Biloxi - The Obama administration has issued a gag order on data over the recent spike of dead dolphins, including many stillborn infants, washing up on Mississippi and Alabama shorelines, and scientists say the restriction undermines the scientific process.
An abnormal dolphin mortality this year along the Gulf coast has become part of a federal criminal investigation over last year’s BP oil spill disaster and as a result, has led the US government to clamp down on biologists’ findings, with orders to keep the results confidential.
The dolphin die-off, labeled an “unusual mortality event (UME),” resulted in wildlife biologists being contracted by the National Marine Fisheries Service to record the recent spike in dolphin deaths by collecting tissue samples and specimens for the agency, but late last month were privately ordered to keep their results under wraps.
Reuters has obtained a copy of the agency letter that states, in part: “Because of the seriousness of the legal case, no data or findings may be released, presented or discussed outside the UME investigative team without prior approval.”
One biologist involved with tracking dolphin mortalities for over 20 years and speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters that: “It throws accountability right out the window. We are confused and ... we are angry because they claim they want teamwork, but at the same time they are leaving the marine experts out of the loop completely.”
Some scientists said they have received a personal rebuke from government officials about “speaking out of turn” to the media over attempts at determining the dolphins’ deaths.
Additionally, these scientists say the collected specimens and samples are being turned over to the government for evaluation under a deal that omits independent scientists from the final results of lab tests.
Almost 200 dead bottlenose dolphin bodies have been found since mid-January through this week along shorelines of Gulf coast states, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, Reuters notes. About half of the carcasses are newborns or stillborn infants.
That number is around 14 times the average numbers recorded during the same time frame between 2002 and 2007 and has coincidentally occurred during the first calving season since the BP Deepwater Horizon debacle last year in the Gulf.
Although many of the dolphin specimens recently collected show no outward signs of oil contamination, lab analysis is crucial in helping to determine their deaths.
Some experts believe the recent surge of deaths is the result of dolphins inhaling or ingesting oil during the oil spill, the results of which are just now beginning to show their toll, including a possible upsurge in dolphin miscarriages.
The recent spike in dolphin deaths has compounded the dolphin mortality problem, as scientists were already busy attempting to determine the deaths of nearly 90 dead dolphins, mostly adults, that washed up along the US Gulf coast during the weeks and months after the BP disaster.
Some are questioning the Marine Fisheries Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and its delay in providing dolphin samples to laboratories.
“It is surprising that it has been almost a full year since the spill, and they still haven't selected labs for this kind of work,” said Ruth Carmichael, of the independent Dauphin Island Sea Lab, located in Alabama, according to Reuters. “I can only hope that this process is a good thing. I just don’t know. This is an unfortunate situation,” she added.
Officials with the NOAA state the confidentiality measures are an integral part of the current investigation over the BP oil spill.
“We are treating the evidence, which are the dolphin samples, like a murder case,” said Dr. Erin Fougeres, a Fisheries Service marine biologist, Reuters notes. “The chain of custody is being closely watched. Every dolphin sample is considered evidence in the BP case now,” she added.
Oil giant BP has caused a stir by revealing it has lost a laptop containing the personal details of 13,000 victims of last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Complete details of the loss are still emerging, but it appears the computer was only protected by a Windows password, and that the company has sent letters to the people whose data were lost.
Data on the BP laptop spreadsheet included claimants' names, social security numbers, phone numbers and addresses. The firm has said that the relevant US authorities have been notified about the issue.
According to BP, the data belonged to individuals who filed claims with the oil giant before the Gulf Coast Claims Facility took over the processing of claims last August.
The UK Press Association says that a member of BP's staff lost the laptop at the start of March during "routine business travel".
BP is reported to be offering to pay for claimants to have their credit monitored by Equifax.
The UKPA newswire says that, when asked why nearly a month elapsed before BP notified residents about the missing laptop, a spokesperson said the company was carrying out due diligence and investigating.
IT security industry reaction to the laptop loss has been swift and harsh, with Darren Shimkuss, senior vice president of Credant Technologies, saying that it is real wakeup call to corporations and governments everywhere.
"Regardless of the official security policy, sensitive corporate data will find its way everywhere, including corporate endpoints like laptops and thumb drives", he said.
