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Read BP exec’s Facebook Q and A

by Dara Kam | March 18th, 2011

BP exec Dave Rainey, head of the oil giant’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, held his third Facebook chat yesterday.

Rainey’s fielded questions ranging from whether the dispersants used after the April 20th Deepwater Horizon blow-out caused acid rain (he says no), what’s up with tar mats still found on beaches, including Pensacola, and oil on the Gulf of Mexico ocean floor.

The first question dealt with dozens of dead infant dolphins who washed ashore along the Gulf Coast – a six-fold increase from previous years.

“Why are the dolphins dead?” Down Hiller, who asked the first question, wanted to know.

Read Rainey’s response after the jump and the entire transcript here.

“Thanks for your question. Everyone in BP is concerned about these media reports, and we are working with the various agency experts who are trying to determine whether these reports of dolphin stranding are related to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Stranding incidents of this kind have occurred before (e.g., 1999-2000, 2004, and 2007). The most recent strandings began in February 2010, several months before the Deepwater Horizon incident began. Scientists are investigating a number of possible causes. For example, there appears to be a strong correlation between increased strandings and cold water conditions in the Gulf. Other possible causes that the experts are looking at are the presence of a virus, infection, or naturally occurring neurotoxin in the water.

Scientists from NOAA are performing necropsies, which are post-mortem exams, on the dolphins to determine the likely cause of death. I am told that the results of the necropsies may take a number of months to complete, and scientists have not yet been able to determine the cause. We, like you, will be watching to see what they conclude.”

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