May 21, 2010

ICYMI: BP Exec Answers Some Tough Questions

Posted: 01:45 PM ET
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Gene Torres   May 21st, 2010 1:57 pm ET

I read that half of the Earth’s oxygen supply is produced by greenery on land masses. Where does the other half come from?
—Tori Klein, Los Angeles, Calif.
It comes from teensy (only one cell!) plants that live in the ocean. They reside near the surface, where sunlight is abundant. These plants, called phytoplankton, are vital to our survival.

Land-based plants need nutrients—usually found in soil—and so do phytoplankton, which get key nutrients from the water.

However, much of the ocean lacks these nutrients, and marine biologists call these vast areas “deserts” because no phytoplankton grow there.

Phytoplankton greatly affect the atmosphere because they absorb carbon dioxide. More of the plants means less heat-trapping greenhouse gas.

Studies have indicated that hurricanes (most of which never reach land) are a boon to phytoplankton. The winds roil the ocean water so much that nutrients are widely redistributed, and the little plants bloom in their wake- Marilyn Vos Savant

So Larry, what does that chemical they are using to disperse the oil have on the oxygen supply?

Smith in Oregon   May 21st, 2010 2:06 pm ET

Today's reports was this crude Oil spill would continue until BP finishes their second deep sea well drilling mission which is scheduled to be completed in AUGUST!!!

That would be at least 80 more days!

Roger Collins   May 21st, 2010 2:55 pm ET

Please get in touch with me ASAP...RE: OIL LEAK.....PLEASE..PLEASE.

michelle   May 21st, 2010 3:27 pm ET

this oil spill could of been avoided had they did what they do overseas they knew all along that this would happen this oil drilling has got to be more strictly regulated

Smith in Oregon   May 21st, 2010 3:28 pm ET

Invariably Hollywood celebratys that haven't been in the limelight lately are going to push themselves into various save the Gulf of Mexico schemes and speeches.

Some no doubt are well intentioned, others however as America has previously seen in this disaster laden decade come out like cockroaches to satisfy their PR agents with their 5 minute comment in hopes of catching the eye's and attention of Hollywood producers in future roles and parts.

Kevin Costner has invested 15 years and about $24 million in a novel way of sifting oil spills (stainless steel centrifugal oil separator) that he began building and perfecting while making his own maritime film, "Waterworld," released in 1995 which had the Exxon Valdez in several critical scenes.

Two decades later, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard plan to test six of his massive, stainless steel centrifugal oil separators next week. They appear to be able to seperate 200,000 of Oil from the water per unit, per day. The unit spins down the Ocean water vacuumed into the seperator where 99% Oil is shot into a holding tank and 99% Sea Water is shot back into the Ocean. A markedly and significant improvement over 'essentially doing nothing but watching it grow larger'.

"It certainly is an odd thing to see 'Kevin Costner' and a 'centrifugal oil separator' together in a place like the Gulf of Mexico," said actor Stephen Baldwin, who is producing a documentary about the oil spill and Costner's device.

Meanwhile, "Avatar" director James Cameron has said that he would make his underwater vessels available, and actor-director Robert Redford has already appeared in a commercial, sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council, that uses the spill as a urgent call to move forward on clean energy.

Bright Ideas and creative people often go hand in hand. I look forward to seeing the efforts by Kevin Costner, Stephen Baldwin and James Cameron's.

For those that haven't yet seen Robert Redford's commercial on the Gulf Oil Spill, I highly recommend it and his letter to President Obama also make several good points in regards to the urgent need for America to switch away from its large fossil fueled economic base to more fully embrace alternative energy.

I encourage President Obama to strike down the terrible Republican Bush-Cheney heavy handed tariff they placed against all reasonable import of Brazil's abundant Ethanol supply's made from sugar cane.

America's Ethanol producers are not equal to the demand already in place and every gallon of Ethanol would mean about 2 gallons less of foreign Crude Oil needed. 5 Million Gallons of Ethanol = 10 Million Gallons less Crude Oil or one less Exxon Valdez fully loaded Supertanker coming from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf to America.