"The truth is employees will keep on losing their devices and the only way organisations can protect their customers, employees, partners, and shareholders is to pursue an integrated data protection strategy", he added.
The VP of the end point data security specialist went on to say that the process of defending corporate data is only going to get harder for IT.
"As consumerisation brings more smartphones, iPads, and other devices into the corporate environment, data risk multiplies and becomes even harder to control. Companies and governments need to make data security a priority get ahead of this now", he explained.
Over at Sophos, meanwhile, Paul Ducklin, the IT security vendor's head of technology for Asia-Pacific, said that the sobering part of this regrettable incident is that it happened because a single laptop was lost or stolen "during routine business travel".
"Even if you're the sort of organisation which is willing to take risks with your own data – sales forecasts, trade secrets, and that sort of thing – you have a clear moral duty not to take risks with data you keep about other people", he said.
"Unfortunately, in those parts of the world where encryption and mandatory disclosure are not enforced by law, many sys admins are being squeezed by budgetary pressures to do as little as possible about encryption-related security", he added.
Ducklin went on to say that he does not understand that sort of economy, as surely your customers will value your service much more strongly if you can show that you are willing to do what's right and safe with their data?
"Why not consider the value of encryption to your business, instead of considering only the cost?"
True toll of Deepwater disaster may be 50 times worse than thought
by ClickGreen staff. Published Wed 30 Mar 2011 12:15, Last updated: 2011-03-30
Dolphin deaths may be 50 times worse than official estimate
Dolphin deaths may be 50 times worse than official estimate
The recorded impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on wildlife may have severely underestimated the number of deaths of whales and dolphins, according to a new report.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010 devastated the Gulf region ecologically and economically. However, a new study published in Conservation Letters reveals that the true impact of the disaster on wildlife may be gravely underestimated. The study argues that fatality figures based on the number of recovered animal carcasses will not give a true death toll, which may be 50 times higher than believed.
"The Deepwater oil spill was the largest in US history, however, the recorded impact on wildlife was relatively low, leading to suggestions that the environmental damage of the disaster was actually modest," said lead author Dr Rob Williams from the University of British Columbia."This is because reports have implied that the number of carcasses recovered, 101, equals the number of animals killed by the spill."
The team focused their research on 14 species of cetacean, an order of mammals including whales and dolphins. While the number of recovered carcasses has been assumed to equal the number of deaths, the team argues that marine conditions and the fact that many deaths will have occurred far from shore mean recovered carcasses will only account for a small proportion of deaths.
To illustrate their point, the team multiplied recent species abundance estimates by the species mortality rate. An annual carcass recovery rate was then estimated by dividing the mean number of observed strandings each year by the estimate of annual mortality.
The team's analysis suggests that only 2% of cetacean carcasses were ever historically recovered after their deaths in this region, meaning that the true death toll from the Deepwater Horizon disaster could be 50 times higher than the number of deaths currently estimated.
"This figure illustrates that carcass counts are hugely misleading, if used to measure the disaster's death toll," said co-author Scott Kraus of the New England Aquarium "No study on carcass recovery from strandings has ever recovered anything close to 100% of the deaths occurring in any cetacean population. The highest rate we found was only 6.2%, which implied 16 deaths for every carcass recovered."
The reason for the gulf between the estimates may simply be due to the challenges of working in the marine environment. The Deepwater disaster took place 40 miles offshore, in 1500m of water, which is partly why estimates of oil flow rates during the spill were so difficult to make.
"The same factors that made it difficult to work on the spill also confound attempts to evaluate environmental damages caused by the spill," said Williams. "Consequently, we need to embrace a similar level of humility when quantifying the death tolls."
If the approach outlined by this study were to be adopted the team believe this may present an opportunity to use the disaster to develop new conservation tools that can be applied more broadly, revealing the environmental impacts of other human activities in the marine environment.
"The finding that strandings represent a very low proportion of the true deaths is also critical in considering the magnitude of other human causes of mortality like ship strikes, where the real impacts may similarly be dramatically underestimated by the numbers observed" said John Calambokidis, a Researcher with Cascadia Research and a co-author on the publication.
"Our concern also applies to certain interactions with fishing gear, because there are not always systematic data with which to accurately estimate by-catch, especially for large whales", noted Jooke Robbins, a co-author from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. "When only opportunistic observations are available, these likely reflect a fraction of the problem."
