all this is done in conjunction with maxing out yet another credit card to buy the latest and greatest weekly edition of the iPhone.

h/t Arnoldsimage


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Sun, 07/04/2010 - 07:29 | 451472 cossack55
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Redemption by voting for who?  If it is a Repub, you have just disqualified yourself as a sentinet being.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 08:07 | 451481 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Voting 3rd party are you? Excellent!

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 16:36 | 451500 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

We The People did not and do not vote for the Office of President, never have. However, We The People are still responsible for that Kenyan socialist and his band of criminals being in office.

Dr. Celente is adamant about a third party in 2012 and seriously backed by We The People.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 13:43 | 451824 thesapein
thesapein's picture

Which is why most of the population is not off the hook. Anyone who voted and didn't vote for Ron Paul last time around, which is just about everyone I know, is a disgrace, and our founding fathers and mothers would be ashamed of their pathetic children. 

I feel like a Russian spy surrounded by befriended enemies.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 08:34 | 451490 megatoxic
megatoxic's picture

Thought experiment for liberals:

How would you have reacted if George Bush had made filming New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina a Class D Felony?

Pieces of shit.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 10:12 | 451541 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

That left a mark!  Ouch.

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 12:02 | 453084 Jim B
Jim B's picture

O is sooo incompetent!

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 20:47 | 453651 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Filming memorials at the request of family members sure was..  and more under the wookie...

Pieces of shit.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:56 | 451493 megatoxic
megatoxic's picture

Any military officers who enforce this order are violating their oath to uphold the Constitution and should be subject to Court Martial...or worse.



Sun, 07/04/2010 - 13:27 | 451797 thesapein
thesapein's picture

Like children pledging allegiance to the flag, know not what they say.

I respect the Oath Keepers out there fighting the uphill battle of getting people to stop and think about what they're saying and doing. If there is one document I would love to see people think harder on, it is out with the bible and in with the constitution.

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 20:55 | 453654 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

There are serious discussions concerning what exactly constitutes lawful orders and lawful authority under the UCMJ, since following an unlawful order is a most serious offense.

remember megatoxic, the Coast Guard is not a branch of the military, but an agency within the department of transportation.....  Cops on boats subject to whatever law TPTB wish to enforce... while the UCMJ only applies to uniformed members of the armed forces.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 08:40 | 451497 megatoxic
megatoxic's picture

A possible solution: Governors of the Gulf States could issue a statement that they will use the National Guard to enforce the US Constitution within their territory.

Offer to provide journalists and private citizens with a National Guard escort if they want to take pictures of the oil spill...

Fuck these socialist assholes--fuck them all to hell.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 11:00 | 451568 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

The draw back of that is the Federal Govt. can Federalize national Guard units at any time. This was the reason militia was put in the 2nd the states could have a force other than that of the standing army. States should go back to militias and have full control that cannot be taken away (or deployed overseas) by the Federal level.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 12:37 | 451710 megatoxic
megatoxic's picture

Then let them nationalize the guard.  Force their hand.  Force them to take off the god-damned smiley faces while they fuck us in the ass.

I agree with you wholeheartedly re: state militias.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 08:43 | 451498 anynonmous
Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:15 | 451510 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

The US Government has lost its legitimacy. It is an ILLEGAL government.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:31 | 451517 arnoldsimage
arnoldsimage's picture

if we the people would open our eyes wide enough, it would be clear that the government wants to push us to a shooting situation. they will not respond to anything else.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 15:51 | 452009 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Think for a moment about why that may be, and remember that the U.S. government has a very long history of meeting such opposition with absolutely lethal and overwhelming force.  Perhaps they are awaiting the chance to teach their subject population a lesson it has forgotten, give us a taste of the whip, as it were.  In the aftermath I imagine draconic gun laws would be passed and the 2nd Amendment lost forever.     

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 19:24 | 452266 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

might want to put some clothes on first, arnold.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:32 | 451518 megatoxic
megatoxic's picture

Completely agree.

The tidal wave is coming, and it's going to crush the totalitarians and their little socialist aparatchik army like bugs.

