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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 11, 2011 3:30pm-5:00pm EDT

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send us a tweet of tv. use hash check summer reading to let us know what you plan on reading this summer. you can e-mail us at tv at >> now on booktv antonia juhasz. this is about an hour and a half. [applause] >> thank you all for coming and thank you -- [inaudible] helping celebrate my book "black tide" which released on monday in time for the one-year anniversary of the explosion of the deepwater horizon, and i
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wanted to hold this event on earth day. i can't think of a better place to do it then it is boys and poets which has already said made such a wonderful home for me for my books. i think this is my third book in a row that i have launched and had a book event at busboys and poets right here which is incredibly wonderful. busboys and poet supports our community. it supports our art. it supports are learning and it supports are being able to come together in rims like this and talk about critical events at a critical time. and, please support us boys and poets not only tonight but every night, and future events. i also wanted to pull together an event for earth day that brought together the people and the groups whom i thought had really done the most heroic and ongoing and important work not only in the wake of the explosion of the deepwater horizon but preceding it.
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there aren't that many organizations of people, people and communities who have been focused on the ongoing dangers of offshore drilling. the ongoing dangers to people, to our environment, to our ecology and to our development and the groups, two of the groups that have been at the forefront of that work are greenpeace in the center for biological diversity. and they have been at the forefront of the response to this disaster not just in the wake of the explosion but in a year's -- year-long effort which involved 210 million gallons of oil being released into the gulf of mexico on an ongoing ecological crisis, and ongoing human crisis and ongoing environmental crisis and these groups have continued to be there. and i wanted to make sure that we presented the best discussion that we could. i couldn't ask for two better people to join me in this discussion tonight then john
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hocevar who is the ocean campaign director at greenpeace and peter galvin who is the conservation director at the center for biological diversity. they are each going to speak and speak to you and then i'm going to speak as well and then we will have a discussion with some questions and then i will sign your books. so thank you all very much for being here tonight. [applause] >> can you all here okay? again, thanks for coming and i echo antonio to say that it is always nice to have an opportunity to come to busboys and poets. greenpeace's response to the deepwater horizon blowout began ready much immediately. we could see as could many others that this was going to be one of the biggest disasters faced our continent.
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so one of the things that we had to do in the beginning was to figure out what the appropriate response to something on this scale looked like and that is not an easy question. it pretty quickly became apparent that one thing that was needed was a second opinion, some ground tree thing. we were hearing from very early on, what was pretty clearly spend not from just bp but often our own government. and so we felt it was necessary to be there on the ground to provide images to be able to share just first-hand accounts and ultimately be able to collect data on what the true scope and impacts of this disaster were on the ecosystem of the gulf of mexico. so, as far as with the small team that was basically they're just as the oil was starting to reach the shore, and we were working in the coastal areas of louisiana primarily but also alabama, mississippi and a bid in florida as well.
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looking as the oil came to sure what was happening to it. was at washing into wetlands? were the miles and miles and miles of whom doing their job and actually keeping it out of sensitive habitat? what was the cleanup of response looking like? where there are huge numbers of wildlife being killed or not? these were all big questions early on. how much oil was coming out wasn't something we were going to be able to enter variously but at least we could talk about where we were staying the oil, what the impact looked like on the ground. over time and also -- part of that we spend a lot of time in the bays and bayous and coastal waterways of the gulf of mexico. when i was there in barataria bay in louisiana, unfortunately i saw things that are going to
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stick with me probably for the rest of my life. you know, nobody wants to see dolphins surfacing through oil or you know, dead fish or dead birds or any of that. it was pretty awful but i think is a marine biologist some of the worst of it was the habitat that was going to be lost, seeing oil that had covered the entire expanse of some small islands that were absolutely critical habitat for birds. these are bird rookeries that were just completely packed. bird high-rises, and knowing that the oil was likely going to kill off the vegetation and the grasses and the other vegetation that in a whole balance together. the island was fairly quickly likely to wash away. there is in the whole lot of alternate habitat of any similar
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type so thinking about the long-term effects that could have on many of the sea birds including the brown pelican which had just come off the endangered species list. there is also a disturbing to look at things like hermit crabs. you don't read a lot of the newspapers or on cnn. you don't see anybody talking about hermit crabs. no ways and keeping a running count in using dead hermit crabs as evidence for a lawsuit but in one area, certainly not bigger than the size of this room i saw what i estimate to be 10,000 dead hermit crabs. sitting there kind of counting those at the same time these birds are walking around eating these oil soaked hermit crabs knowing that those birds are probably not going to make it. that whole beach habitat and at least in that area at that time was no longer really capable of sustaining life.
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so then we moved farther offshore. we brought one of our ships, the arctic sunrise, to the region and we put together a three-month long research expedition working with scientists from over a dozen institutions, mostly golf universities to again, really try to get a second opinion to begin collecting more data on what the true scope and impacts of this bill were on the ecosystem in the gulf. we looked at the plankton. primarily be focused on blue crab larvae with scientists from tulane university and one of the challenges for us throughout this was, you know, we have have a 24 hour news cycle where people want instant answers but scientists are slow. the data that we collected with this one small project to examine one very small piece of the impact, collecting the data, took months. but to analyze that will probably take them two years.
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so, on the one-year anniversary we had a lot of people asking us. it has been plenty of time. what happened? wasn't as bad as everyone said? was it not so bad like bp and noaa and the government was saying? the answer i think is it is going to be decades really before we can look back and see we have a chew sense of what the damage was. but we did say see that the science from tulane found its the stories orange globs that they were fairly certain caused by dispersant. this is the oil and his persons entering the food chain in the gulf of mexico through these baby blue crabs. we also worked with the consortium of scientists from a number of universities using acoustic monitoring buoys. basically these buoys that that sit out there and listen for noise. primarily what they were
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recording was vocalizations from sperm whales and other beached whales. this was important because it is pretty difficult to actually understand what is happening with whales just by counting them. mostly they are underwater. so they had a dataset stretching back several years in the same area. they were able to compare what the whale population is to look like in that area of the gulf with what happened after this disaster. and again, it is too early to really say what the detailed results were but they did find in the side closest to the deepwater horizon, there are far fewer sperm whales after the accident then there were before. and this is significant because government scientists estimate that losing as few as three adult sperm whales would be essentially enough to wipe out the population and this again, whales are very slow to mature and they have low numbers of offspring and they are very
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vulnerable. we worked with scientists from texas a&m, not exactly who you would think would be the most eager to partner with greenpeace but this is interesting because despite all the money that we had out there for research many the scientists we talked to found it very difficult to get access to funding to do research that might not be popular, so if bp was giving out the money, they felt that they had some say in directing the type of research and obviously that was not okay and part of why we wanted to be out there. texas a&m scientists came out with us and they are worth looking at oil and the water column and also we were doing a lot of work to see how much oil we were finding on the bottom. around this time is when noaa was putting out a statement. it wasn't just noaa but it was the u.s. government has said that three-quarters of the oil was gone.
