FSU Oceanographer who refused to believe BP's initial low estimates of oil flowing in the gulf to speak at oil spill forum in St. Pete tonight

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The Wall Street Journal reports today on some cases that they originally reported on last month, such as:

In their letter, the lawmakers say that BP's well team leader, John Guide, "raised objections to the use of the additional centralizers" in an April 16 email released by the panel. "It will take 10 hrs to install them...I do not like this," Mr. Guide wrote.

The lawmakers cited another BP email as an indication that "Mr. Guide's perspective prevailed." A BP official wrote in an April 16 email: "Who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine."

In a separate email, a BP drilling engineer complains to a colleague six days before the explosion that the well "has been [a] nightmare well which has everyone all over the place."

Meanwhile, as we posted yesterday, there will be a community forum on the oil spill in St. Petersburg tonight at 6 p.m. at the Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Avenue North.

The event runs until 9 p.m., and organizers have prepared for the audience to be able to view President Obama's speech to the nation on the spill live at 8 p.m.

One of the panelists speaking in the first hour will be Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanographer profiled in today's St. Pete Times. MacDonald was one of the first prominent scientists who disputed initial reports by BP and the government about much oil was spewing out of oil well, and has become in the words of a colleague, "a media phenomenon."

The country will be looking for leadership tonight when Barack Obama addresses the nation in his first Oval Office address at 8 p.m., as he returns to Washington after spending the night in Pensacola.

His speech comes eight weeks into the environmental crises, while the country's economy continues to show dangerous signs of fading back into an official recession again (and with fears of the escalating federal deficit, a reluctance by lawmakers to spend more money to stave off the possibility of massive public employee job losses).  Oh, and there's also more talk about how bad Afghanistan is getting, and how the idea of begin to withdraw troops in July of 2011 may not become reality.

But the major media has several stories today about the situation in the gulf which are just plain depressing.  From today's New York Times, in a story entitled Efforts to Repel Gulf Oil Spill are described as Chaotic, reporter Campbell Robertson reports:

From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively.

Then there is the disturbing story of what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday, where documents unveiled at a Congressional hearing showed that BP made several "cost-cutting" decisions that went against the advice of contractors right before the explosion of the oil well on April 20.

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