"While we did not conduct a study to estimate the actual number of deaths from the oil spill, our research reveals that the accepted figures are a grave underestimation," concluded Dr. Williams. "We now urge methodological development to develop appropriate multipliers so that we discover the true cost of this tragedy."
Het sterftecijfer bij dolfijnen in de Golf van Mexico als gevolg van de enorme olievlek veroorzaakt door het lekkende olieplatform Deepwater Horizon ligt zeker vijftig keer hoger dan tot nu werd toegegeven. Bij andere diersoorten, zoals zeeschildpadden, zou het zelfs 250 keer hoger liggen.
Dat blijkt uit een nieuw grootschalig onderzoek van Amerikaanse en Canadese marinebiologen. Ze zeggen dat er in de eerste drie maanden van 2011 alleen al 6.500 dolfijnen zijn gestorven aan de gevolgen van de rampzalige milieuverontreiniging, waarvan het merendeel jonge of pasgeboren dolfijntjes zijn.
Het aanspoelen van 20 pasgeboren dode dolfijntjes op een drukbezocht strand in Mississippi in amper twee weken tijd was al een indicatie dat er iets grondig mis is met de dolfijnenpopulatie in de Golf van Mexico. Een team van Amerikaanse en Canadese marinebiologen hebben nu een maand lang onderzocht hoe het zit met de populatie en komen tot de conclusie dat er een massale sterfte is, vooral bij pasgeboren dolfijntjes.
Los van dat onderzoek zijn er nog andere cijfers die het ergste doen vermoeden. In de jaren voor de olieramp werden gemiddeld 17 carcassen van dolfijnen geteld op de stranden van Alabama en Mississippi. De eerste drie maanden van 2011 waren er dat 138, en de helft daarvan waren jonge dolfijntjes.
En dat is wat is aangespoeld en werd gevonden. De echte sterfte ligt stukken hoger. Marinebiologen gaan er doorgaans vanuit dat wat aanspoelt en wordt gevonden in het geval van zeezoogdieren tussen 0,5 tot 2 procent is van wat daadwerkelijk sterft.
Te conservatief gerekend
In de nieuwste studie zeggen de auteurs dat ze waarschijnlijk te conservatief hebben gerekend. Andere onderzoeken in het najaar van 2010 meldden ook al een vertievoudiging van de sterfte van zeedieren in bepaalde delen van de Golf.
Zelfs de National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), een overheidsinstelling die onder één hoedje speelde met BP en bewust informatie verdraaide en achterhield tijdens de crisis (dat is ondertussen al aan het licht gekomen) spreekt van een "cetacean unusual mortality event". Zij telden 390 "strandings" de jongste twee maanden in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama en Florida.
In Florida is overigens een verhoogde sterfte vastgesteld bij de manatees, de zeekoeien die bijzonder gekoesterd worden in de vakantiestaat. Bijna een jaar na het begin van de ramp zijn ook nog steeds een aantal stranden in Louisiana verboden terrein voor de pers. Ze worden bewaakt door securitymensen van BP.
Japan’s Nuclear Disaster: A Natural Occurrence or Unconventional Warfare?
The Intel Hub
March 30, 2011
There is a saying in the military, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times enemy action.” But intelligence, and particularly counterintelligence officers leave no room for happenstance or coincidences.
So, how can we explain that, on March, 2010, Obama mentioned his willingness to open offshore areas to oil drilling  and, a few months later, the strange accident on a British Petroleum oil extraction platform in the Gulf of Mexico made him rethink his willingness to authorize offshore drilling. In the same fashion, how can we explain that in his State of The Union address, Obama mentioned his willingness to push the nuclear construction business in the U.S.  and, a few months later, the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan has provided him with the needed excuse to halt even more the construction of nuclear plants in the U.S.?
In his 1970 book Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, senior Council on Foreign Relations agent, Zbigniew Brzezinski forecasted that in the near future the governments of some technologically advanced countries might resort to climate warfare. This will include the artificial alteration of the climate to create droughts, intense cold or heat waves, floods, powerful storms, earthquakes and tsunamis to attack other countries. And the beauty of it, shamelessly expressed Brzezinski, is that the enemy would not know that he was under attack.
According to Brzezinski,
Technology will make available, to the leaders of major nations, techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare minimum of the security forces need be appraised. . . . Technology of weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods of drought or storm. 
