Disaster unfolds slowly in the Gulf of Mexico

From The Big Picture:

In the three weeks since the April 20th explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and the start of the subsequent massive (and ongoing) oil leak, many attempts have been made to contain and control the scale of the environmental disaster. Oil dispersants are being sprayed, containment booms erected, protective barriers built, controlled burns undertaken, and devices are being lowered to the sea floor to try and cap the leaks, with little success to date. While tracking the volume of the continued flow of oil is difficult, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil (possibly much more) continues to pour into the gulf every day. While visible damage to shorelines has been minimal to date as the oil has spread slowly, the scene remains, in the words of President Obama, a “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”

Comments

5 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. zepar,

    first our cars won’t stop, now it’s precious fuel source has covered our lower coast. Since few seem to actually want to hone up to their mistakes perhaps its time to ask god for wings.

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  2. Ninabi,

    One person described oil in marshlands as akin to bacon grease getting into the kitchen sponge. You can try and get it all out but once it is in there, you can never get it all out.

    It’s depressing to think of the wildlife lost, the jobs gone, seafood and tourism wrecked. It’s horrifying to watch the video and know oil is spewing from the ocean floor and nobody is really able to do a damned thing about it for months.

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  3. Mike K,

    I live on the west coast of Florida, and while the threat to marshlands and such is a valid concern, there’s another potential disaster within this that I’ve never heard anyone address: a hurricane. If we get hit while the Gulf is covered in oil it will blow all that oily water across the state. Aside from an extra messy cleanup, it will kill even more plants and wildlife inland, and poison the soil to boot. A lot of our economy is farm-based, so the problems are more than ecological.

    Not to mention, oil is flammable. A city covered in oil with downed power lines sparking everywhere is a Michael Bay wet dream, but he doesn’t live here, I do.

    And I’m sure this part is impossible, but what if the oil was thick enough during the storm – could you imagine a hurricane made of fire? A disaster, yes, but the awesome satellite photos would almost make it worthwhile!

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  4. Terry,

    Get out of there!! All right, sorry, poor taste. I know this won’t help what has already leaked out and I’m no scientist, but I don’t understand why we couldn’t just bury the whole damned leak in cement or something like it was never drilled into. I know the box encasement didn’t work because some crystals formed while they were still trying to salvage the oil they were losing, but at some point, you have to accept your losses and just stop the leak for good.

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  5. Ashley,

    As a resident of northern Alberta I can give you an insight into the mentality of the oil companies, BP is not as concerned with stopping the leak as they are at containment. It is going to cost them too much money to just stop it for good. The biggest problem in this whole affair is that while they preach safety and protocol it has been said that Halliburton had informed guys on land that there was gas leaking up the well. They were told to go on stand by while the decision was made whether or not the shut the well in. This did not happen and instead those men lost thier lives. Drilling around here is a dangerous business and I have seen many people lose lives for oil. My stepfather fell in a boiler on a drilling rig and had burns on 45% of his body the day he was admitted to the burn unit two other men from the same company were just being release, they had been burned in a well blowout. Flare stack can be seen everywhere burning off sour gas only to cause local farmers herds to become unhealthy. Lives are of minimal value in the pursuit of oil, but one accepts the possible consquence because we know that without oil we have no industry, EVERYONE here makes a living off oil. You can be 18 years old totally green and get a job making 120,000/yr. Someone told me once that per capital that we have more millionaires here then anywhere in the world. They are oil executives whose salaries are $500,000 yr. Oil is here to stay(until the reserve runs out), but at the very least they need to stay out of the areas that they are not familiar (such as the ocean floor). Put more money into farming the oil sands reserve without creating such an impact on the enviroment. The sand do not need to be drilled, the oil is literally saturated into the sand and just need to be refined out does this not seem to make more sense? But you see the governments have realize how much can be made in royalties to instead the oil companies are trying to go to places where the government tax the shit out of them, but then they leave the government the bill for clean up when something goes wrong. Hybrid cars are not the answer, regulation is.

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