Worse than feared

Oil DeepWater Horizon

Officials combating the spill estimate that the oil slick has a circumference of about 600 miles (about 970 kilometers), though the shape of the spill is irregular. The slick is big enough to be seen from space.

Oil is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico at 5 times the initial rate  estimated, and therefore spreading much faster, threatening the Mississippi River delta along the coast of Louisiana. The rig is emptying an estimated 136.4 tons of crude oil a day, today we reached a grand total of 1000 crude oil tons dumped into the sea.

The slick is so large it is visible from space. Comparisons are being drawn to the 1989 Exxon Valdez, which poured about 10 million gallons of crude into the ocean, which continues to impact wildlife in the area even today.

No spill is ever cleaned up 100%. British Petroleum admits they are only able to recover about 10% of the actual oil. Valuable fisheries and wetlands are being threatened, in addition to many type of shore birds. Coming at a time of controversy as Obama considers new offshore drilling projects, and the Nation’s first proposed offshore windfarm comes under attack, the spill begs the question, is all this really necessary?

The short answer, is unfortunately yes. The United States is throughly drunk on dependence for oil, and as that continues, occasional collateral damage is inevitable. Rising competition from the Chinese, the cost of life abroad, and these type of environmental catastrophes should all be taken as warning signs that we need to move on.

The Deepwater Horizon was ‘one of the most advanced rigs out there’  said  Transocean spokesman Greg Panagos. The Deepwater Horizon was built in South Korea back in 2001. It was designed to operate in water up to 8,000 feet deep, drill 5½ miles down.  It cost an estimated $600 to 700$ million.

BP has dropped roughly 25 billion in market value since the spill. Added all up, this money would be an amazing investment into Green, Sustainable Energy technologies. Sadly, it washes away in rig production, lost oil, cleanup costs, loss of company value, with the faint aftertaste of permanent damage to the shores of the Gulf Coast.

On an upbeat note, White House advisors admit the current situation could force a reconsideration of the administration’s current plans for offshore drilling.

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