Demetrius Jones   May 21st, 2010 4:02 pm ET

I think they are doing enough, but it goes to show you that when you gouge the citizens and taxpayers, this is what happens. I think that we pay too much for gas as it is! BP is getting what it deserves! Maybe thay will think twice next time about gouging citizens at the pump. It is about time that we all get together and boycott all oil companies. I dont think it is right to charge someone 3 and 4 dollars a gallon for fuel! I am putting 20 dollars in my gas tank, and only receiving 7 and 8 gallons. That is absurd! Thank you for letting me comment. Demetrius.

IKHAN   May 21st, 2010 4:11 pm ET

Hi Rick,
hello folks!
So it will be August now, so what? Another 80 days of destruction add a billion dollars more to come out of tax payers pocket.
Don't worry we can afford that, enough to spare & then some. After all the House today signed a check for $200+ million for Israel , a poor country with hundreds of nuke weapons & one of the best equipped military in the world,thanks to the American tax payers who have big hearts.
our fire fighters,police, teachers, working class going without jobs, doesn't matter.
school districts,welfare projects other vital services cutting back in cities around the country.We can live with that. Why complain/

Randy   May 21st, 2010 5:09 pm ET

feel BP should reimburse those who lost income due to the oil spill this includes resorts, fisherman, and communities that rely on tourist and to double the clean up cost to replace areas of coastal life such as plants and wildlife, donate to the non profits that have responded to the disaster to better prepare for man made disasters and be shut down until properly inspected to make sure all mechanical safety devices are working properly (and why in the hell are they just now trying to close off pipe line, why didn't they do that a month ago) all because they was trying to figure out away to re-tap source to profit off it

Smith in Oregon   May 21st, 2010 6:29 pm ET

For nearly 100 YEARS, America has known that internal combustion engines are very inefficient. Even with today's dual turbo-chargers and computerized supercharged internal combustion engines the efficiency of converting the fuel's energy to horsepower at the wheels is less than 15% (over 65% of the fuel's energy is LOST in the conversion).


Electrical motors are very efficient. Electrical motors average 90% efficiency in electrical power IN to usable horsepower at the wheels of an pure electrical automobile.

Republican lawmakers have known about the much greater energy efficiency by electrical motors for many decades HOWEVER they have remained major obstructionists in the needed upgrades to America's Electrical Power-grid (to 3rd. generation technology and distribution corridors) which is critically needed to fully implement mass conversion to purely powered electrical vehicles for America's mass transportation.

I have no doubt this heavily underscores the long lasting nefarious relationship the Republican Party has with Big Oil and their Big on burning fossil fuels mantras.

American's future and way of life is being threatened by the Republican Party's cozy relationship with Big Oil.

When does America demand that prosperity for American's living on Main Street, USA comes before the Republican lawmakers hand-outs to Big Oil?

Joe G. (Illinois)   May 21st, 2010 7:22 pm ET

It just goes to show how so many bright people of sound mind fall into panic for a little tsunami, earthquake, volcano eruption, Gulf Oil spill..

While being so aimlessly disconcerted about the direction of their souls.

George Jurenic   May 21st, 2010 9:50 pm ET

Hello CNN,

I am speaking in regard to Larry King Live. Even though he is a very nice young fellow, thhe show turns into a sort of a Opra Winfrey show.
Who care about movie stars private lives or bountly hunters and many in somewhat the same catagory. That is why I tune into MSNBC.

That is not news, but only gossip.

By the way, you are the channel that I mostly watch. Keep up the good work



Ted   May 22nd, 2010 7:57 am ET

@ Smith in Oregon

You are correct in your blog, but you, as most others, stop halfway to solve this energy problem.

Electric cars are quiet, cause no pollution and more efficient than gas guzzling engines, where a great part of energy is wasted on heat. The drawback: if you want to drive from New York to LA, it will take you 3-4 weeks, because you must charge batteries after every 150-200 miles, the best.
The other problem is: they do not run without electricity and most people do not take into count the price of that juice and how is it generated.
In the USA mostly by burning coal, gas, oil or any other fossils, producing a lot of pollution and wasted energie.
If we have electric cars, we must build a lot of new electric plants to produce all that juice.