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this was their big mission accomplished moment. you may remember it. actually if you look at the numbers and not how they talk about the numbers, really the reverse was true. more like three-quarters of the oil was still there in the gulf of mexico. a little bit had evaporated and a smaller amount had been recovered but most of it was either still on the water washed up on the shore or down there on the bottom. that is what we found. about a mild deep well away from the deepwater horizon. i think it was 50 miles away, we were finding oil on the bottom. we brought up the samples images reeked of oil. we also found signature of oil so not like a big thick dense cloud the signatures of the oil 300 rows to the west of the deepwater horizon site. this is far away from and in a very different direction than people had previously been looking. later on, we actually took a
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two-person submarine be on the gulf. i had that very nice opportunity to be the pilot of of the sub and we brought scientists from the university of north carolina and marine conservation biology institute to look at the impact of this bill on deep-sea coral in the gulf of mexico. part of it was helping people understand how complex the gulf ecosystem really is. if you know you think of the gulf of mexico and people have very different ideas. maybe you should think a bunch of oil rigs and it is nothing special but actually it is really one of the more biologically rich places i have ever been. you see dolphins give birth in numbers that you don't see in many other places. and so at the bottom of the gulf in many areas you have these incredible communities, even the reefs of deep-sea coral and these live far below sunlight.
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they are not the same kind of coral you are used to if you have been scuba diving or snorkeling in the tropics. still a similar role as far as providing habitat for commercially important fish sometimes and also hide areas of biodiversity. we are happy to see the area we visited that there was no visible impact of the oil but again really this is about something they are going to be still analyzing years from now. a lot of it was whether there were sublethal impacts, whether it is affecting their growth rate, their reproductive rate and whether they are more susceptible to disease and that kind of thing. unfortunately at the same time a little bit closer to the deepwater horizon site there is a different kind of submersible that was able to go deeper. another group of scientists were finding oil that had carpeted the bottom and killed huge numbers of coral.
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i guess the one thing i forgot to mention that i will just touch on, we started this expedition actually far from the impacted site out in the dry tortugas. if you remember when the accident began, in the very early days people were quite sure that the oil was going to be pulled into the loop current and be sucked through the florida keys and potentially all the way up the east coast of the kent through the gulf stream. the good news is that didn't happen, at least not in large amounts so we were there looking in the dry tortugas adds bunches which are in court and -- important bioindicators because they pump huge amounts of water through them each day. so they are good place to look to see if there are sublethal quantities of oil. and again it took quite a while before they finish that. it is just a good reminder that science is slow. our policymakers seem to have been too quick to assume that they knew what the impacts of
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this work, and far too quick to forget that this could happen again. so really, a lot of the thrust of our work took two directions. one was providing a second opinion and getting the facts about what was really happening and the other was reminding our policymakers that they can't allow this to happen again. a lot of our work has been moving forward, making sure that we learn from this and do not allow drilling in the arctic and do not allow a new drilling anywhere and ultimately that we phase out offshore drilling and move away from that to clean renewable energy. and i will stop there, well ahead of time. [applause] >> introduce yourself.
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>> good evening. my name is peter galvin. in the conservation director for the center of biological diversity. thanks so much for coming tonight. i want to thank busboys impose, greenpeace and antonia for writing this book. is not a happy topic but an important one for us to know as much as we can about program the early days of the deepwater horizon disaster the media was portraying the event as if this was a natural disaster, terrible natural disaster to to a technological lich that was beyond the control of humans, and early on even in the first night as we spoke, it was clear to us that this was not a natural disaster. this was a policy disaster. this was a disaster caused specifically by policies
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implemented by the u.s. government. and, as we began to look to the minerals and management services, and now bomber, the new agency, we began to realize that thousands of these drilling plans have been issued with categorical exclusions. the lowest level of environmental analysis done and interestingly, the minerals management service which is no stalwart of the barman to protection, would not allow the same exclusions in art drilling, so basically, and we had known some of this for quite some time. but the reality was, it all became very apparent that the gulf of mexico was basically a national sacrifice area and the policies of the government were intended to make it the national disaster area, national sacrifice area. a year has gone by and what have
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we learned? the sad reality is, not much. we have learned a lot about the impacts of the spill but not a lot -- we have not made a lot of policy changes that are going to prevent us from this disaster recurring next time. we recently released a report available on our web site at a logical, and in the report, we calculate mortality numbers for a variety of different species based on the best available evidence that was available. government reports, scientific reports, and one of the big problems with oil spills and you see this in the press, where they start to mention numbers of are covered animals, only a small number of the animals that die are ever recovered. the ocean is a big place in humans just don't run across all of the mortality. for example, we conclude that
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6000, approximately 6000 sea turtles were killed in the event, 26,000 dolphins and whales, 26,000 dolphins, whales and other marine animals and 82,000 birds. this staggering -- the total is staggering and it probably will rate as the largest environmental disaster ever to have occurred in the united states. and hopefully there will never be a larger one. since the spill we have launched nine lawsuits and three endangered species listings petitions. the nine lawsuits range in a variety of areas, the most significant one probably the clean water act lawsuit against bp. the government has filed a duplicate case about eight months later. defines that we are seeking and those fines we seek to redirect to the gulf area for
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environmental restoration and land acquisition, we are seeking $19 billion in penalties against bp and this is the maximum amount allowed under the clean water act on a catholic shin of negligence which triple the damages and a certain penalty per gallon of oil spill. and we are not even sure the amount isn't more than 200 million-gallon so that is the best estimate that anyone could come up with. so we are trying to make bp cough up $19 billion everybody is pointing the finger at everybody else. just a few hours ago the coast guard released a report that puts a lot of the blame on transocean. we are also suing transocean under the clean water act. of course bp has recently sued transocean asserting that transocean should pay a not bp. of course this is going to be going on for a long long time. one of the reasons we felt it was very important to file our boss it was to make sure that the government doesn't try to offer some kind of sweetheart
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settlement, and certainly you know we know that would have passed under the bush administration, no question about it and we are even concerned that could happen under the obama administration. of course weeks before the disaster obama put on a -- the president stood -- gave a press conference and said oil ricks don't usually blow up. and nuclear power is safe. we can see that there is a massive disconnect, just a huge disconnect between the reality and the policy procrastination, whatever that word is. thank you. and it is really just an amazing to see that gap and it is staggering. some of the other litigation we filed is over dispersants. we have launched a lawsuit over