Can't. Fucking. Wait.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 13:02 | 451758 Kali
Kali's picture

Agreed, the coup d'etat happened years ago.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:21 | 451512 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

On this 4th of July , I am prompted to observe that there was considerably more liberty in this country under George III than there is today.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:50 | 451526 Jam
Sun, 07/04/2010 - 10:08 | 451535 Glaucus
Glaucus's picture

Happy (once and future) Secession Day:

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 10:19 | 451547 Pez
Pez's picture

Happy Corporate Independence Day! Hey wait ....why is that happy?

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 11:28 | 451597 jaro_g
jaro_g's picture

the oil tragedy is sad, of course ... but IMO it gives the people a chance to think abt environment and abt their own impact on the nature ... what about switching from the 'standard' electric power suppliers to ecological ones? that would reduce the amounts of oil, gas, nuclear stuff, coal and thus also the danger of BP-like disasters by far, isnt it?

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 11:44 | 451621 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


First Jevon's Paradox.
In economics, the Jevons paradox (sometimes called the Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource. It is historically called the Jevons paradox as it ran counter to common intuition. However, the situation is well understood in modern economics. In addition to reducing the amount needed for a given use, improved efficiency lowers the relative cost of using a resource – which increases demand and accelerates economic growth, further expanding resource use. Overall resource use increases or decreases depending on which effect predominates.

The Jevons paradox has been used to argue that energy conservation is futile, as increased efficiency may actually increase fuel use. Nevertheless, increased efficiency can improve material living standards. Environmental economists have also pointed out that fuel use will unambiguously decline if increased efficiency is paired with a green tax that keeps cost of use the same.[1] As the Jevons paradox applies only to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency, policies that impose conservation standards and increase costs do not display the Jevons paradox.

Second Oil is used in everything you see around from food production to plastic.

Third to move into the inefficient alternate energy sources, solar give no electricity when it is cloudy and windmills don't work in zero temps and with no wind,you still need to spend today's energy using today's resources to produce those goods.Some here, when I first started reading ZH, posted just how much oil would be required to manufacture just the wire. It was enormous.

Finally just where would that money come from? Taxpayers?

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 18:38 | 452216 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

BP can sell you your solar panels.



Sun, 07/04/2010 - 11:33 | 451605 anynonmous
Sun, 07/04/2010 - 11:46 | 451624 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

BP Texas Refinery Had Huge Toxic Release Just Before Gulf Blowout

This story is part of an ongoing collaboration between ProPublica and FRONTLINE (PBS).

TEXAS CITY, TEXAS -- Two weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the huge, trouble-plagued BP refinery in this coastal town spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies.

The release from the BP facility here began April 6 and lasted 40 days. It stemmed from the company's decision to keep producing and selling gasoline while it attempted repairs on a key piece of equipment, according to BP officials and Texas regulators.

BP says it failed to detect the extent of the emissions for several weeks. It discovered the scope of the problem only after analyzing data from a monitor that measures emissions from a flare 300 feet above the ground that was supposed to incinerate the toxic chemicals.

The company now estimates that 538,000 pounds of chemicals escaped from the refinery while it was replacing the equipment. These included 17,000 pounds of benzene, a known carcinogen; 37,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to respiratory problems; and 186,000 pounds of carbon monoxide.

It is unclear whether the pollutants harmed the health of Texas City residents, but the amount of chemicals far exceeds the limits set by Texas and other states.

For years, the BP refinery in this town of 44,000 has been among the company's most dangerous and pollution-prone operations. A 2005 explosion killed 15 workers; four more workers have died in accidents since then. Last year, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the company $87 million for failing to address safety problems that caused the 2005 blast.

In the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in the Gulf, BP has insisted that the incident, the nation's worst environmental disaster, was a disastrous but unusual misstep for a company that has done much in recent years to change its ways.

But a look at BP's record in running the Texas City refinery adds to the mounting evidence that the company's corporate culture favors production and profit margins over safety and the environment. The 40-day release echoes in several notable ways the runaway spill in the Gulf. BP officials initially underestimated the problem and took steps in the days leading up to the incident to reduce costs and keep the refinery online.

Former workers and industry experts say BP's handling of the recent release of chemicals was typical of the plant's and company's operating practices.