When Brzezinski made his forecast, he was not theorizing. He was actually referring to an already existing technology the U.S. had secretly developed. In August 1996, the U.S. Air Force published a secret report entitled “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2055,” in which the possibilities of climate warfare are studied in detail.  Another indication that climate modification for military purposes is a reality is that on March 3, 2005, Texas senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson introduced a bill with a highly revealing title: The Weather Modification and Research Technology Transfer Authorization Act of 2005.
As early as the 1960s the Soviet Union developed an efficient climate modification technology for military purposes. In a speech delivered on January 1960 to the Presidium of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Premier Nikita Khrushchev said, “Our scientists have created a new weapon so powerful that it could erase all life in this planet. It is a fantastic weapon.” Tom Bearden, a scientist who have studied the subject, has published several interesting articles devoted to the use of climate manipulation used by the Soviet military in asymmetrical warfare. 
But the Soviets are not alone. On April 28 1997, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen confirmed the fact when he declared that some states have create eco-terrorism weapons that “can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic weaves.
This technology, known as “scalar technology,” is based on the discoveries made at the beginning of the 20th century by Nikola Tesla, and kept secret until a few years ago. The mysterious HAARP facility in Alaska, based on Tesla’s scalar technology, has been active for many years, and some scientists have speculate that it may have been related to some strange weather and phenomena —like the series of huge hurricanes that affected the U.S. in 2005, the year hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Now, to fully understand the complexity of the problem America is currently facing we need to understand the fact that America has become an oligarchy under the control of oil magnates and Wall Street bankers. Moreover, the oil business is in the hands of an international cartel, that is, a huge monopoly that controls to a great extent the price of oil. And they discovered many years ago that when you have a monopolistic control of a market, the less you produce the more profit you make, because you reduce production costs and raise the price of your product.
Moreover, once you control the market of a basic commodity like oil, the main energetic source that allowed for the industrial revolution, you have to be alert not to allow other competing energy sources to prosper. This explains the conspirators’ fight against nuclear energy and other energy sources they can’t control. But they cannot fight openly against these potentially competing sources, like nuclear energy, and the Left has played a key role as the conspirators’ patsy.
Despite its anti-capitalist rants, the American Left is a creation of the most reactionary monopolistic Right. This explains why their foundations bankroll the Left and why the Left, faithful to its disinformational role, disseminates the lies that benefit the oil cartel. Cardinal among these lies is the “war-for-oil” leftist mantra.
But, as William Engdahl, Lindsey Williams and other authors have documented,  the main problem of the big oil corporations is not finding sources of oil, but hiding or destroying them in order to keep the price of oil artificially high. Proof of it is that after the alleged “war-for-oil” in Iraq we have less oil than never before and the price of oil has skyrocketed. Let’s see what happens if the conspirators push their puppet Obama into a full war with Libya, a key oil producer and provider to Western Europe.
But, if sometime it may have been correct, the Left’s paradigm of war-for-oil and capitalist greed has become outdated. Since the end of WWII, the conspirators’ goals have changed dramatically. Currently their two main goals are the elimination of 85 percent of the world’s population and the reduction of the survivors to pre-industrial levels of consumption. Once we realize what the two main goals of the conspirators really are, it becomes evident that all the big themes overtly and covertly promoted by the conspirators since the 1960s conduce to reaching two goals: population elimination and consumption reduction.
Evidently, Japan’s disaster fits perfectly into the conspirators’ plan. Perhaps too perfectly.
“Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling,” The New York Times, March 31, 2010, p. 1.
 Mathew Wald, “U.S. Pushes, But Reactors Lagging,” The New York Times, February 1, 2011, p. B1.
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (New York: Viking, 1976), p. 57.
 The study was available in .pdf format at the web site of the Federation of American Scientists, at www.fas.org/irp/agency/army/mipb/2002_04.pdf, but now the link points to a different document.
 Tom Bearden, “Scalar Electromagnetics and Weather Control: Anomalous Weather Worldwide,” BibliotecaPleyades.net, May 1988, www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bearden/bearden13.htm. Also, Tom Bearden, “Weird Weather Warfare & ‘Energetic Weapons,’” BibliotecaPleyades.net, www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/secret_projects2/project138.htm.
