Sunday, May 30, 2010

How Devastating is the BP Oil Spill?

Aquatic animals and plants that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico are being killed off by the black liquid of death that we commonly call oil. The oil spill by the company British Petroleum (or BP) has caused a rush to stop the gushing hazard from further killing our ecosystem.

Plans to use the 'top kill' procedure failed to stop the voluble oil leak in the Gulf, BP moved on to its next plan to try to cap the well with a containment structure.

The Washington Post reports that the BP managing director Robert Dudley said it is possible the oil flow will not completely stop until sometime in August when the relief wells are ready. But according to the presidential adviser Carol Browner said on CBS's Face the Nation, the U.S. is preparing for the worst and acknowledged that the new containment cap strategy comes with big risks, the New York Times reports. It could increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent.

Many compare this disaster to Hurricane Katrina during George W. Bush's presidency in 2005. Many fishermen along the gulf's coast have been deprived of work as all the native seafood has been killed off from the oil. Tar balls are washing up on the gulf's beaches effecting tourism.

The sad thing about this disaster is that there is still a hole in the Earth, crude oil is still spewing from it and there is still, excruciatingly, no end in sight. And with the Atlantic hurricane season beginning Tuesday, this whole situation is looking even worse.

Scientists from several universities have reported large underwater plumes of oil stretching for miles and reaching hundreds of feet beneath the Gulf's surface, though BP PLC CEO Tony Hayward on Sunday disputed their findings, saying the company's tests found no such evidence of oily clouds underwater. But even if there wasn't oil covering the ocean's floor, using government figures, if the leak continues at its current pace and is stopped on Aug. 1, 51 million to 106 million gallons will have spilled.

I have no doubt that this is probably the biggest environmental disaster we've ever faced in this country, and I view this as a wakeup call to America. It makes you wonder whether off-shore drilling is the best way to go. And I'm assuming that alternate energy sources wouldn't do the damage that we are experiencing off our nation's shore at the moment. At least solar energy seems to be a bit more of a bright idea unlike the oil drilling that surges in its wake a leak so awful that it leaves us with no end in sight.

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