France produces 90% of its electricity in nuclear plants, we stopped building new ones 40 years ago and the ones we have are old and outdated.
Sun, wind, water, an ideal solution, cannot produce enough electricity for an industrial nation, at least not yet.

So if we change to electric cars we must burn more oil, coal and gas to produce the juice and we are back in the same place as far as pollution goes.
The only reliable solution is to build a lot of nuklear plants, which takes up to 10 years before they can go on line.
Meanwhile our scientists, who sent men to the moon and produced the means to blow up this Earth a thousand times, should work on new resources for electricity generation.

Jay b   May 22nd, 2010 12:05 pm ET

Why do Americans continue to depend on million year old feul to run this Country, it's time to get modern.

Dodie   May 23rd, 2010 3:25 am ET

@ Gene Torres

You bring up a very good point regarding phytoplankton since it reduces carbon dioxide through absorption and produces oxygen through photosynthesis. Phytoplankton is also a keystone species as it keeps the ecosystem in balance and biodiversity.

The Gulf of Mexico is already under tremendous stress resulting from farm fertilizers, human waste, sewage and factories that enter the gulf predominantly through the vessel of the Mississippi River. The River runoff produces a nitrogen cascade in the Gulf of Mexico, ultimately depleting the oxygen in the water.

My concerns about this oil spill/leak is the stratum in which major complications and death to so many life forms is inconceivable. We may never know the full devastation this oil spill has and will cause in the years to come. @ Gene Torres' comment relating to the 'chemicals they are using to disperse' could also add to the reduction of oxygen in the gulf. We have already created vast "dead zones" in the golf due to contaminants in the Mississippi River.

It is disappointing that our government has not quickly moved to a solution even if it means PB will lose this well and the capturing of oil.

I am very saddened that PB was allowed to keep so much in concealment along with spending over a month fooling around while gathering as much oil as they can with the knowledge this is a catastrophe for the ecosystem in all directions for numerous miles. It seems only within the last 2 weeks, BP became serious about a solution. When taking into consideration the loss of both plant and animal life, the only way it could even be written numerically would be something close to 'exponent infinity' It is and will be the "black hole" on earth!

Donald L Allen   May 23rd, 2010 5:30 am ET

Donald L Allen well what I have com up with make a hole lot more sense than Any thin I seen any one else has com up with Not trying to be a smart ass but if you see in the picture you no what I mean well I get the ring it well work if you pay me it well be a lot more better than wasting all the Mooney you well wast well what do you think well see you I hop it work and I no if you do what I,M telling you to do it going to see you Be good Donald L Allen But CNN can think what they want see what I,M saying and you understand it

Donald L Allen   May 23rd, 2010 9:37 am ET

hop you no what I can do and how it can work I com up with one or two ways to do what need to be dun it you see the photo than you no what I mean if you do not than I reckon you do not But I just want Mooney and that is way most people work you no what I mean and I just need 1,0000,0000 Million Dollars it well do the job you need dun if you do not have the Mooney than I gs I well haft to Be a partner of BP from now on you well Pay me a present But I bet you or rich you Sal gas right so way do you need favor right see you ween you go to it Be good Donald L Allen I,M the richer you need

Donald L Allen   May 23rd, 2010 9:42 am ET

see what I do see if you need what I no or if you do not it OK I don't,t care I,M not saying you or Dun I,M just the one How no a lot about what I,M doing I not a sketchup But I get the job dun ween I try to you look at my IDIA and you tell me different than see you Donald L Allen I well see you all now or Later I,M here to say the diff

stan from idaho   May 24th, 2010 12:41 am ET

I am and have been all my life an American. This country changed about 50 or so years ago and changed from a democracy to a Money Machine fueled by greed and power. Now that our country is run by these corporate fatcats and "Old Money" kings. We are no longer free. They will do and say anything to make us believe that our lives make a difference, our votes make a difference and that our opinions matter... They don't! The leak could have been prevented by a sonic switch that costs very little in comparison to the global distaster that we will feel years from now from this contrastrophy. They chose to change law (deregulate) and now we have to pay for it – not them. They will only clean up 10 percent of the distaster, cover up the rest and do there payoffs to try to make people forget. We will do nothing in response because we are a NUMB country of do nothings..... I am one of those do nothings... Must be in the water.... America is witnessing it's pocketbook being stripped of all economical recovery and we are watching our financial slavery being ever so tightened. It seems an impossible task to stay out of debt as it is, God love our children for devistation they are about to inherit. We have really screwed up the planet...

