25 June 2010

Government Talking Points: the oil will never reach shore edition #oilspill

Danny Williams, speaking in the House of Assembly in May 2010, as reported by CBC:

"As recently as this morning, we've looked at just exactly what the situations are in the North Atlantic," Williams said.

"It is a general understanding that because the offshore sites are significantly offshore and well east of the province that ... there's a lower likelihood that oil would actually come ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador."

From the Wall Street Journal, June 2010:

BP PLC and other big oil companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one.

Natural resources minister Kathy Dunderdale, in the House of Assembly, June 2010, as quoted by the Telegram:

  Mr. Speaker, based on 40 to 50 years of wind study, it is shown that oil, because of the wave action and the coldness of the sea, Mr. Speaker, breaks up and disperses. ... Mr. Speaker, we had an oil spill in 2004 on the Terra Nova. Mr. Speaker, that oil dispersed, broke up, and went away. Ocean floor studies have been done, Mr. Speaker, there is no evidence of oil from that oil spill on the floor around our Terra Nova project.

The WSJ, again:

The government models, which oil companies are required to use but have not been updated since 2004, assumed that most of the oil would rapidly evaporate or get broken up by waves or weather.