Friday, August 20, 2010

Thad Allen Shows His Lesser Side

In today's press briefing National Incident Commander Thad Allen said at the 41:40 mark:

When we finally realized we that had a flow rate that was somewhere around 53,000 barrels per day, actually before that we had a range of, if you remember, 35,000 to 60,000 bpd. We went to BP and we said here's what we want you to do and I actually I wrote them an order. This is around the middle of June. We said you need to build a system that can accommodate 53,000 bpd with no hydrocarbons going into the environment.

BP responded that it would design the system to process 60,000 to 80,000 bpd. It never went into production.

Allen told the public on July 8:

I just want to remind everyone, that continues to be an estimated flow rate (35,000 to 60,000 bpd). Once we get this well bore completely sealed and producing, we'll have better empirical data by which to establish and refine our flow rate going forward.
Allen knew the rate was 53,000 bpd when he made this comment. Why didn't Admiral Allen level with the American people?

The well flow was never completely captured and verified, giving BP's lawyers wiggle room for negotiation. Allen's latest move, recovering the damaged blow out preventer (BOP), helps BP. From the beginning BP blamed BOP maker Cameron and driller Transocean. It's priority is to avoid a gross negligence finding and the blow out preventer is crucial to that defense.

What is theater for the masses vs. the truth? NOAA and the EPA look a bit shaky in their test and definition parsing. Thad looks duplicitous. The government is supposed to have the people's back.

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