The 40-day emissions were initially reported by the Daily News of Galveston, Texas, but received little national attention.

The unit was never completely shut down, and if it would have been, the event probably would have received more attention. Any reduction in production for even as little as 24 hours is considered sufficiently important to be reported in the financial press to investors and others.

Michael Marr, a BP spokesman, said the company had invested more than $1 billion since 2005 to improve the refinery.

Marr said BP initially monitored the emissions using a method approved by Texas regulators. It did not show any release in "excess of regulatory exposure limits to workers or the community during anytime." Using what Marr described as a method that "enables us to better understand the unit's emissions," BP found the much higher rate of release and notified Texas regulators on June 4.

Environmental experts say the amount of chemicals released was one of the largest in recent Texas history.

"This was a giant release over that 40-day period," said Neil Carman, who worked for the regulators for 12 years before joining the Sierra Club. "Even 50,000 pounds is big."

Carman said a study he performed showed the BP Texas City Refinery was already releasing more benzene into the atmosphere than any other place in the U.S. from 1997 to 2007.

BP spokesman Marr says the refinery's 2009 emissions dropped 20 percent from 2008, including a 50 percent drop in benzene emissions. BP had also invested in onsite chemical treatment to reduce emissions, Marr said.

"I would already argue that there's too much benzene in the air in Texas City," Carman said, "and then you add this release over 40 days, and it's just unconscionable that BP would do this."

Officials in Texas City, who were not informed of the scale of the release until after it was over, have asked BP to explain how this could have occurred. Marr said the company is now reviewing its procedures.

"I'm like, 'Oh goodness,'" Bruce Clawson, Texas City's coordinator for emergency management, recalls thinking when BP notified him about the release. "I had a lot of questions and they didn't have a lot of answers at that time."

Clawson said he is not yet satisfied. "Obviously, we do not like anything to be released," he said. "We expect better from them."

Marr said the incident began on April 6 when a component of the refinery's ultracracker went offline. The ultracracker, an integral part of the plant's processing of crude oil into gasoline and other petroleum products, processes 65,000 barrels of oil per day. A financial analyst who follows the industry said that each barrel should earn BP $5 to $10 in profits.

The part that malfunctioned, a hydrogen compressor, traps noxious chemicals, which can then be reused for fuel in the plant and other purposes. When the compressor stopped working, BP decided to send the gases to a 300-foot high flare, whose high temperatures turn the dangerous material into carbon dioxide.

The company knew that the burning process was incomplete and that at least trace amounts would escape. Marr said BP believed the plant's existing monitors, which are placed just a few feet above the ground level and approved by Texas regulators, would detect any excess emissions.

According to Marr, BP immediately also received measurements from a separate monitor that took readings from the flare. It was not until June 4, he said, that the company understood that the emissions were far higher than was permitted.

Despite repeated requests for clarification, Marr declined to say how long the company spent analyzing the data from the flare.

Industry experts say BP had reason to believe from the outset that emissions from the flare would be substantial.

Widely circulated industry guidelines assume that at least 2 percent of what is sent to a flare goes unburned and passes into the atmosphere. Because such large quantities of gas move through a refinery, this can amount to tens of thousands of pounds.

Carman of the Sierra Club says that flares also may be substantially less efficient than the industry believes. He said studies have shown that as much as 20 percent of what is sent to flares is released into the atmosphere.

"A 20 percent release from the flare would equal 5 million pounds and the benzene would have been 170,000 pounds," said Carman.

California regulators said that couldn't happen there. In Contra Costa County, home to several refineries, flares are to be used to handle chemical releases only in emergency situations, not regular operations.

"Refineries aren't allowed to do that in the Bay Area," said Randy Sawyer, the director of the hazardous materials programs in Contra Costa County. "If you have an upset and you need to get rid of gases in a hurry, you can send it to a flare. But if you continue to operate and dump a lot of stuff to a flare, that's not what they were designed for and it adds to pollution." California requires refineries to keep backup hydrogen compressors on hand and it stations regulators at the plants who are alert for any unscheduled flaring.