Theresa   May 24th, 2010 4:43 am ET

How sad it is these days that all BIG BUSINESS is concerned with is making $$$$ & never considering if there is a problem what needs to be done to fix it. How sad for a politician to say in 2010...mistakes are made ...why does the blame have to be on a specific target. All I can say to that politician is ...if this is the change you are bringing then it is NOT the change I would want to see. This just proves to me how new a politician this man is..did he really think he was going to get a honeymoon period with statementslike that. It is so easy to say in everyday conversation this is my idea ..sounds great but when you come to's not that great. If he is the future of the out...if you think you're in trouble now ...WATCH OUT...the ride has barely begun. Well, he can be like his friend Sarah...quit while you've barely also can write a book. And to BP....quit stating facts you're not sure of...get your pros together & get this thing fixed...sorry BP ...YOU are part of this problem...everyone involved...quit acting like children. Think of those citizens who live in those areas ,depend on fishing for their livelihoods, think of thise restaurants dependant on that fish for their customers, think of the people that depend on tourism. Lastly ,think of those children who for decads you've stole their childhoods, their parent's income & possibly their health. Yes, are responsible!!!

Dodie   May 25th, 2010 3:32 am ET

@ stan from idaho
@ Theresa

Good blogs. You both are correct. The world has changed. Because of mass transportation and communication it is no longer just large companies... now it is the "Corporate World Syndrome" The individual is being pushed down and robbed of our livelihood. We are being manipulated and controlled not just by corporate America but now the Corporate World. As process goes on for many years to come.....A human waste land will be created when they are done

Kyle Petlock   May 26th, 2010 5:39 am ET

With all this comparison to the Exxon Valdez spill. Why isn't somebody exposing the fact that it was BP who was responsible for containment of any spills in Prince William Sound at the time of the Valdez spill over twenty years ago. That spill could and should have been contained just like the current one. The reason it wasn't was that BP lied about having the equipment and trained personnel that they were supposed to have. The details are revealed in the article:
Slick Operator: The BP I've Known Too Well, by Greg Palast and in Palasts book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

In it he reveals:

BP was principal owner of the pipeline consortium Alyeska.

BP's Alyeska group claimed it had full time response crews.
Alyeska hired Alaska natives, then fired them and replaced them with phantom crews, -lists of untrained workers.

BP claimed they had a containment barge within 5 hours of any point
in Prince William Sound. The barge was "laid up in dry dock 12 hours away in Cordova".

BP claimed they had plenty of boom and equipment on Bligh Island.
They had "not a lick of boom there".

In the Gulf Now:

BP is the principle lessee of the deepwater oil concession in the Gulf.
(so much for their claim that they weren't responsible for the rig)

They had no containment barge in the area.
The boom was laid out too little too late.
The "Navy is hauling in 12 miles of boom and 7 skimmers instead of BP,
Spill response crews "were told they wern't needed because the company had sealed the well"!!!

A worker reported to their attorney, Dan Becnel that BP drilled the well to a depth greater than the 18,000 feet that BP reported, and didn't tell Haliburton crews. So the cement cap Haliburton poured was too small for the additional pressure, so it blew.

BP clearly can not be trusted and their top manageres should be in jail.

Kyle Petlock   May 26th, 2010 5:52 am ET

One solution is to require the oil companies to install the fail safe accoustic switches on their well heads that are required in every other country in the world that does offshore drilling. It's time to stop allowing oil companies to cut corners and get serious about oversight and inspections, -by a new agency that's not made up of old buddies of oil company executives.

Joe   May 26th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

How do I contact a live person @ CNN? I hesitate to call myself an 'authority', but I have experience with offshore drilling and drilling vessels.

Much of you account of the BP blowout imparts erroneous concepts about what is involved with this incident.

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