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the use of these dispersants we heard so much about during the spill. the reality is is the epa approves the use of these dispersants but they don't actually test what will the dispersants themselves do to various endangered species? what are the impacts of dumping millions of gallons of dispersants? if any of you listen to democracy now the other day a representative of our group, was on and amy goodman pointed out interestingly that she noticed that the main dispersants used in the spill is actually banned in the u.k.. it can't be used in the u.k., so bp has a stock pile of millions of gallons of the stuff that they can't be used in u.k. or anywhere in europe. what did they do at this stuff? let's shifted to the u.s.. we have got to get rid of it. these kinds of -- we see how so many decisions, these policy decisions are made basically with a gun to the head because you have lisa jackson, the head
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of the epa desperately trying to figure out come is there anything i can do? is there anything we can do in the government is under criticism for an action. well, we are going to dunk eliot of gallons of the stuff because we have to show people we are doing everything we possibly can that be will do with the impacts later because we are -- our decisions are being made on a the 24/7 news cycle. that is the scary reality that we live and where are policy decisions are being made in very very short windows. they used to be, people have said the best way to make decisions as to look forward seven generations. well, we have gone through seven generations and 24 hours. that is no way to make decisions. so we have got the disbursement lawsuit. the bp clean water act lawsuit, bp transocean at al. we are in the middle of a giant litigation morass.
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there have been, we just found out today 100,000 lawsuits now filed over the bp oil spill, 100,000 that doesn't include ken feinberg's payoff, payment scheme. that is a separate deal. a lot of these are big toxic tort cases, people who lost their livelihoods and didn't take the compensation route from bp, and it is really amazing to see. are returning as part of the plaintiff steering committee in this thing. it is very cumbersome group. it is very important that public interest in environmental groups be in there because as good as trial lawyers are and they are trying to do the best they can for their reed clients, public interest environmental groups have a different outlook on things. it is our goal to try to get as much as a money as possible, the 19 billion back to the gulf for restoration and not to bobby jindal's crazy sand barriers or
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any crackpot ideas he has come up with to spend the money. we wanted to be spent on bill restoration, land acquisition and to make evil whole. we have filed endangered species and -- species for the dwarf seahorse. the smallest the course in the u.s., the third or fourth smallest in the world. and it is -- lives and sea grass beds. i think we have all seen seahorses in aquariums. they are beautiful little things in very sensitive. very sensitive to changes in habitat and decimation of sea crabs. a lot of what happened with the dispersants is doyle doesn't go away. just breaks into smaller particles and sinks to the bottom and course fees get into the sea grass brett -- snr brill problem for the seahorses and other creatures who live down there. we are currently looking as john mentioned that around pelican was a rare success story under the endangered species act where to come back from just really a few hundred to tens of thousands
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individuals in the last 20 years, a real happy story. but the spill has really put the recovery in jeopardy and now we are looking and talking to a variety of scientists about whether it will be necessary to put the brown pelican back on the endangered species list through this. we filed an endangered species listing petition to get the atlantic lieu fin tuna added to the endangered list and we have some. the blue fin tuna is a very highly prized fish that is becoming rarer and rarer. it is one of the fish that has high-end sushi restaurants. you see it a very expensive piece of sushi that is over 10 or $15, there is a good chance it is blue fin tuna. earlier this year a blue fin tuna upwards of 1000 pounds was auctioned off in tokyo for $400,000 for one fish, $400,000 so you can imagine that there is
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an enormous economic pressure to keep this species off the endangered list. the blue fin tuna is spawning areas in the gulf of mexico. it is a prime spawning area, the atlantic lieu fin and much of it was inundated by the oil spill like a direct hit. and so scientists estimate that 20 to 30% of the young are lost. that is just the beginning. we don't know what the longer-term implications aren't a lot of these things, is a combination of factors. is not just the oil spill. is that there is overfishing and a huge amount of habitat degradation that is already occurring so now you have this impact and it is kind of like how many straws or how many cars can you pull out before the house of cards collapses? we filed a lawsuit over the policy that allows the categorical exclusions and one of the things we found right after the spill was that bp had actually written a letter to the
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epa just months before the spill demanding that more categorical exclusions be granted because we have environmental studies were taking too much time and they were also duplicative because they are to have the answers because they have been drilling so safely for so long. so we had have that going on. we have a lawsuit -- actually i say it is one lawsuit. is actually several different lawsuits because the fifth circuit court of appeals is somewhat byzantine in this process. we are challenging over 40 individual drilling plans in the gulf right now. most of these have been granted since the spill and that is what is important for people to understand that very little has changed. ken salazar, the guy, you know he will go down in history -- you wants to keep the boot, his boot on the heel on the deck of ep and so the boot
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is, when you look into the history of the boot, it turns out that secretary salazar, there was virtually no greater champion of expanding drilling in the gulf ben ken salazar and an interesting look at how someone's station in life, their political station might change things. one president obama was a senator he had an excellent record on offshore oil drilling. he opposed it fervently as to joe biden, as did rahm emanuel. they all voted against expanding offshore oil drilling in the gulf and then a few years later the situation is different. now they have got some different calculations to make and they come out on the other side. so just very disappointing in that regard. so i am going to wrap it up but i just want to let folks know that we fully intend on continuing to track this issue and doing everything we possibly can to try and made sure this never, ever happens again. please take a look at our web site and see our policy recommendations on a report that
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we just released, companion report to the wildlife pulled at our logical and thanks again so much. .. my first book was the book agenda, invading their world when the economy at time, and
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the book looked at the role of the bush administration to a handful of specific corporations including oil corporations, energy services companies, and weapons manufacturers. it was a natural corollary to that discussion given my next book, tierney of oriole the world's most powerful industry and what we must do to stop it which looked up the power of the industry, the policy relationship of this industry to our government and our policy makers and somewhat ironically at this point that book actually took a title from a speech that then can did it obama made when he became the first african american to win the isle of caucus. he announced in that speech he would be the president to once and for all ended the charity of oil and in the same breath ended the war in iraq. that was one sentence i felt was incredibly powerful, and i used it to open the book, and use it in the title of the board.