 Department of Defense News Briefing by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen at the Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and US Strategy, University of Georgia, Athens, April 28, 1997.
 See, William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (London: Pluto Press, 2004) and Lindsey Williams, The Energy Non-Crisis (Worth Publishing Co., Wheatrigdge, Colorado, 1980). See also, July Pace, “Two-thirds of Oil and Gas Leases in Gulf Inacitve,” (Associated Press), March 29, 2011, YahooNews, news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110329/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_energy_4.
Servando Gonzalez is a Cuban-born American writer, semiologist and intelligence analyst. He has written books, essays and articles on Latin American history, intelligence, espionage, and semiotics.
Servando is the author of Historia herética de la revolución fidelista, The Secret Fidel Castro, The Nuclear Deception and La madre de todas las conspiraciones, all available at Amazon.com.
He also hosted the documentaries Treason in America: The Council on Foreign Relations and Partners in Treason: The CFR-CIA-Castro Connection, produced by Xzault Media Group of San Leandro, California.
His latest book, Psychological Warfare and the New World Order: The Secret War gainst the American People just appeared and is available at Amazon.com.
ZÜRICH - Het Zwitserse bedrijf Transocean, eigenaar van het boorplatform dat vorig jaar zonk in de Golf van Mexico, geeft zijn bestuurders een bonus, loonsverhoging en een optiepakket.
Ondanks de grootste olielekkage in de Amerikaanse geschiedenis zegt de onderneming ''het beste jaar qua veiligheid in het bestaan van het bedrijf'' achter de rug te hebben.
Het boorplatform werd in april vorig jaar getroffen door een explosie. Daarbij kwamen elf mensen om het leven, onder wie negen werknemers van Transocean.
De installatie zonk, waarna honderden miljoenen liters olie in zee stroomden. De Amerikaanse regering heeft een aanklacht ingediend tegen onder meer Transocean, omdat het bedrijf de veiligheidsvoorschriften zou hebben overtreden.
Transocean legt alle verantwoordelijkheid echter bij het Britse olieconcern BP, dat het platform had gehuurd.
The oil services company, which lost nine staff in the blast, was last night forced to apologise for its "insensitive wording" after US politicians condemned the boasts.
Ken Salazar, the interior secretary, attacked the Switzerland-registered, but largely US-based company, saying it "was at least at some fault" for the oil spill.
Despite apologising, Transocean did not comment on the $347,000 (£215,000) bonus paid to its chief executive Steven L Newman, whose base salary will increase from $900,000 to $1.1m.
BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, waived his bonus for last year and the company has reformed its compensation policies to link them more closely to safety.
But Transocean's annual report, released on Monday, claimed: "Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate.
"As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company's history, which is a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident-free environment, all the time, everywhere."
In the document, Transocean acknowledged that it is facing a slew of lawsuits relating to the accident. These include a shareholder claim "alleging the breach by our directors of their fiduciary duties based on allegations that our directors failed to monitor safety risks, including risks related to the company's blowout preventers, and made misleading statements regarding the company's safety risks, the safety of the blowout preventers, and the company's financial condition." Following the oil spill, most public and political anger in America focused on BP, which owned the exploded well and was ultimately responsible for stopping the leak.
Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig and its staff carried out most day-to-day operations, drawing criticism from investigators for missing key warning signs that the well was about to explode. Official reports spread the blame between BP, Transocean and Halliburton, who all deny being the most responsible party.
Separately, US officials on Monday poured cold water on reports that BP has been given clearance to drill in the Gulf of Mexico once again. Mr Salazar said there was "absolutely no such agreement, nor would there be such an agreement", claiming that there must have been a "misconception".
The suggestion that BP might soon be free to drill in the Gulf Coast area unleashed a fresh wave of anger over the weekend.
… About 15 of the 153 dolphins that have washed ashore since Jan. 1 — including one that showed up two weeks ago — were coated in oil. On eight of those, laboratory tests verified that it came from the BP spill that began a year ago this month, federal officials say.
“A year after the oil spill, we are still seeing dolphins washing ashore with evidence of oil on them — but it may not be the cause of death,” said Blair Mase, who coordinates dolphin stranding reports in the southeast for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. …
. Louis Bayhi, a charter-boat captain, choked up as he said he blamed himself for the high concentration of toxins that showed up in his two daughters’ blood tests in February. But he and his family were repeatedly told the Grand Isle beach and inshore waters were safe for them to visit. Signs on the island proclaimed “beach open,” he said.
