THE BLOG

Twitter as Newswire for Discussing BP Oil Disaster

07/07/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

2010-05-08-fw.jpgAs a potential containment lid lowers onto one of BP's line breaks, there's an active Twitter discussion of the disaster from big oil (BP America) to the federal response (EPA Director Lisa Jackson) to locals. All exchanging information on 3 million gallons of oil and counting filling the Gulf. Pictured at right is the Twitter Fail Whale, which somehow seems appropriate.

EPA Head and New Orleans Native Lisa Jackson (@LisaPJackson) Tweeted, "Just posted the latest air monitoring data from the Gulf. Continue to check www.epa.gov/bpspill for air and water updates."

There's an in-house response notably described as an incident instead of a disaster and a spill instead of an oil volcano: @Oil_Spill_2010 from the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center (JIC) on Unified Command. In the corporate response, @BP_America has posted video of its CEO on CNN today: http://bit.ly/9or66a

On a national level, @googlenews_pop retweeted Rep. Lois Capps "We need an Independent Commission for the BP oil spill" here on the Huffington Post http://bit.ly/aH59wK. Green Energy Rep (@greenenergyrep) notes that BP laid off 140 workers at its Maryland solar plant and 480 at European plants before the disaster http://bit.ly/447hP.

Locally, residents are letting one another know that it's not necessary to give all the information requested by BP representatives over the phone when filing a claim. Michelle Kimball @michellekimball balked at BP's request for her date of birth, Social Security Number and driver's license number because of identity theft concerns and ended up getting a claim number without giving out the information. She Tweeted, "I stayed on the line and got a claim #. Everyone that calls should request a claim #. Then email legislators." A link to local legislators is here: http://ow.ly/1I2DS

In the face of the inconceivable environmental fallout, gallows humor abounds. Reporter @steveweinstein Tweeted, "Photographers owe BP a big shout out for turning the monochrome Gulf into such a picturesque wonderland" and posted Greenpeace photos of the rainbow sheen: http://post.ly/fAUu

And popular local blogger Ernie The Attorney Tweeted at @ernieattorney "Video of BP's reaction to the dead birds" http://bit.ly/9u5VyN showing the Python skit in which a returned bird is declared not dead, but pining for the fjords.

@RisingTide notes that "For those unaware, the start of Hurricane Season looms in mere weeks. Think about that and the #oilspill""

Huffington Post pundit and New Orleans resident Harry Shearer has kept commentary flowing on his @LeTwits with "BP's new defense: "we heard fish oil was good for you".

Full post on NewOrleans.com.