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when the deepwater horizon exploded on april 20th 201015 miles off the coast of louisiana i was in houston with a group of oil activists. actually, not activist. thus the wrong word. a group of people who live in oil-impacted areas are around the world, nigeria, ndola, caused exxon, alaska, california, tested, mississippi to have all come together in texas for the chevron annuals shareholder meeting. they came to explain to the shareholders what it means to live in a chevron-impacted community, a place where chevron operates. while we were there it had been a couple of weeks during the course of our time there after the explosion happened, after the loss of life of 11 men, after the oil started flowing when we realized that this not only was an enormous loss of life and an enormous disaster, but i really crushing reality to
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people like myself who had spent a civilian amount of time studying the oil industry, it is significant amount of time being in places where oil operations to replace. something down on all of us. the oil industry had absolutely no idea whatsoever what to do about the deep water blowout, none at all. they had said they knew what to do. they said they planned to know what to do. the reality was that what they knew how to do is somewhat deal with a blowout at 400 feet. for most of the time since really the 1970's most deep, deep water drilling in drilling and 400 feet below the ocean surface. this well and what deepwater drilling means now is chilly at 5,000 feet below the ocean surface, and that is to see the ocean floor here at 5,000 feet.
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this well was another 13,000 feet 500 feet below that. we didn't need any more. a well slightly further out, not even the deepest anymore is another well that is as far down as mount everest is up. we found that was that even though they guaranteed to us that they knew what they were doing there were trying to apply technology developed in the 1970's for 400 footwells to 5,000-foot well, and they did not know what they're doing and they weren't able to stop the gusher. not only that, but they have guaranteed us that were there to be a blowout, and everybody knows that there can be a blowout because that is what you plan for, the gulf of mexico is one of the most difficult places to drill in the world. one of the reasons why is it is very gaseous. it bubbles up, kicks, making filling very difficult. everyone knows this. every plan that is written for
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drilling in the gulf says that we can handle kicks, blowouts. lots have been increasing, happening more and more frequently. people on the rage -- reagan knew that it was having a difficult time. in fact, this was the second raid to try and drill this well. a previous rate, the mariannas, have been kicked so hard that it was kicked read off of the well and had to go home. to deport horizon was a replacement. the depot horizon was $100 million over budget. many, many, many days of scheduled. the people on the rate knew that they were in trouble. they knew that there could be a blowout. the industry promised that it could handle an oil spill were the worst to happen of 300,000 barrels of oil per day. what we found out is that likely at its worst this spill was 80,000 barrels a day, and yet they had no capacity whatsoever
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to deal with it. they did not have ships ready to contain the oil. they did not have underwater vehicles ready to address the blowout. they did not have done to protect the short, skimmers to step up. they have not prepared. not only that, even though after the 1989 valdez disaster, they have been committed to responsible for, legally obligated to invest in research on what to do if they have an oil spill and prepare for it. they hadn't. none of them. we are using the exact same technology that utterly failed to clean up after valdez were only 14 percent of the oil was cleaned up today in response to this. now, to put this into scale what happens because they did not know what to do and spent three months walking around -- well, that's not fair. they were trying very hard. they sat around a table and rich trying very hard. scientists hard work. engineers hard airport.
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they wanted to stop this gusher come but they couldn't for three long months. and what happened in the course of that three long months, and that is just the time in which the pressure was falling. they finally did figure out how to put a cap on it, thank goodness. they actually didn't, no one really felt secure that the well was closed. they drilled a relief well. but the industry does not have to do is draw, but what that means is basically what they know how to do is droll, so if we have another blowout there is no reason to assume that a cap will be able to be applied. the only thing we are sure that work was the relief well. that means if there is another blow of what we should anticipate is five more months worth of oil. what we know about the deepwater horizon. and this is a new. only 148 of these operations in the world. basically been going on for 20 years at this depth. they're pushing out this far
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because there is a lot of oil out there. but we know about the deep water is that when you have an accident it is a long way to go to get to it, and there is a lot of oil. put the amount of oil into context. we have all been hampered from being able to explain and really grasp, put into words the significance of the size of the spill. that is because we can't say the words. it would make it that much more dramatic. the largest oil spill in world history, and is only one reason why we can't for. that is because saddam hussein intentionally in the most blatant way possible used oil as a weapon in 1991 and intentionally opened up tankers to attack american and british troops with the oil in kuwait. that is hands down the largest oil spill in world history because he did it intentionally.
