Promoted by Rosi Efthim
The catastrophic proportions of one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history with more than 210,000 gallons of oil is continuing to leak daily from a ruptured oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is continuing to threaten the shores of Louisiana and Florida. The unprecedented underwater leak has led to hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil spewing unchecked into the Gulf and moving to the coast, between the mouth of the Mississippi River and Florida.
The “potentially unprecedented environmental disaster,” as President Obama describes the Gulf of Mexico oil spill which was caused by an explosion and fire on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig followed by a ruptured well. It is sadly noted that 11 workers were killed in the explosion. In addition, the total bill to include clean-up and compensation for damages could exceed $14 billion.
Environmental scientists estimate the ecological and biological consequences could last for years, if not decades. These include, oil remaining in the sediment of a marsh for 20 years, complete plant and animal species being wiped out, and oyster reefs being endangered. Several attempts to contain it have been unsuccessful and only estimated 15 to 20 percent of oil can be recovered from water.
Then, there is the question of corporate responsibility of the London-based BP Plc that owned the oil involved in the recent spill as well as the regulatory environment that oversees the offshore drilling. Three years ago, BP was reeling from accusations of putting profits before safety because of the high incidence of on-the-job accidents in its Texas City refinery, including a deadly explosion. That was turned around by new management, but, it appears that accidents still continue.