Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… the Coast Guard has confirmed that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon/Macando well is still leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
More than two years after the worst oil spill in US history, BP has still not been able to stop the bleeding.
Let’s cut through the bureaucrat-ese and ponder the major significance of this news. It means that after two-and-a-half years, after spending some $14 billion on cleaning up the Gulf shoreline and with billions more due in compensation, after all those ads that you’ve seen on TV telling you that everything along the coast is better than ever….BP is continuing to foul the natural splendor of the Gulf with its dirty crude oil.
Why is this happening? The Coast Guard release is merely speculating when it says this “could be residual oil associated with wreckage and/or debris left on the seabed from the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010.” That is the most benign scenario. The NOLA.com website also offers a new report on the leak thismorning that looks at the possible causes in greater detail, including speculation that oil that was dispersed by toxic chemicals in 2010 is reappearing on the surface.
But the more troubling and arguably more likely possibility — which we’ve been reporting on this blog dating back to August 2011 – is that efforts to cap the BP well in 2010 could have created cracks, or fissures, in the floor of the Gulf. That raises the specter of an ongoing spill that is more serious in nature, and more difficult to contain and clean-up.
Keep this in mind when you hear Shell Oil claim it has a cleanup plan for its proposed Arctic drilling.
If they can’t keep it under control a few miles off the Gulf coast, how the hell are they supposed to be able to deal with a blow-out 10,000 miles away in the high arctic?