Archive for Friday, April 30, 2010

Gulf Coast spill could beat Exxon Valdez

April 30, 2010


— An oil spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster spread out of control with a faint sheen washing ashore along the Gulf Coast on Thursday night as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.

The spill was bigger than imagined — five times more than first estimated — and closer. Faint fingers of oily sheen were reaching the Mississippi River delta, lapping the Louisiana shoreline in long, thin lines.

“I am frightened,” said David Kennedy, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it … are just mind-boggling.”

The oil slick could become the nation’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. Thicker oil was in waters south and east of the Mississippi delta about five miles offshore.

The leak from the ocean floor proved to be far bigger than initially reported, contributing to a growing sense among many in Louisiana that the government failed them again, just as in Hurricane Katrina. President Barack Obama dispatched Cabinet officials to deal with the crisis.

Cade Thomas, fishing guide in Venice, worried about his livelihood. He said he did not know whether to blame the Coast Guard, the federal government or oil company BP PLC.

The Coast Guard worked with BP, which operated the oil rig that exploded and sank last week, to deploy floating booms, skimmers and chemical dispersants, and set controlled fires to burn the oil off the water’s surface. The company has requested more resources from the Defense Department, especially underwater equipment that might be better than what is commercially available.

Government officials said the blown-out well 40 miles offshore is spewing five times as much oil into the water as originally estimated — about 5,000 barrels, or 200,000 gallons, a day. At that rate, the spill could eclipse the worst oil spill in U.S. history — the 11 million gallons from the grounded tanker Exxon Valdez in Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989 — in the three months it could take to drill a relief well and plug the gushing well 5,000 feet underwater on the sea floor.

Ultimately, the spill could grow much larger than the Valdez because Gulf of Mexico wells tap deposits that hold many times more oil than a single tanker.


BigPrune 8 years, 1 month ago

I read somewhere that this spill was committed by Obama. He blew the rig to ultimately promote his cap and trade taxes and environmental ideas, and change the subject from all of his negative press.

It sounded vaguely familiar but more believable, than the Bush blew the levies in New Orleans b.s. from a few years ago.

cowboy 8 years, 1 month ago

listening to the news last night on this spill all I could mutter was "Jesus Christ" . This will be the largest disaster of modern times. The death Glob moving onto the coast will take many decades to clean up and the scary part is they have no effing clue how to stop it. It will destroy the livelihood of an entire coastal economy. This single event should stop offshore drilling in its tracks as it displays the complete lack of a safety net in the event of a disaster.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

It looks like Dear Leader is taking this as his Dunblane moment for offshore drilling.

Brian Laird 8 years, 1 month ago

No, the response to Katrina was pinned on W, not the hurricane itself. You make accusations, but what specific action has Obama done (or not done) to warrant blame. Otherwise, it is just your idiotic and ignorant spewing of nonsense. Give us something specific and we can have a debate - otherwise your rantings are laughable. Also, I've heard several mentions of Obama in stories on this, so your observation is a lie.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 1 month ago

Just because Bush was (rightly) blamed for incompetence and the complete politicization of the Katrina disaster doesn't mean that Obama should be painted with the same brush just to be "fair," Tom. But I understand that doing so is your current life's mission.

somedude20 8 years, 1 month ago

"Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda,"

May God forgive those who voted for Bush

tomatogrower 8 years, 1 month ago

Do you know that we are the only country that doesn't require remote shut offs on oil rigs? Is the US kissing rear ends of businesses or what? Make BP pay for the clean up and the families who are now without a loved one.

Hey, Tom. Who unregulated this oil rigs? Not Obama. He hasn't been in office long enough to wrestle our country back from irresponsible, profit at any cost corporations.

tomatogrower 8 years, 1 month ago

You are such a moron. These rigs were built a long time ago. Are you really this ignorant? Or do you just like people to respond to your stupidity?

gphawk89 8 years, 1 month ago

So Obama tries to win over the pro-drilling crowd by recently talking about more offshore drilling. Then this conveniently happens and now he's placating the other side by saying no more offshore drilling. I'm thinking sabotage.

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