Goodness knows, the use of dispersants to counteract the Gulf of Mexico oil spill warrants close attention and serious scientific follow-up. Unfortunately, it looks like Congress and the litigation industry are instead working in conjunction to maximize fear and liability over the chemicals.
On Friday, July 30, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, released a letter and documents sent to National Incident Commander Thad Allen claiming that the U.S. Coast Guard allowed BP to use excessive amounts of "toxic dispersants" during the Gulf oil spill disaster.
And tomorrow, Aug. 4, the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing, Oversight Hearing on the Use of Oil Dispersants in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Meanwhile, last week's news and PR wires brought us these items:
- Law.com, "Gulf Coast Residents File Personal Injury Suit Over Oil Dispersant
- Mobile (AL) Press-Register, "Lawsuit targets BP's use of Corexit dispersant; attorney alleges chemical used in off-limits areas"
- Beasley Allen news release, "Beasley Allen Files BP Lawsuit in the Southern District of Alabama"
- New York Times, "Sen. Lautenberg Proposes Overhaul of Oil Dispersant Rules "
- AlterNet (left-wing news/blog aggregator), "EPA Whistleblower: BP Used Toxic Chemical Linked to Internal Hemorraging to Hide Oil"
One imagines a world in which dispersants were not deployed. Headline: "Groups sue over failure to use most effective anti-spill weapon."