June 4th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Here, there, everywhere: Covering the Gulf oil spill

I've been to New Orleans, Houma, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Mobile, Pensacola....

That's not a bad reworking of the Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere," it's just a few of the places I have visited while covering the growing Gulf oil spill disaster over the last several weeks.

AS CNN has dispatched teams of journalists across the region to cover this vast story, I am constantly amazed by the dedication and tenacity of my colleagues.

For many, there have been too many 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. days to count. I have seen satellite truck engineers lug hundreds of yards of cable so a reporter can be live from an oil slicked coastline; photojournalists trudge down beaches to get that key shot and editors burn the midnight oil to make their pieces perfect.

Even more amazing are the stories that the people affected by the spill have shared with me.

There was the woman, a single mother, who eked out a living her entire life for her family catching shrimp and crab. On the day that fishing was closed because of the slick, I asked her what she was going to do for work. She had no clue.

There was the leader of a survey team that goes out and finds every piece of oil on a beach and photographs, measures and reports it so they can better understand how the slick is traveling. Sometimes, he said they do the same beach day after day as they are cleaned and then covered by oil again.

There was the little kid on the beach who came running up to his mother obviously terrified of something. As he sped by, he held up his oil covered hands. I am afraid, we are going to see a lot more of those kinds of images.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. BreakingNewsBlog.us

    despite the optimistic claims BP has clearly FAILED again to stop the oil spill, since, 45 days after and four different methods adopted, also the "cap" used this night hasn't solved the problem, because, only 1000 barrels (or less than 5% of the 20,000 barrels spewed every day from the BP well) is now collected by the cap's top pipe, while, now, BP aims (read: "hopes") to contain "90%" of the oil leak (that STILL gushes copiously from the cap bottom and will increase very much when the four vents atop the "containment" cap will be closed) but, also assuming the leak will fall to 10-30%, it, anyway, means, that several millions more gallons will be spilled in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic ocean, until the new well will finished in mid-August (as "promised" by BP...) to divert the oil flux from the damaged well
    well, despite I'm SURE that BP still won't listen any suggestion from me or other, I've developed a further, cheap and simple idea to quickly CLOSE the wellhead and to STOP NOW up to 100% of the oil leak, and NOT only the expected/hoped "90%" using the (current) BP's "cap" system
    my new idea (shown in the image below) uses a TRUE cap (without any kind of pipe to gather the oil) to be inserted in the cutted riser on the top of the wellhead to (finally and completely) CLOSE it

    June 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      live video here: http://www.deepwaterbp.com/

      June 5, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Omega111

      we absolutely can't wait till august....it's will kill Golf and atlantic ocean complitely. No way wait when BP fix al this till august!!!! They must find solution right now!

      June 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Lay tarps on the beach including under water as far as the oil spill stretches and on land. Have a fleet vessels that have Vacuums on the sides that reach at the oil level and below. Filter the oil and what ever is sucked up. Then collect the globs that are left with organic matter like, hay, peat, etc. Afterwards, wait for dissipated oil below to rise to the surface and collect that with more organic matter. Last, spread oil consuming bacteria or bugs to devoir what is left. Write back .

    June 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dum basses

    Stop posting ways to fix the leak. They won't work anyway and by posting them here you are just trying to show us normal people that you are 'smart.' NEWSFLASH – nobody cares about your stupid ideas and BP is not going to get ideas from posting on a freaking CNN blog. You are wasting everybody's time, especially your own. I can fix the leak... just build a time machine and travel back so it doesn't happen... yay! I'm as smart you fools now.

    June 5, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Omega111

      They sent people on the moon,they know how do that ,but cant find way how stop oil spill.....

      June 5, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    Hi, my name was Steve. Don't know it this will work, but I have a
    suggestion. In case capping the gusher off should not work I would
    try to put two conical halves (like a pipe cut vertically in the
    middle, but running conically to the top ) around the gusher.

    They had to have kind of a wedge or sill on their lower end which
    would pinch below the flange. At their vertical ends they should
    overlap. On top of it a cap with an other riser pipe or flexible hose
    fixed to the cap to direct the oil to the surface.

    The cap could be kept down and be welded or otherwise be fixed to the
    two halves. Do you know how I do mean this?


    June 5, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bill

    Just implode the gushing pipe a couple of thousand feet below the surface [ if the pipe goes further than that]and the walls will crumble to plug the gush..But maybe BP already knows that and trying to save their drilled well so they can reuse later when things calm down,,,500 feet of imploded wall will guarantee succes,,,,Bill

    June 5, 2010 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. noway

    Do not let BP slither its way out of this with false "damage control" tactics!

    June 6, 2010 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Smith in Oregon

    Be All You Can Be in a Republican Dream Vacation of a lifetime on the Coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle!

    Imagine breathing in the smell of progress (crude oil) as you relax in your hotel and villas! View the world's largest dead zone in the entire world everyday of your vacation! The EPA promises, your children are entirely safe as they swim in the toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic waters lapping up on the shoreline. Enjoy the sounds of silence from the absence of the frogs, pelicans and seagulls!

    Admiral Thad Allen has personally tasted the very food you'll be eating, and he vouches for it's safety! Every visitor that books their gulf coast vacation can receive a complimentary tar ball! Imagine being the first on your block with a Gulf Region tar ball!