Last year, the Texas Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit against BP for “poor operating and maintenance practices’’ that caused an “egregious amount of emissions.”

That case cited 53 separate incidents that, taken together, are roughly equal to the 538,000 pounds BP calculates it released over the 40 days this year.

If BP had shut down the ultracracker, it would have lacked a key component needed to create gasoline suitable for its customers, said Mark Demark, the department chair of process technology at Alvin Community College.

"It's a big deal to shut the ultracracker down," he said. "It's operating at two to three thousand pounds of pressure, 700 degrees Farenheit; so it would take you a week just to cool that place down."

Demark, who worked for Shell for 33 years, said if he had been faced with that choice, he would probably have halted operations.

"Just from a public relations standpoint, for 40 days to have a flare going, you have to be really inconsiderate to your community," he said.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 12:27 | 451678 ThinkAVP
ThinkAVP's picture

Over the past month there has been numerous reports of BP security  intimidating Journalist and blocking access to certain areas, including refineries as far away as Texas. We now have documented evidence that not only BP security, but Local Police  and DHS have taken part in “police state” tactics against reporters, denying them their first amendments rights and threatening them with arrest.

Lance Rosenfield, on assignment for PBS Frontline, was detained and integrated by the Joint Terrorism Task force for photographing a Texas City highway sign in public.

The photographer, Lance Rosenfield, said that shortly after arriving in town, he was confronted by a BP Security officer, local police and a man who identified himself as an agent of the Department of Homeland Security. He was released after the police reviewed the pictures he had taken on Friday. They recorded his date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information.

The police officer then turned that information over to the BP SECURITY GUARD  under what he said was standard procedure, according to Rosenfield.

Our GOVERNMENT and local law enforcement is actively sharing intelligence on U.S. citizens with a foreign corporation. This leads to the questions, what is DHS and the Joint Terrorism Task Force even doing protecting a British Petrolatum Refinery?

Apparently the government isn’t breaking any laws by passing citizens information to a foreign entity. Texas City lays just off the coast, an area known as the, “unconstitutional zone.” .......... Close to two thirds of the population now live within 100 miles of the coast, an area where authorities have unlimited power.

With free speech banned throughout the Gulf, it is now even more important for citizens to break this media blackout and demand that British Petroleum immediately stops spraying Corexit 9500, the same highly toxic chemical that was used during the Exxon Valdez. Unfortunately, not one person who worked clean up during the 1989 oil spill, is alive to speak today.

It appears that these agencies are involved in a major cover-up. If we as the American people let this go much further, private corporations will soon rule every aspect of our lives. DHS and other agencies keep gaining more and more power; at the same time the American people keep losing ground to the tyrannical government. This situation is so bad that we might soon find ourselves dead in the water when it comes to our freedoms.

On June 30, 2010 the madam president blocked a almost unanimous vote of 420 to 1 to investigate the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This is a reminder to some of what happened after 9/11 when bush appointed his own commission. There is an obvious cover-up. What will it take for the American people to act? What has happened in our country to stop the American people from standing up to this tyranny?

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 12:50 | 451733 dot_bust
dot_bust's picture

The Coast Guard and BP won't allow the reporters and the public to see anything because there's nothing to see. This entire alleged oil spill is like the phony horse-betting track in the movie, The Sting.

If there were such a gigantic oil spill that the entire world knew about, what would be the purpose of denying access to it?

This is yet another deception like the phony swine flu pandemic.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 12:52 | 451736 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Anderson Vander--, uh I mean Anderson Cooper has his part to "play" in this fiasco.

Play, as in, script to read.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 12:59 | 451753 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

I do worry when some event grabs the attention, if something else isn't going on somewhere else. Classic distraction technique.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 18:35 | 452231 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Time for Tiger Woods reruns.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 19:37 | 452272 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

*cough* world cup.

inter-national distraction.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 12:56 | 451748 trav7777
trav7777's picture

All you people stop siding with the TERRISTS and FOLLOW THE LAW.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 13:38 | 451816 walcott
walcott's picture

in a way it's understandable. The conditions on the ground are toxic as hell

in the immediate vicinity of that crap. It's well understood that this is a complete

an pathetic catastrophe.