The 35-year-old worked for BP during the height of the oil spill this summer and through the fall, ferrying scientists, divers and officials out to the heart of the spill site. He experienced some illness, such as headaches and intestinal problems, but was told by doctors it was likely sea-sickness or undetermined. His family joined him at one point, living on Grand Isle from September through November.
“My little girls have more toxins in their blood than I have,” said the 35-year-old…
In mid-December the entire family, including the 2-year-old and 3-and-a-half-year-old girls, became sick with what they thought was the flu but now believe to be exposure to crude oil. All the family wants, said wife Trish, is to get treated.
“I want my life to go back to normal,” the 35-year-old mother said. …
A year after the Deepwater Horizon exploded 60 miles south of his Buras hunting and fishing lodge, Ryan Lambert can distill his opinion of BP and the oil industry down to one word: Liars.
It's an opinion he never thought he'd have.
"The fishing industry has always lived side-by-side with the oil industry down here in Plaquemines Parish, and they've always told us that if anything happened, they would take care of the problem -- they would repair the damages and they would make us whole -- and I believed them," said Lambert, whose Cajun Fishing Adventures Lodge is one of the state's largest.
"Well, they lied. About everything. They didn't take care of the problem, and they're not taking care of us. Guys in my business weren't made whole. A lot of them are starving. And now that the national media is gone, BP couldn't care less.
"I'm sick of it, and I'm telling the whole country about it -- on national TV, in magazines and in front of Congress."
As soon as BP's flood of crude oil began flowing toward the coast last year, Lambert, 52, knew change would rock the business he had spent nearly half his life building into a regional powerhouse.
He expected his income to plummet, and it did; the peak spring-summer season was down 94 percent from his average, a drop he says cost him $1.1 million.
He expected the 22 families that depend on his business for their livelihoods -- a lodge staff of eight, plus 14 guides -- to take a financial wallop, and they did. Only five of the guides were hired in the cleanup effort. The rest were "calling me daily hoping for work -- which I still don't have for them," he said.
He expected the economic hangover to carry into 2011, and it has; his bookings for May and June are down 55 percent from a normal year, and he has nothing beyond that.
But two changes occurred he never saw coming.
First, the help BP said was on the way to repair damages inflicted on businesses and the environment never came, he said.
A trust turned upside-down
That event led to a second unanticipated change: His long trust in the oil industry and skepticism of environmental groups was turned upside-down. He has become a willing volunteer for national green groups, among them the National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ducks Unlimited, The Green Group and the Izaak Walton league.
In fact, on Sunday he leaves on his second trip to Washington as a guest of the Natural Resources Defense Council to tell his personal story of loss and disappointment.
"Originally, I was using (the spill) as an opportunity to tell them about the real problem we have here: coastal erosion," said Lambert, who has been involved in that cause for years.
"But the bad experiences we've had with all the lies and broken promises in this disaster have really opened my eyes. And I want everyone in the country to know about it ... know you can't trust what (the oil industry) promises you."
Lambert said the bad experiences didn't start immediately. Like many charter and marina operators, he received a quick $5,000 check from BP in the first weeks of the disaster. That was hardly enough to make up for the losses at his idled 14,000-square-foot operation, but Lambert was encouraged when President Barack Obama got BP to put up $20 billion to establish the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
Tired of jumping through hoops
Since then, he said, things have gone all downhill.
He paid his accountant $7,000 to supply financial records proving his losses would total $1.1 million, but received checks for only $211,000.
"In order to apply for payment, you had to keep your business open so you could help mitigate the final cost, so that meant I had to keep staff and pay operating expenses through the end of the year," Lambert said. "But after all that, I'm still out $904,000 in lost income."
He said he was told he should apply again to be made whole.
"Well, I'm tired of re-applying, because it never does any good," he said. "I'm tired of paying my CPA. Now I'm paying a lawyer."
He plans to file suit.
Lambert, vice president of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, said his anger deepens when he thinks about the estimated 600 other charter captains in the state. He said the only members who have settled up with BP are those who took a flat $25,000 "quick payment" from claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg.
