Today's Oil Spill Nonsense: Overt Media Censorship, Plus: BP Nixes Peat Moss to Protect Profits
As the BP oil spill moves from being a short and bloody battle to a long and drawn out war, I've personally have moved to from anger to trying to think more constructively, but here are two pieces of news which drag me right back to frustration: 1) In an Alabama wildlife refuge affected by the spill, even possessing a camera is prohibited; 2) BP apparently won't use peat moss to help clean up the oil because it won't be able to sell the oil afterwards. BP Couldn't Sell Oil After Peat Moss Cleans It Up
AmericaBlog passes on the news the dehydrated peat moss is an excellent way to soak up the oil, won't leak afterwards, and even has microbes in it which help break down the oil. It's an old solution, but BP won't consider it:
The owner of the peat moss company [told the Toronto Globe and Mail that] BP has informed him it cannot use peat moss because the oil giant would not then be able to retrieve the oil afterwards. And you may translate that as: the oil giant would not be able to sell the oil afterwards. (MSNBC)
AmericaBlog nails it: "Money, folks. The beast wants only money."
Cameras Not Allowed in Alabama Wildlife Refuge
If that weren't bad enough, the Institute for Southern Studies reports that when John Wathen of the Waterkeeper Alliance went to the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge we spoke with state troopers guarding the entrance:
"Excuse me, sir, is there a rule against cameras down there?" Wathen asks. "Some guy came out and told me I couldn't be down there taking pictures."
"The media's not allowed to go down," the trooper answers. "As far as cameras and things down there, I don't think they're allowed."
This just reinforces the developing picture: Despite assurances to the contrary by BP and all branches of the government, both state and federal, working on this, no one is too keen on images of either the clean up or the effects of the oil spill on ecosystems or wildlife getting out that aren't carefully stage managed. This is far more about censoring what images get out there than safety, even if there are safety concerns involved.
UPDATE: Photographer for ProPublica and PBS' Frontline Detained by Police
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that photographer Lance Rosenfeld, on assignment for ProPublica and Frontline was detained by police near a BP refinery in Texas:
Shortly after arriving in town, Rosenfeld was confronted by a BP security officer, local police, and a man who identified himself as an agent of the Department of Homeland Security, according to ProPublica. Police released the photographer after reviewing his images and recording his date of birth and Social Security number. The police officer then turned the information over to the BP security guard according to ProPublica.
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More the BP Oil Spill:
BP Gulf Oil Spill Officially the Worst in US History
Must See Aerial Footage of BP Oil Spill Shows 'The Gulf Bleeding' (Video)
BP Oil Spill Could Gush for 2-4 Years !!! Unless Stopped