The only safe amount of oil is no oil at all … and nothing the oil companies say can be believed
As the first slicks of crude oil make landfall along the shores of Louisiana, threatening fragile marshland, fears are growing that the spill in the Gulf of Mexico could become one of the worst ecological disasters in history. …
The major cause for concern is that there appears to be no hope of stopping the flow for weeks if not months. And as residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are discovering, existing technologies for cleanup and containment are flawed at best.
Despair and resignation reigned among fishermen and other seafaring residents of the southern Louisiana shoreline yesterday as the vast Gulf of Mexico oil slick began to slide silently into fragile marshlands and ecologically precious inlets fed by a deep-water leak that no one seems able to plug. …
More than a week after the sinking of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig, about 40 miles out to sea from here, the leading edge of a slick as large as Jamaica was beginning to lick the reeds and mud flats of the estuary, threatening oyster beds, fisheries and tourism in communities that have barely recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Strong winds and 7ft waves were pushing the slick inshore even faster.
Wall Street Journal:
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be leaking at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day, five times the government’s current estimate, industry experts say. …
Ian MacDonald, professor of oceanography at Florida State University who specializes in tracking ocean oil seeps from satellite imagery, said there may already be more than 9 million gallons of oil floating in the Gulf now, based on his estimate of a 25,000 barrel-a-day leak rate. That’s compared to 12 million gallons spilled in the Valdez accident.
British Petroleum downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. spill in decades along the Gulf coast and endangering shoreline habitat.
In the 52-page exploration plan and environmental impact analysis, BP repeatedly suggested it was unlikely, or virtually impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish, mammals and fisheries.
BP’s plan filed with the federal Minerals Management Service for the Deepwater Horizon well, dated February 2009, says repeatedly that it was “unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities.”