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had that not happen to this would be hands down the largest oil spill in world history. 210 million gallons of oil or released. one thing we know for sure, and grim this happened and we learned it was going to be bigger than we thought and the 11 men who died, the store wasn't going to end with them or their families. it is going to spread, and it was going to spread to all of the people across the five states to live are around this, the ninth largest body of water, and it was going to affect the sea life and it was going to affect everything that lives in the ocean. the thing to know about the gulf coast is everything that lives in the ocean is part and parcel to everything that lives on land and all of the people and their livelihoods and being an understanding of their community. and the effect on the sea is the effect on the people and the livelihood of the community of those people. and what i learned in going down in just the first couple of weeks in the first couple of days that i was there was, one
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caught this was a huge story. two, transparency was so difficult. getting information was so difficult. the first time i went down private security guards, police officers, sheriffs were keeping us off of the beaches. you could not go look, take pictures, record the event. and one of the things that happened was controlling the story became very important to everyone involved. one tool that pp utilize that was very powerful. you saw the pictures. i hope you saw them in the beginning. greenpeace took such important photographs of this event, not just the work, but the photographs that capture it. they are used throughout the book to try and make tangible -- or imagery the story of this event, but capturing those photographs became more and more difficult. one reason why is because if you remember in valdez it was the
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photographs of the royal soap that really captured people's souls. people organized aggressively in their response. they shut down exxon's stations. they protested and amended policy. they got out of the bush administration, the bush senior administration a critical piece of legislation, the oil pollution act. similarly in 1969 off the coast of santa barbara when an oil well will people organized, there were galvanized. there were ready. they saw the imagery that captured their heart and souls. a year later they got earth day, the clean water act, the clean air act, the environmental protection agency and 11 years of organizing later they got a moratorium on offshore drilling in some places. what happened here was that those photographs, particularly of the brown pelican soaked in oil, the state bird of louisiana -a people, captured our
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hearts and mind. but the pictures started to go away. most people a sense there were going away because the birds are going away. less birds, as images. i was able to track and the board that impact as the number of birds as increasing the photographs for decreasing. the reason why was because we started being threatened to be thrown in jail if we went within 40 miles -- know, 40 feet of bone. if we went on to beaches where there was oil. i was trying to go out on boats to take pictures and to talk to people to go out into the water. and when the person who was driving the boat found out i was a book author there would not take me because they set out get a $40,000 fine and you'll get thrown in jail. i went on to beaches even though it meant risking being drawn into jail and did what i could to try and tell the story. we all did our best to do it. but the story became very
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difficult to tell, and i knew that was going to happen. that is when i decided very early on that this was going to require more than an article and a few days. it was going to require a full book, investigation, and spending as much time as possible in those communities affected. i basically spend my time. i also realized my previous books are really policy books. my background is public policy. i have worked for to united states members of congress. my master's in public policy from georgetown. this was going to need to be a very different book, and it is really a book that is a human story of the human impact and the people who are impacted on all sides. i talked to people employed in the oil industry, oil executives , environmentalists, policy makers, spent a good deal of time in washington d.c. talking to people here and
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there. the story that is told, and just to say i was overwhelmed by the graciousness of people at the hardest part in their lives taking me in. i stated in people's homes complied with their children, went to their churches, but to their beaches. i went to work with them when there was any work to be done and was really brought in and continued to be brought in. some of the most impact full stories were the ones that i then tried to tell one year later. the story began on a chevron shareholder meeting. it doesn't include that the next debt of this is a week ago when i was in london at the p's annual shareholder meeting and i went there with five gold coast residents. people who were deeply impacted by this disaster who were there representing their communities. the gulf coast bond, an amazing organization that was founded after katrina to link about 200
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small community-based organizations across the gulf so that they can organize together. really stepped up in response to this disaster to do the same thing in response to the oil disaster. because what we heard time and time again, what i heard time and time again as i travel to the gulf coast with people who had just recovered from katrina, gustave, really, like, working so hard to get themselves back on their feet financially, emotionally, spiritually. and then the oil strike. you could feel the sense of sorrow and, you know, how can we get a break? we worked so hard. now the loyal is here. and the gulf coast fund organized in response to katrina and now in response to the oil disaster.
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they helped bring these five community members to london. this was the president of the louisiana west german association. the louisiana shrimpers association. her husband and five incredibly powerful speakers. we have come to the bp shareholders meeting because bp had said in his document leading up to the meeting that it had learned its lesson from the disaster. it was going to go deeper into the deep water and push more into deep water drilling, but it had a way the risk and was ready to go. and so they had come to explain to the board and the chairman of the board and the new ceo, but dudley and the shareholders what it means to be people from the gulf coast experiencing this ongoing disaster. and we did a bunch of press before we get there. the bbc love best a man who we were. we showed up. bp would not give any of the
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gulf coast residents access to the meeting even though they try to get end. i got in because i purchased shares. i didn't know that they had not gotten in. we got separated i get into the meeting. i had a special card that said i could not speak during the time when shareholders get to speak, but i went in anyway. when i found out they weren't there i spoke anyway. i said that bp had not lived up to its financial, legal, or moral obligations in the gulf, it was arguing tooth and nail about the amount of oil spilled. when peter sites did that figure of trust billion dollars of bp as for the oil is spilled, what bp is trying to argue is that instead of a per barrel rate it wants to pay it a day rate and that rate equates to not $20 billion but $3 million.
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bp is arguing that half as much oil has been spilled as everyone knows, all of the presidential commission and scientists have found. the same time they're arguing half as much as we know is built, but the clean develop. how can that be? and that bp is fighting every single step of the way to the pay the claims process. one result of the oil pollution act was the company as bills the oil has to set up a clam's process and pay claims. well, fortunately this has got a lot of press this week. bp made that process so cumbersome. the cfo for the state of florida is suing a bp saying they intentionally made it cumbersome. only one-third of their claims have been paid out, only 40 percent have even been processed. that means that most people haven't gone -- they have been out of work for a year. they have not done any money. this is a subsistence area of
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fishing, and they can eat their fish either. bp has not made good on these claims. the other thing i came to do was to deliver a message from keith jones. keith jones is someone who i spent a tremendous amount of time with over the course of writing this book. his son, gordon, was 28 years old. he works for a contractor. he was a cement mixer on the deep water horizon. he died the night that the rate exploded. he and all of the 11 men had died died fighting to save the raid. they could have all been somewhere else when their rig blew, and they could have survived, but they stay where they were to try and save it and died. what keith sent me there to say and gordon died one week prior to the birth of his second son, max so gordon. he died shortly after the birthday of his elder son. he died because he had said to
