Courtesy of BP, and everyone cutting corners wherever possible, it is becoming increasingly clear that the economic impact to the gulf economy will be devastating, particularly in the tourism industry, with “some condos and hotels reporting 100 percent cancellations.” And we have still to find someone who will willingly eat shrimp without a gun at their heads... and it is not just the surging price for the crustacean as the supply plummets. Imagine just how ugly it would get if Americans were allowed to have an idea of just how bad it truly is: it appears that the recently instituted "Beyond" First Amendment, where freedom of the press now carries a $40,000 fine and/or incarceration, has seen its first casualty: "A photographer taking pictures of a BP refinery in Texas was detained by a BP security official, local police and a man who said he was from the Department of Homeland Security." Who would have thought change you can believe in referred to the amendments to the constitution, starting with the first.
As more oil has spilled, fewer people have been willing to spend their summers at the beach.
Cancellations came in waves. One hundred cancellations were made around the second week of the spill, according to Schroeder. June 10 — the day the first tar balls hit the beaches — saw 1,000 more cancellations.
In addition, the phones have stayed ominously silent as new reservations have dried up. It’s been a week since the heaviest batch of oil hit the area, but the damage has already been done to the industry.
“It’s pretty safe to say about 75 percent of our reservations that have been on the books are gone,” Schroeder said. “Some condos and hotels are 100 percent cancelled.”
Oil cleanup has been a day-to-day process with cleanup crews working around the clock. Night cleanup has been the most effective because of the cooler weather.
“With every change of the tide, the impact is different,” said Sonya Daniel, public information manager for Escambia County. “It’s like a windshield wiper effect. There are good days and bad days. As long as the oil is still flowing, we’re going to have a chance for oil.”
Alex has been a major impact on the cleanup efforts, covering as much as 20 percent of Pensacola Beach and 40 percent of Perdido Key with tar balls. On Tuesday alone, workers collected 166,926 pounds of tar balls, oil material and sand.
The beaches remain open but under a health advisory to swim at one’s own risk.
“In the last two days, we’ve seen it impact the majority of our beaches,” Schroeder said. “We’d like to hope that after this hurricane spins through the Gulf and gets out of the way, this stuff stops coming on shore for a little while and gives us a chance to clean it up.
Yet it is becoming increasingly impossible to actually witness this, since as we reported, there is now a legally imposted distance barrier of 65 feet between any reporter and locations with oil booms, which are rapidly becoming virtually all. And not 24 hours after first reporting on this, did some reporter already find just how serious the administration is in withholding this brand new rule.
A photographer taking pictures of a BP refinery in Texas was detained by a BP security official, local police and a man who said he was from the Department of Homeland Security, according to ProPublica, a non-profit news organization in the U.S.
The photographer, Lance Rosenfield, said he was confronted by the officials shortly after arriving in Texas City, Texas, to work on a story that is part of an ongoing collaboration between PBS and ProPublica.
Rosenfield was released after officials looked through the pictures he had taken and took down his date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information, the photographer said. The information was turned over to the BP security guard who said this was standard procedure, ProPublica quoted Rosenfield as saying.
Rosenfield, a Texas-based freelance photographer, said he was followed by a BP employee after taking a picture on a public road near the refinery, and then cornered by two police cars at a gas station. The officials told Rosenfield they had the right to look at the pictures taken near the refinery and if he did not comply he would be "taken in," the photographer said according to ProPublica.
Elsewhere confused people were celebrating the [birth|death] of American democracy.
h/t Kyle and S