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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Slick advertising can’t make us forget Gulf oil spill

ENVIRONMENT — Working up to the high-stakes trial that began this week, British Petroleum has been spending a lot of time and money advertising that the oil spill from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster has been cleaned up and everything is cool. Yeah, sure.

Meanwhile, hundreds of coastal wetlands remain contaminated and every major storm stirs up more oil mats from the ocean bottom and spreads them out on Gulf beaches.

Wildlife and people took a terrible beating from this mess and it was relatively accessible compared with the oil development and potential disaster brewing in the Arctic Ocean.

This is serious business with profound potential impacts to life in the water and on the coastlines.

Observing Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary

Item: Deepwater Horizon victims' families mark first anniversary of oil spill: Relatives of the 11 workers killed when BP's rig burst into flames overfly the site by helicopter while oil still washes up on beaches/Associated Press

More Info: Relatives of some of the 11 men who died aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig are to fly over the Gulf of Mexico to mark the first anniversary of the worst offshore oil spill in US history. On land, vigils were scheduled in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to mark the moment on the night of 20 April last year when the rig, owned by Transocean Ltd, burst into flames while drilling a well for BP.

Question: Did the Gulf Oil spill one year ago today change your view of deep-water drilling off our coasts?

Waiting For Landfall

Workers in protective suits walk towards 14-month-old Hannah Cooney as they comb the beach at Dauphin Island, Ala., Friday. The community was bracing for a possible land fall of an oil spill caused by the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil platform more than three weeks ago. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Napolitano to the rescue…

Good evening, Netizens…


US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano answers a question during a press conference on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 29. President Barack Obama has ordered several senior cabinet members to Louisiana, where on Friday Napolitano and others were to conduct an aerial inspection of the affected areas.


The scope of the disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana Coastline is hard to imagine. In this picture US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano answers a question during a press conference on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 29. President Barack Obama has ordered several senior cabinet members to Louisiana, where on Friday Napolitano and others were to conduct an aerial inspection of the affected areas. Isn’t that a bit too little, too late?


When members of the Coast Guard, British Petroleum and various other downhole companies striving to stem the leakage from where the ocean-going deepwater drilling rig Deepwater Horizon suffered a blowout, burned and sank 50 miles out from the coast. No one, to date, has been able to absolutely define how many gallons of light crude oil have already leaked into the ocean, nor how soon the leakage can be stopped.


The only certainty, it seems, is that the light crude has already begun arriving in the fragile ecosystems along the Louisiana coast and preliminary cost estimates to undo the ecological disaster could easily exceed that of the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.


The unanswered questions are (1) how did the blowout occur, (2) how can the estimated 5000 gallons per day of light crude be stopped from flowing and (3) how can similar disasters of this type be prevented in offshore drilling? The unasked question, of course, is could this have been sabotage?


Until such time as these questions can be answered, President Obama has ordered all offshore drilling operations stopped and rightly so.


Thus far Sarah Palin, who is quoted as uttering “Drill, baby, drill” in favor of offshore drilling, has yet to make any public statement how she views this unspeakable disaster.


Dave