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his co-worker who was tired and was supposed to take over for him, don't worry. go to sleep. out keep working. and keith sent me with a statement. the statement said that bp and transition and halliburton had cut corners. they had taken this incredibly complicated offshore drilling and turned it into something that was just about making money, of course. they were greedy and they had rolled the dice with chorines life and lost. what keith wanted to make sure was that this did not happen again. what every single presidential commission and study and investigation and scientific study concluded is that this is a problem. the problem that led to this disaster is in no way isolated to bp. one of the things i go over also
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extensively in the book is looking at the oil industry. so looking at what the oil industry did in response to this disaster, not only what did environmentalist's to, not only fishermen, scientists, but what did the oil industry do? and what they did, i think, qualifies as one of the most successful lobbying efforts on behalf of the oil industry today, and that is saying a lot. their strategy was isolate bp. make this a bp problem. even within that because bp is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the united states. if you're going to say it's a bp problem your taking a pretty big gamble because you're saying half of all the oil is dangerous. said they said its ibp problem, but it was a fluke. one of the reasons,
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unfortunately because the obama administration which i have named in my last book, while this administration is not an oil and administration it certainly is not the way the last administration was. doesn't get its money from the oil industry. it certainly gets its money from industry, but is the finance industry. even this government is not immune from the incredible weight and financial lobbying and pressure of the oil industry even this government said came to that pressure. the key moment to that picture missions and john mentioned to when basically public attention was completely swayed and altered and we really lost the
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momentum, not lost the entire race. august the 16th. let me back up a little bit. there was enormous public pressure in the same whether it was after 1959 and '89. enormous public attention on this disaster. people were gripped, watching that spill cam. there was a huge push for legislation. there was a great number of bills moving through the congress, great amount of momentum to see them pass. and two things happened. the first is the well was capped, which was fantastic. we all wanted it to be capped. that didn't and the attention. they still cared very much about the outcome of the disaster. the more important thing that happened was on august 16th when carol browner went on every single morning television back to back to back to back and said, and i quote, the vast majority of the oil is gone. that was like an end scene
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moment. and it was utterly not true. this same document she was looking at, the same scientists who worked on that document said, it's exactly the opposite. the majority of the oil is there and only a portion of it is gone. so what the obama administration wanted to do is just get this problem out of the way. this is not to say that there weren't thousands of government employees that work very hard to address this disaster because there were. but the problem, the overarching problem that the obama administration faces with this disaster is basically the more the president obama's name was linked to it the lower his poll numbers fell. and he had a lot of other things to do. he was trying to pass health care. he had to worse he was fighting, long list of stuff. he had a recalcitrant congress, and he wanted to get it out of the way. and they did that with
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2 million gallons of dispersant and they did that with a long history of limiting the actual real numbers that we knew for how much oil was coming out of the well. and they did it by telling us the girl was gone before it was. the combination of the obama administration following that track and the royal industry working very hard to make us believe that this was a fluke in said that only involve one company and more convenient that it is a british company needed so that the push for policy and stopped. the attention on the gulf coast and the impact on people's livelihood and lives and the ecosystems stop to. and the push for a change in policy to deal with this industry stopped. and what we know for certain is that this was not just a bp problem. let's just look at the incident
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itself. bp is though lee c., the manager, responsible for every final decision and they made every final decision. the trans ocean is the owner and operator. transition operated that reagan in just and in constable way for the safety of its workers. hundreds of maintenance issues that went unattended. a blow up printer that was low on batteries and leaking hydraulic fluid. alarm systems that were intentionally inhabited. i have to say this every time i talk because the woman who lives think is the heroine of the day, the four to 2-year-old young woman who was on the bridge at the time, one of six women has been painted by the industry by transition and bps the wrong door on the raid. if anyone has read the new york times article, it has also been picked up to be the movie for
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this. it paid to andrea as adults when she was the heroine of the day. how she was a heroine of the day was that the alarm on that rig had been inhibited which meant if natural gas came into the rate light should have slashed, alarms should have sounded. we are in our room. this room msn as the gas came aide, should have been sealed so that everyone was saved, even if we had to die. none of that happened. the alarms were turned off so that they could record information so that we knew what happened but that the alarms would go on. what andrea did, she was sitting on the bridge and said, oh, my god. the alarm did go off and pushed the button that made the long ago. what transition ndp is trying to say is why didn't suppress the alarm minutes earlier. it is her fault. no. it is there fault they have the alarm and hit it. and what we learned is that is true across the fleet.
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the largest owner operator of offshore rigs in the world. everything that went wrong is a reason to be concerned about every rig operating around the world. halliburton, the largest energy services company here horribly five failed and operations. the builder horribly sales. every single oil company he did not know what to do in response who had not planned, had not prepared, guilty in this disaster. but the bottom line is, all of these companies are to blame in the to be held to account and pay up. bottom line of the story is that we should not be having these operations. that is what we learned after 1969, and it's what we should be learning today. and the obama administration knows this. peter says. all of them were good on this issue. even when a bomb was running for office of first to was opposed
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to offshore drilling and then he was for offshore drilling. the same thing happened to john mccain. though oil industry wants offshore drilling because they're running out of places to operate and they are willing to make the rest and spin the dice and risk the lives of the people in wild places. we cannot let them do that. so one of the amazing ends of the story is that when i started writing this book in the gulf you could not get an environmentalist in the gulf coast to say anything bad about the oil industry. these industries are oil and fish. oil in the gulf is part and parcel to being there. one of the stories i tell in the book is of the fish cam -- the shrimp and petroleum festival in morgan city louisiana. they king and queen are on my books sitting in the throne with these crystal crowns and made in crystal is a green oil derrick coming up out of the crown and a pink shrimp wrapped around it which pretty much scribe's the
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relationship between fish and petroleum in the gulf. one of the things we learned was that while the gulf think of itself as a pitcher state, it really isn't. i work in boyle. and dole is the petra state. 86 percent of the gdp is from oil. louisiana, 8% of its gdp. this is not up petro state. and what the people who worked in the industry tell me by the end is, you know what, we to do it. this is not save. we don't like it. it's dangerous. give us something else to do. we cannot do it. we cannot organize for it here. it's really hard to organize for the alternatives. we can work on it, but we need your help. you folks to work with greenpeace and the center for biological risk and california and vermont and d.c., you guys have to fight so that we can
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have alternatives, energy jobs, wind, solar. the hardest cut oil workers. they are ready. they need our help. the one-year anniversary is the time, the opportunity. this is the time when the world is focusing on this issue again. public attention is gripped again and we can actually organized to see change put into place. thank you very much for listening. obviously there is a great deal more about this in the book. we are eager to answer your questions and have this discussion and thank you very much for being with us tonight. [applause] [applause] [inaudible] >> we can take one more question