    Be all you can be with this Republican Dream vacation and remember thanks entirely to the GOP there's plenty of crude Oil to go around the entire State of Florida!

    June 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Leonard wayman

    protiental problem solution: BP well in question! Frist a question , I require diameter of well pipe. Need to know presure or rate of flow on well. This will give us exact values of barrel flow per day. Can stop well flow completely within a week. Need to remove top hat and flang from top of interrupter,losen all bolts except for one, spin flang outward from flow, and remove remaining bolt. Insert new shut off valve capable of shutting off flow into weighted lifting convaynce. Lower valve to flang interupter on flang interupter . Valve needs to be off set on interupter flang. Valve guided into place by either bolt or steel cable (same size as bolt) of veried length through holes in valve and interuper flang, If one cable is used, you need to pivit wieghted valve over interupter flang and bolt into place. If two cables are being use for giuding to interupter flang and open valve can be set on interupter flang and bolted down. Turn valve off in your time.
    This worked great in Saedi's wars. Just a posible solution to the problem. if you want to call me 1-217-839-4359

    June 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May, 2010

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Here’s a contingency plan that has patented technology and a process that really works.

    1. We found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that would have extracted up to 95% of the oil spill contaminants from seeded surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before it hit land fall.
    2. Our product is a, “Modified Oil Spill Environmental Sponge” dubbed M.O.S.E.S., it is a ¼” to ½” product that can be used to absorb oil contaminants from both “fresh water and salt water” surface oil spills. Our tests have concluded that one ton of product will absorb 125 gallons of oil in less than one hour. Simply put it will absorb approximately one half of its weight in oil. M.O.S.E.S. collects/absorbs oil not water. After saturation M.O.S.E.S. will only contain about 1.4% water. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to other kinds of wildlife including humans. A fifteen minute test will prove this process works.
    3. Our plan is full circle and includes staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    4. Due to the urgencies to reduce the impact on the environment and the magnitude of this spill, our plan required partnering with the Coast Guard and other organizations that were already being used to provide staging, seeding and reclaim operations.
    5. Seeding operations were to be handled in essentially the same way they were being done, with minor and/or no modifications to airborne or aquatic equipment that would handle spreading ¼” to ½” particulates.
    6. Re-claim operations required the same booms, scoops, pumps and barge operations, that were being used.
    7. Re-processing operations proposed a permanent emissions free plant for processing oil, sand and other like materials into re-usable fuels and commodities. The plant would take approximately ninety to one hundred and fifty days to construct and would become a permanent part of a states fast action response to future oil spills.
    8. Our plan would have first, assisted with the on-going damage control operations in the gulf; second, it could have been put into operation within seven days; third, it would have become a $30,000,000.00 per year financial benefit to the communities that embraced staging and plant processing operations.
    9. This plan will greatly reduced the time and costs associated with this kind of oil spill in the future. We are confident that this type of pro-active plan would become a template for other high risk (oceanic) areas.
    So, why was this plan given no consideration at all? It is not a question of if another spill will happen, but when! The only excuses we have been able to come up with that, we are sure you are going to here are, as follows:
    a. BP, News Networks and Government Agencies didn’t have the time to consider a pro-active long term plan?
    b. We were crack pots when, this technology is patented and the product could be tested in fifteen minutes?
    c. BP has it under control as, they have done this before? Yes and, crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! We need to get past these smoke screens and prepare for future spills.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. We’d love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is listening.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com
    CC: BP., CNN, FOX NEWS, NOAA, Governors of: AL., FL., LA., MS., And TX.

    June 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig N. Barthelmas

      ATTENTION!! The PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN listed above will not plug oil leaks but, it will address five major problems; two of witch, are concerns that have not been addressed in the media or in the government.
      1. It truly is a LONG TERM-CONTINGENCY PLAN. It will help the community rebuild revenues while providing a fast action operational plan for future oil spills. Yes! Future oil spills will surely occur, despite future prevention efforts!
      2. This plan is full circle and would included staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s, oil filled sands and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
      3. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to humans and/or other forms of wildlife. Oil, feed stock and sand processing are near emissions free processes.
      4. It will generate $30,000,000.00 worth of new revenues for the communities that embrace staging and plant processing operations. The plant would remain in full operation after the clean-up is done.
      5. It will also add about forty new jobs to the community. This is not only a plan to help with short term clean up’s, it will also have a positive long term and lasting effect on the community as well.
      We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to mobilize volunteers to help minimize their cost. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies this plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on spills they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. The OMRS-100 technology is patented and, M.O.S.E.S. (The oil absorbent) can be tested in less than fifteen minutes!
      As always our government is seeking a short term quickie (political talk) so we can get a long term scr**ing! Has anyone mentioned where they (BP) plan to put and/or dispose of all of that contaminated; oil, sand and material? We are pretty sure that without intervention it will be in somebody’s back yard, neatly hidden from sight, killing something else. Don’t you think that any oil spill plan should at least consider: Prevention, Mobilization, Extraction and Disposal Operations?
      Thank you for your time. We would love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is as concerned as we are.
      Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com

      June 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |