Friday, April 30, 2010

Worrying, disturbing oil spill in America

On Earth day an oil rig sunk in the gulf of mexico. There are around 5000 barrels of oil being released into the ocean each day. From Stuff/Associate Press:

An oil spill that threatens to eclipse the Exxon Valdez disaster is spreading out of control and drifting inexorably toward[s and is already at] the Gulf Coast of the US, as fishermen rush to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.

"It is of grave concern," said David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling... The oil slick could become America's worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters and other marine life. "

The spill was both bigger and closer than imagined - five times larger than first estimated, with the leading edge just 5km from the Louisiana shore. Authorities said it could reach the Mississippi River delta by Thursday night (Friday NZT).

From The Wallstreet Journal:

The slick was expected to make landfall at any time. The spill could turn into one of the biggest in U.S. history. An estimated 5,000 barrels a day of oil are flowing from the well, and officials said it could take up to 90 days to cap it, making for volumes that could exceed the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska and a 1969 accident in Santa Barbara, Calif.

People along the Gulf Coast braced for environmental damage and disruption to businesses, such as the rich shrimp and oyster fisheries along southern Louisiana. President Obama said he will commit "every single resource" the federal government had available to combat the spill, as the military began mobilizing Thursday to help prevent environmental damage.

"Regulators will want to understand how this occurred and quite reasonably wish to introduce additional regulation, if that's appropriate, to prevent it happening again," Chief Executive Tony Hayward told The Wall Street Journal. "You certainly won't see BP standing in the way of that."

An eco system, a regions industry and source of employment practically destroyed overnight. Not to mention the lives lost on that rig. This is a terrible tragedy. BP is going to receive a huge backlash for this. The plane has crashed, we can find the fault but the damage is done. This is all the more reason to find cleaner alternative energy systems and make oil companies more accountable.

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