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from someone in the back. thank you. thank you for keeping everybody's attention. >> where is the money coming from or is the money coming, the year or more whenever you said? the court cases, who is sponsoring those? where is that money coming from? a summer house. is that off the table? >> the money for our litigation is coming from you, thank
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goodness. our members, we have 42,000 paying members, and 300,000 e-mail activists. and people are responding. there are sending in money that we need to keep in court. we have an incredible team of 22 lawyers. we are working with a host of other lawyers that have volunteered their time. with the help of our members and our supporters we will continue the litigation flight of the -- for as long as it takes. that is the good news. i think the other part of the question was -- [inaudible] >> as far as where the money for the sciences coming from a lot of it is held up. bp is not really making that available. antonia juhasz a mentioned they
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have deliberately made the process complicated. scientists that we talked to, many of them have done an incredible job and collecting data on the very difficult situation, but now they can't get money to analyze it. it is kind of a mess. there is some government funding, but a lot of it is tied up in the core process. even data that is being analyzed is not being publicly shared because they're treating it as evidence. it is fine to treated as evidence to my with that doesn't mean that the public doesn't have a right to know. i would also give up like. they're doing really great. don't get corporate funding or take money from the government. it's all from you. thank you for making it possible for us to do this. >> let me ask you really quickly. one of the problems is that bp
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has put up $500 million for research as they should. they should pay of five other million dollars for research, but they are in control. they are requiring scientists to sign 3-year confidentiality agreements if they take the money, and of trying to guide the research. all of the great scientists are torn. there is another money. there is bp money and then there is nothing. there are scientists who are saying no trying to find support or they can, but there are getting in from groups like greenpeace, the center for biological diversity, universities. therefore they all need our support. we basically have to counter be peace control of the funds with alternative funding sources so that people like dr. cement the joy who i spend -- an amazing woman spend a great deal of time with has gone down to the bottom of the ocean want the month of fremont says this has happened to command the oil on the bottom of the ocean 2 inches
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thick 80 miles high up from the side of the blowout. a layer of dispersant on top. she was on the team that found the plan. she is fighting every single day. these scientists need our support. >> yes. something we have long suspected. i think it might have even have been the bp freedom of information act. thousands of documents emerged. bp has been doing everything possible to specifically direct how the money goes. i really do like the way this study is going. or let's give the money to these people because they have a good background in the oil industry. less than the the money over here. as you can imagine, they are very much trying to direct their $500 billion to studies that benefit them, and ultimately things there will use in their
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defense in court and get a tax deduction for donating the $500 million for the defense in court. >> spending that money, bring the national guard psalm. we are anxious to work with you to help. a really quick request. the operations, 1970. we had to absolutely report every spot of oil we spilled, and we absolutely could not use any detergent on the oil. that was absolutely forbidden. could not do that. the same rules today? >> they still have to record every release of oil. there is millions of gallons of
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oil released into the ocean by oil rigs, accidents, workers die all the time. one of the workers i interviewed, i was sitting with his wife and newborn baby. he was trying to make her feel better by saying, oh, honey, these explosions happen all the time. don't worry about it. it's not something to worry about. she to know that he had broken his arm and leg. it all came out while we were doing the interview. oil spills have been constantly. the use of dispersants happens constantly. it is recorded. this wasn't so hard -- this wasn't the largest use of crack said. it was the mexican gulf of the gulf of mexico in 1979. nobody did any research. the oil industry didn't do any research. they don't care. they didn't tested, study it, and they just used it again this time. what was different this time is that they used it as the source
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of the gusher under water, and we have seen footage of that. they sprayed the dispersant. said about 2% made it into the oil and 98 percent just went into the ocean. >> it was reported a while ago that the $20 billion that bp was supposed to put into the fund was directly connected to the gulf money. is that still the case? it was reported, but i have not heard that. in other words, the obama administration apparently allows them to all the tiny back to gulf oil production so that bp could then hold the obama administration hostage because if they didn't allow more drilling in the gulf than the 20 billion was gone. has anything been done about that? >> i don't think that is exactly
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accurate, but the reality is this was a company that was about to go down the tubes. their share price was dropping his the every day. the capitalization was cut in half and a matter of days. had some agreement not been reached i think the government's fear was this company but go away. one of the largest companies on earth will die in front of us. then who will pay? we won't have the british punching bag available. so i think that ultimately a calculation. again to my calculation on a very short-term basis, a 24 / 70's cycle calculation was made that we have to have something that gives us some certainty that there is going to be some sums available for these people, but possibly more importance, at that point the obama administration made a determination that it is not in their best interest politically or even in beck governments of the country to allow this company to die at that time.
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that is what $20 billion represented more than anything else. >> one thing i would just add. the moratorium that the obama administration put in place was not on drilling in the gulf, it was just on exploration. drilling continues. we are actually producing more oil right now that we were at this time last year. production did not suffer. of course this makes the point for people who are listening out there who think that drill bit the drill is the answer. producing more oil right now than we were at this time last year but the price is significantly higher. they are not connected. the very first new lease for exploration was granted to bp. exploration grants were going out left and right. all the companies are getting new grants. the 20 billion has been put forth for the claims.
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claims are taking care of. that was just a promise. only about three. five has been delivered for everything. so it is not nearly as large as it sounds, and it also hasn't been paid yet. >> i just want to know very quickly. the clean water act lawsuit that we have filed seeking $19 billion that is entirely separate from the other fund? [inaudible] [inaudible] >> that is a real good question.
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we are in a terrible spot. it is just as sad, sad irony that under a democratic demonstration when we have been able to fight back in the darkest, darkest days of all branches of government controlled by hostile anti environmentalists, we have been able to beat back all of those challenges and basically, you know, the wolf was just taken off the endangered species aide but an act of congress all in the calculation to re-elect a senator. in a calculation made by the bean counters over there at the white house. all i can say is that it is very depressing. we think we will get the door seal on the endangered species list because a different group of people make that decision. the thing is, and if they don't make that decision we will get it on the list. will they pass a bill to taken of subsequently? this is the question everyone is asking now.
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you see it is like a domino theory that they talked about in vietnam. if you can take the will of the endangered species list by legislation, one of the most charismatic animals there is, then, you know, i understand your question about the sea horse which is a darling little creature by the way. let's not sell its short. yes. we are in a world of hurt in that regard. we are in a world of hurt. >> one question that i get asked a lot i might have asked if we had more time is how good a job they did with the cleanup effort. a difficult job. the simple truth that people don't generally want to face. that is that where you have offshore drilling you have spills. you have the risk of accidents. this gets back to what antonia juhasz was saying. they're rolling the dice, and is just a matter of time.