"The only ones who took that were guys who had no other choice because of their situation," he said. "They had house notes or boat notes or medical expenses and no business coming in. Well, now that money is gone, and they still don't have any business -- and they're just screwed.
"I don't know of any of the guys who have been made whole like they promised."
Lambert said his suffering pales next to his colleagues, because he owns his property and has other business interests to help pay bills. That's not the case for most charter fishers, he said.
"They're independent contractors who work by themselves," he said. "Everyone talks about the ones who made a killing in the cleanup, but not all of them got those jobs. Only five of my 14 guides were hired."
Lambert is also worried about the long-term effects on the ecosystem that provides his livelihood. He suffered through the leanest speckled trout winter ever, seeing only three of the fish brought to his cleaning tables from spots that traditionally produce daily limits of 25 fish in the cold-weather months. And while speck fishing has improved this spring, he said he has seen none of the small trout representing last year's spawning class, which entered the estuaries when oil was coming ashore.
State fisheries biologists said tests to determine the effects on last year's spawning class were not complete, and ongoing tissue samples of fish from the affected areas have shown no signs of hydrocarbon contamination or other ill effects from the spill.
Lambert wishes the rest of the country was convinced of that.
"The attitude outside this area is that everything here is contaminated," he said. "I've done something like 15 TV shows since the spill, and the guys doing the shows tell me people ask them, 'Why are you going fishing down there -- you can't eat the fish.'
"The only out-of-state bookings I'm getting are old customers who just want to show their support."
That new business has dried up, even after Lambert's Cajun Fishing Adventures was named one of the top five fishing lodges in the nation by Sportsfishing magazine.
Even the thrill of that honor was tarnished by BP, he said.
"BP had the audacity to put that on their website, like it was a positive thing showing the Gulf Coast was coming back -- thanks to all their efforts," Lambert said. "That just made me crazy.
"What we people should know is that all the millions they spent on those TV and newspaper ads about making things right is a lie.
"And what people in this state should ask themselves is: If a giant like BP isn't making us whole, what do they think is going to happen when the smaller fish in that business have an accident?"
That was a question Lambert said he never asked himself before last April. Now, he said, he thinks he knows the answer.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists conducting independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials discussing how to influence the work of scientists
BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.
Russell Putt, a BP environmental expert, wrote in an email to colleagues on 24 June 2010: “Can we ‘direct’ GRI [Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative] funding to a specific study (as we now see the governor’s offices trying to do)? What influence do we have over the vessels/equipment driving the studies vs the questions?”. …
Another email, written by Karen Ragoonanan-Jalim, a BP environmental officer based in Trinidad, contains minutes of a meeting in Houma, Louisiana, in which officials discussed what kind of studies might best serve the oil company’s interests.
Under agenda item two, she writes: “Discussions around GRI and whether or not BP can influence this long-term research programme ($500m) to undertake the studies we believe will be useful in terms of understanding the fate and effects of the oil on the environment, eg can we steer the research in support of restoration ecology?” …
LONDEN - Het Britse olieconcern BP is een rechtszaak begonnen tegen Cameron International, het bedrijf dat de zogeheten blowout preventer leverde van het boorplatform dat op 20 april 2010 zonk in de Golf van Mexico.
Ook Transocean, de eigenaar van het boorplatform, is door BP voor de rechter gedaagd.
Dat heeft BP laten weten, aldus de BBC donderdag. Volgens het olieconcern functioneerden de veiligheidssystemen op het boorplatform van Transocean niet naar behoren.
Verder stelde BP dat Cameron International ''ondeugdelijk materiaal'' heeft geleverd. Cameron verstrekte de blowout preventer die een explosie op het boorplatform had moeten voorkomen. De ontploffing kwam echter toch, omdat de blowout preventer niet werkte.
BP stelde woensdag voor een federale rechtbank dat Transocean en Cameron International zouden moeten meebetalen aan schadeloosstellingen en herstelwerkzaamheden. In totaal gaat het om tientallen miljarden dollars.
Door de ontploffing een jaar geleden kwamen elf mensen om het leven en ontstond er een olielek. Het duurde 87 dagen voordat het lek was gedicht. In die periode stroomde een hoeveelheid olie de zee in die gelijk is aan vier miljoen vaten. Een ongeveer even grote hoeveelheid methaan kwam vrij.