What's needed now are solutions the rants don't fix anything.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 13:51 | 451844 juwes
juwes's picture

moderator bots got mad at my link, or whoever.  Check the forums, general discussion to see it... If you want to move this out of the internet basement and into the real world.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 17:51 | 452179 Clycntct
Clycntct's picture

I think you have a good Idea just might need a little more tweaking thought.

Colbert Nation.

TDs ? armpit insurgents. Florida arm.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 14:06 | 451866 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

What you see is the Obama administration conceding defeat in the next elections, and trying to strong arm people before they leave office, so they can seem tough.  The people have finally seen this man for who and what he is and what he stands for, which isn't much. There will most likely never be another black president after this one, and it is not the white man's fault this time as it is usually labeled.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 15:09 | 451948 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

Walcott 10:38 Sunday:  I disagree.  It's understandable only in a totalitarian information control-type effort so far as the video indicates.  So make photographers wear gas masks, or whatever, if you're concerned about their safety.  It's hard to see what this rule has re safety of the newsgathering personnel.  And CNN wasn't ranting, just reporting.  Time will tell how much damage the spill causes.  We can already see the infringement on our liberty.  Thanks to TD for bringing this to our attention . . .

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 17:53 | 452182 trav7777
trav7777's picture


the government has never given a shit about reporters in danger; war correspondants are among the highest-fatality occupations in existence.  Hell, an Apache shot up a group containing them just for the hell of it or because one of the cameras one was carrying could plausibly be claimed to have looked like a weapon from 2km away.

The gov't wants POSITIVE coverage.  Negative coverage, iow, the truth, is The Enemy of the State.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 16:35 | 452070 DoctoRx
DoctoRx's picture

Here is a link to the official Coast Guard release on this matter:

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 18:29 | 452220 CD
CD's picture

Well, for what it's worth, here is an example of what happens when a journalist gets too close to the murky, gray lines between .gov directives, our sense of feeling safe and secure as a nation,  and BP's commercial interests:

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 19:27 | 452268 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

A canon 1ds mark 3 and an 800mm lens should overcome this nuisance...

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 22:51 | 452319 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

You can tell from 65.1 feet if those jail threatening sons of bitches are doing their jobs.  Hell, I can tell from here.

If there is to be jail time for watching-from- too-close, probably ought to be jail time for  bloody incompetence also.


The good news if that if  they can put people in the slammer for 4 years for watching-from-too-close, just think what they ought to be able to do to the people who had anything to do with it in the first place.





Sun, 07/04/2010 - 22:31 | 452421 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

fuck america and the land of the fascists.....

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 08:57 | 452881 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture


GOLD daily charts are still bearish.

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 13:26 | 453191 cocoablini
cocoablini's picture

The Obama Administration is sinking to new lows everyday.

The way they act in DC, they WERE directly responsible for the spill-they act guilty. The whole issue is a technical challenge for the OIL industry. The government doesn't have much of a prayer solving the leak.If the President says these things it would get the blame off of him:

1) We need to do a better job at containing the oil slick on the surface

2)plugging the leak is best dealt with by the oil industry. Its an incentive to do it fast and well or the costs skyrocket

3) this is an unprecedented challenge for the oil industry and new technology is being developed on the fly

4)Running BP out of business or threatening their assets deincentivizes the speed of the solution. It does nobody any good to threaten the industry that needs to solve this

5) The government has very poor and heavyhanded solutions such as nuclear bombs and so forth which we should avoid as it could cause more problems than solve.

6)We are tranferring assets from the banks and Wall Street to help the industries affected by the spill cope for the coming decades.

Good night and God Bless

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 19:09 | 453556 GS is short Gold
GS is short Gold's picture

All hail the black Kim Jung-il.

Mon, 07/05/2010 - 20:25 | 453627 metastar
metastar's picture

Our government is no longer ours. It is criminal, corrupt, and illegitimate.


Still, hearing CNN whine about photos is a joke. The lenses on their cameras can see a flea on the moon. What is disturbing, is that the decree makes it difficult for reporters to speak with anyone hiding behind a boom.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 10:32 | 532765 herry
herry's picture

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