Throwing The Social Media Kitchen Sink At The Oil Spill & 'Drill Baby Drill'

Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod told Good Morning America on April 30 that the White House will not authorize additional oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico until the investigation of the exploded and sunked BP oil rig is analyzed. While this horrific event is casting doubt over the whole "drill baby drill" mantra movement, social media as its known to do is rising to the occasion to help alleviate some of the repercussions.


Youtube, the world's most popular online video community has over a hundred videos uploaded on the topic to date (as of this posting). Here, you have Bobby Jindal, the governor of the state declaring a state of emergency and providing an overview of the current status, while asking the federal government for assistance.

Lousiana Shore Cleanup Facebook page

This is a page devoted to developing informational resources, and aiding in the location of new and existing groups that are involved in shore cleanup. Updates include topics like "how to be trained for cleaning oil soaked animals," and where to register for volunteer clean-up crews in various towns along the coast.

Volunteer Louisiana Interactive Map

At Volunteer Lousiana's Web site, you can access an interactive map to find a local volunteer center near you. The organization will will work with individuals and groups to identify local non-profits and faith-based organizations who need volunteers that would match the skills and interests of those that sign up. You can also register as a member on their Facebook page here.

Volunteer Louisiana interactive mapVolunteer Louisiana interactive map

Tweets From Louisiana Senatorial candidates

Vitter vs MelanconVitter vs MelanconTwo men locked in a race for a Senate seat this fall tweeted about a topic that affects their voters Thursday; the devastating Louisiana oil spill.

The incident is believed to have killed 11 people and rescue workers are having trouble containing the damage. The disaster is sure to impact the debate over President Barack Obama's plan to expand offshore oil drilling and the forthcoming consideration of the climate change legislation. The two senators in a Battle of Tweets are appealing to their constituencies.

Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), who is challenging Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) tweeted the following message about what he's accomplishing around the state.

Vitter taking up the opposition is appealing to his followers to join in and help.

BP Oil Spill Tweets

On The Week site, the online news site includes a live Twitterstream delivering unfiltered, real-time tweets from around the world that pertain to the BP Oil Spill.

In a Reuters wire just released prior to this posting, BP Oil admitted that it is culpable for the oil spill. "We are taking full responsibility for the spill and we will clean it up and where people can present legitimate claims for damages we will honor them. We are going to be very, very aggressive in all of that," Tony Hayward told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

President Barack Obama  has proposed opening offshore areas of the U.S., where oil exploration is currently barred, to drilling. Oil executives fear the oil slick, which is expected to hit the Louisiana shore on Friday, will halt those plans. But, in the meantime, with Katrina comparisons inevitable, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is keeping the nation up to date on what the president is doing to make a difference - with tweets, like the following:

It's odd that while the president adamantly opposed the "Drill Baby Drill" platform proposed by the McCain/Palin team during the presidential campaign, that his reversal on this issue opens him up for criticism attached to one of the country's worst oil spill disasters since the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. How the debate will resolve itself is conjecture at this point. But safe to say, social media is addressing the issue in real-time to counter some of the devastation, and will be one of the areas that will be judged after the fact by its success in helping to deal head-on with the incident.

May 10, 2010
by Anonymous

Now what do we do?

I know the best specialists from BP and other companies are working on this, but, just in case, here goes an idea regarding the (still) failed oil-collecting dome.
The problem of hydrate formation is unavoidable considering the low temperatures of water at that depth and the quantity of natural gas present in the gas-oil mix. So, removing the hydrates from the dome will probably only lead to further formation of such hydrates, assuming that the combination of temperature and pressure remains the same. However, the hydrates do not form instantly. Rather, they appear gradually as the gas gets further from the pipe opening and cools down as a result of the surrounding cold water.
What you might try to do, is to considerably reduce the distance between the opening from which the oil is flowing, and the opening by which the oil shall be sucked. I understand there is an opening on top of the dome, that was to be used to connect a flex pipeline once the dome is in place and oil is flowing out of this opening. If you try and lower a flex pipe with such a diameter that will allow this flex pipe to be inserted through the opening on top of the dome, then you will probably be able to get this flex pipe through the accumulated hydrates also. If this flex pipe is filled with a non-freezing liquid, then you will be able to keep the internal walls of the pipe free of hydrates until the moment when you start sucking oil with this pipe. The best way to keep this pipe filled with the non-freezing liquid until the moment you need to open it, could be by the use of a cap that can be removed by applying certain pressure to the liquid contained in the pipe (applying pressure until the cap "pops out") . The opening of the flex pipe should be placed directly above the oil leak, and as close as possible to the leak itself, in order to avoid sucking oil hydrates that will be forming in the water.
The pipe shall also have a sealing ring attached to it, but secured some feet above the full height of the dome, so that this sealing ring can be used to secure the pipe to the dome and seal the space between the pipe and the dome opening, once the flex pipe is in place and operational.
This should have almost the same result as was originally intended, except that the diameter of the flex pipe might have to be smaller in the length that will be inside the dome, but that should not have a big effect on the flow rate, considering the small lenght with a lesser diameter.
You might still have the problem of hydrates formation inside the flex pipe, once the oil is flowing into it, because the pressure-temperature conditions might again be the same at some point of the flex pipe. In this case, the only solution might be to inject some hydrates-inhibitor solution (methanol) inside the flow of oil, right at the intake of the flex pipe.
I just hope this is of any use and if it is, I hope it reaches someone in BP who can use it.
Yuri Terceros