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this was not so much just an accident as an accident waiting to happen. that is why we need to be working together more than ever to make sure this doesn't happen again. we have to get rid of offshore drilling. [applause] [applause] >> more importantly we have to get rid of the idea that all of us here probably use will somewhere today to be able to get here. you may have flown on a plane that get you here. this is one of the reasons why people don't get emotional. i'm going to drive so i can for it. wait a minute. i just drove in a car the used oil. how did you turn that around? that is the bottom line. and the business, fined $200 for
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putting a touch a bottle in a trash can that was not recyclable. $200. we do a really good job with this stuff. i'm amazed somebody like that to get away with so much. >> an important place to end. our responsibility and culpability in dealing with oil. there are two pieces of that. one is hands down the largest usage of oil and gasoline in the united states is transportation, cars, planes and trucks. and i think the greatest solution for that is we are at a time of economic crisis, and coble job loss, growing job loss. if we can make this type of public commitment to public transportation like we did to public highways we could have an amazing job and we could move
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people in public transportation. that would be a huge shift. the whole feel of advocacy for public transportation is one that does not get a lot of support and energy. it is, i think part really, the silver bullet. there are individual actions that we can take. collectively we will be far, far, far more powerful. and the way to be more powerful collectively is by demanding public policy that makes it possible for more people to make that choice away from their individual use. but the other piece is the industry. and so i have made. i spent a lot of my life trying to organize around the zero oil industry, and it is one that is difficult to organize around. the wealthiest industry the planet has ever known, and it's not susceptible to the kind of consumer boycotts the so many other large companies are. and i think that all that is missing is continuing to have that type of corporate analysis
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that allows them to say the industry is making choices. companies are making choices and using money in a way that is making it very hard for us to make their individual decisions and the policy decisions that we want and to continue to bring that corporate analysis into the picture and to support the organization, global exchange and policy studies that do that work and do it and target the industry and oil companies as a whole so that we can attack the-work they're doing and support the positive alternatives at the same time. [applause] >> thank you all. >> sent you all very much. i'm going to sign books somewhere. >> you are watching 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on
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c-span2 book tv. >> what are you reading this summer? book tv wants to know. >> well, i'm reading a book about the coldest winter. quite frankly not wanting to open up the pages to it. it goes over the korean war. for most people familiar with the korean war, you don't want to know. what did they mean by that? well, i was in korea when the chinese actually surrounded the entire eighth army. it was a nightmare. fortunately this was over 50 years ago. to the best of my knowledge i have been suffered psychologically about the war.
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it pains me when i think of it, all the americans that died in korea. even becomes more difficulty when people ask me to explain my heroic actions. i had no idea. so i thought it would be better not to expose myself to any more of this nightmare. i left it. i have six different copies of this book. some had time in three a. all of them say that their worst thoughts about what happened was actually as to why we got
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involved. did we know what we were doing? was his successful? so, i feel secure enough now at 80 years old to take a look into what happened over 60 years ago and see where it is actually takes me. i know one thing in june of 1950, 20 years ago i was in the second infantry division and i was so we were going test out that congressman -- stop the communist invasion. i had no clue where to realize or what the invasion there were talking about. even when i came back home one of the most tragic things was
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one, i never was medicated. and to, i could not properly explain where the hell i was. now i can see it was a broken down community that had been crushed to the ground. out of all the democracy and economic balance and a longtime friend of the notice states. i can say that. kerria in 1950. discontinued the expansion of the democracy. but quite frankly i may not want to know why was there. so that will be on the floor of the house of representatives. >> tell us what you are reading
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this summer. send us at tweeting etch book tv. >> book tv is at the publisher's annual convention in new york city looking at some of the upcoming fall 2011 bucks. basic books and nation books are well represented here. part of the perseus book groups, and we are joined by the publisher, john scherer. john scherer, there are three books coming out this fall of want to test your about. i wanted to start with the thomas soul reader. >> right. it is a libertarian economist to works out of the hoover institution a stanford. publishing the basics for almost 40 years. a lot of books on economic history, social issues, politics. what we are doing this fall is a reader which we hope will be a one volume introduction to the really remarkable array of subject areas he has written about so that people who have not wanted to indulge in the 600 bases pages of economics can
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have this turnkey to get into the remarkable array of subjects he has covered in his career. it is going to be a career encompassing volume and a good way to introduce your way. >> will he be going on to work for is but? >> he is at the point where he doesn't do a lot of touring, but he does do some interviews. we will try and do is get some key interviews. >> another book coming out, the interrogator. >> of former cia operative who went to the so-called black sight. i'm really not at liberty to say exactly where it was, but he was one of the people that interrogated one of the highest value targets that we had captured. he participated in the interrogations'. you can see that the manuscript was reviewed by the publication review board and cia, and they thought there were certain parts the public to need to seek. >> and leaving that in.
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>> with the they will begin to leave it in because otherwise it reads oddly. the subtitle is education because when he started this process he was of a firm believer that interrogation would give us the results he needed and he came out with a very different take on it. obviously with the discussions about the capture and the killing, whether that was facilitated by interrogations' has become highly relevant to. >> there is one more of want to ask you about. >> he is a senior writer for the national review and has done a number of bucks on the founding fathers. he can be sort accredited or blamed for the recent resurgence. he met some very interesting characters. the father of the constitution. a co-writer of the federalist papers. he's also the founder of modern politics. with a person he founded what is now the democratic party. for better or worse we have been
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to blame for being the founder of modern politics. >> you published both basic and nation bucks, talked about too conservative authors. nation books would tend to be on the liberal side. >> that's right. >> what is that like being a publisher? >> it is rewarding. we are agnostic. we are idea driven and research driven. once you traffic in that in those fields you find that publicity is very similar. a lot of several people cover them. ideas, very consistent publishing. >> when it comes to the so-called transition that publishing is in now, how does that affect your day-to-day life? >> it has been interesting. you know, the publishing business is very stable for the first 50 years. but it has been useful. delta will discover books and keep the supply chain of bucks more readily available. i think in general it is a very good thing. >> basic books, it nation books.
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john scherer is the publisher. >> book tv has over 1,000 twitter followers. be a part of the excitement. follow us to get scheduling is, author information, and talk directly with authors during live programming. >> fair to say that there has been some level of more acceptance when you look at recent scandals and correct me if my thesis is wrong, but it is the ones that are attached to not just with personal lives are sexual scandals, but some of the wrongdoing that eventually takes people out of office. they can survive sex scandals. >> politicians can survive sex scandals. a senator from louisiana who frequented the d.c. madam won his last election in a landslide victory. it is possible right now because americans have got more and more used the sex scandals involving their politicians.
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ultimately we argue that is a good thing because it will enable us to stop eventually talking and obsessing about the sex lives of presidents and politicians and start focusing on what really matters. >> what makes it look so bad is not just the things and washington. when you have somebody that hypocritical getting caught up in of sexual escapades, it just makes it even worse. >> well, instead of talking about this before we get to phone calls, and our lines are already busy for you, let's just give one for instance. what is your favorite story? >> my favorite chapter turned out to be the eleanor roosevelt and franklin roosevelt chapter. it was complicated. he had his girlfriend living in a bedroom next to him. she had her girlfriend nexto


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