Hurricane Alex has passed but the aftermath of the storm continues to hamper cleanup and containment efforts. The Helix producer ship has been waiting to join the capture effort. This will allow a switch of containment caps, which facilitates connecting and disconnecting when storms come in, and might help relief-well efforts, but could mean free-flowing oil for a week to ten days.

The giant skimmer known as “A Whale” is waiting for seas to calm. Another low-pressure area has formed off Florida and has a 10% chance of becoming another tropical storm.

Republican efforts to confuse the public with anti-government propaganda continue. Conservative outlets continue to claim that “Dutch ships” have been delayed for 2 months. Media Matters and others have cleared this up but the story has caught on and is now “truth.”

Meanwhile Atrios makes an interesting point today, “BP’s interests are not aligned with the public good.” He links to a McClatchy story, Is BP rejecting skimmers to save money on Gulf oil cleanup?

“By sinking and dispersing the oil, BP can amortize the cost of the cleanup over the next 15 years or so, as tar balls continue to roll up on the beaches, rather than dealing with the issue now by removing the oil from the water with the proper equipment,” McCallister testified earlier this week. . . . “As a financial adviser, I understand financial engineering and BP’s desire to stretch out its costs of remediating the oil spill in the Gulf. By managing the cleanup over a period of many years, BP is able to minimize the financial damage as opposed to a huge expenditure in a period of a few years.”

Last month I noted that the dispersants BP is using are possibly about hiding the problem rather than fixing it,

BP is using a chemical dispersant, Corexit, supposedly to break up the oil so bacteria can eat it faster. This is not what is happening. It is causing the oil to sink out of sight to relieve pressure on the company, but may be causing far more damage than the spill otherwise would.

. . . BP’s interest is only in getting the oil out of sight. It is unclear whether the government – who didn’t even require BP to put flow gauges down there until more than 50 days had passed – is on top of this.

Injecting dispersant at the wellhead is the likely cause of the oil “plumes” and oil on the sea floor.

Even with efforts to hide the oil, it keeps coming. Miami, Florida Keys Face Up to 80% Chance of BP Oil, U.S. Says,

Miami and the Florida Keys face a 61 percent to 80 percent chance of being hit with tar balls from BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to U.S. projections.

Shorelines with the greatest chance of being soiled by oil, 81 percent to 100 percent, stretch from the Mississippi River Delta to the western Panhandle of Florida, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today in a statement on its projection for the next four months.

Much of Florida’s west coast has a “low probability” of “oiling” from the leak that began with an explosion on a BP- leased drilling rig on April 20, the agency said.

The Florida Keys, Miami and Fort Lauderdale face a greater risk because oil may be caught up in the Loop Current, a flow of warm water that snakes into the Gulf and then moves east, NOAA said. Scientists say the current could carry the oil at a speed of about 100 miles (161 kilometers) a day around the tip of Florida, potentially fouling the Keys and Miami Beach.

Drill, baby, drill.