Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oil Well Destroying Environment Even Before The Spill

Since the 1930s, oil and natural gas companies dug about 10,000 miles of canals, straight as Arizona highways, through the oak and cypress forests, black mangroves, bird rushes and golden marshes. If lined up in a row, the canals would stretch nearly halfway around the world.

They funneled salt water into the marshes, killing trees and grass and hastening erosion. Some scientists say drilling caused half of Louisiana's land loss, or about 1,000 square miles.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Oil Spill

This is the first time I have really blogged about the oil spill. My deepest sympathy goes to those who lost loved ones or who were injured when the oil rigged exploded.

First BP seems to be trying to control the information the public has access to about the oil spill.

Secondly BP seems to be trying to get out of paying for the spill.
BP CEO Tony Hayward would not commit to paying for economic damages beyond the company's $75 million liability limit. Here's video of Nelson, along with a brief interview of Hayward from CNN (transcript):
Please read  Nelson: BP not waiving liability cap for a roundup of news and information related to BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP also seems to be trying to control who has access to the area and preventing volunteers from helping the wildlife.

The oil spill seems to be the "monster that won't go away". They still haven't managed to plug the leak, which means every day additional oil is pumped into the gulf. The chemicals they are using to fight the oil spill also pose a threat to the wildlife. Please read Oil not the only threat to Gulf's fragile wildlife Chemicals to fight spill also a problem.
In the potential path of the spill are 20 national wildlife refuges currently filled with nesting herons, terns and brown pelicans, removed from the endangered species list in Louisiana just a few months ago
This spill is more than a third as large as the devastating Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989, according to official estimates, and could get larger. And never before has so much dispersant — containing toxic heavy metals — been deployed to fight a spill in a single site.
So far, BP estimates that about 95,000 barrels of oil — 5,000 barrels a day — have spewed into the Gulf since the drilling rig exploded on April 20.
On top of that, more than 250,000 gallons of dispersant have been applied both by air and underwater at the Deepwater Horizon spill site, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed.
What caused the oil rig explosion is still being investigated read  In the Gulf of Mexico, what went wrong with the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig? for more information. But apparently at least some of the blame can be placed on government agencies who were in charge of making sure safety regulations were followed, see WH proposes overhaul of drilling oversight agency.

Sadly many Mississippi officials and new agencies seem to be trying to down play the spill.  
Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, a well-connected former Washington lobbyist, has calmly said the oil slick looming offshore is just a sheen in most places and there’s no reason for people to panic.
Barbour has said the oil spill is “not Armageddon,” but he believes news coverage has hurt tourism in his state.