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    Gulf Oil Spill Estimates Increase 5 Fold, US Offshore Drilling Questioned

    Last week the Deepwater Horizon semi-submerisble oil rig exploded and subsequently sank on April 22, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. The image above was taken by NASA, clearly depicting the oil slick. Just yesterday the NOAA declared the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill of 2010  a Spill of National […]

    gulf of mexico oil spill 2010

    Last week the Deepwater Horizon semi-submerisble oil rig exploded and subsequently sank on April 22, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. The image above was taken by NASA, clearly depicting the oil slick. Just yesterday the NOAA declared the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill of 2010  a Spill of National Significance (SONS): “A spill that, due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary coordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge.”

    Unlike the recent GBR tanker that leaked oil relatively near the surface, this Transocean built oil rig is leaking 5,000ft deep. Original estimates placed the leak at 1,000 barrel per day, but this has since been revised to 5,000 barrels or 210,000 gallons per day. The NOAA has stated it is unclear how much of the 710,000 gallons of #2 fuel that was onboard, burned before the rig sank.

    So far 100,000 gallons of chemical dispersements have been applied with more planned. Yesterday burning the oil was tried, removing 100 barrels in 45 minutes. This is the first time this has been done on such a scale in the open ocean. Many people in Louisiana are hopeful this is successful–it is estimated the oil will hit their shoreline in one weeks time, killing a massive amount of sealife. Unfortunately because the leak is so deep, the oil slicks are are much more difficult to burn and can create an incombustible sludge with a mayonnaise like consistency.

    Exxon Valdez of 2010? I hope not, but sadly this is shaping up to be a major marine life epidemic–with the potential to be worse than the Alaskan travesty. Just last month President Obama proposed an offshore drilling plan in hopes of securing some Republican support for a climate change bill. In light of the Gulf of Mexico 2010 spill, Whitehouse Spokesman Robert Gibbs has said,”Could that (the spill) possibly change his viewpoint? Well, of course.”

    [NOAA, WSJ, Reuters]

    9 Comments

    1. nicholassadaka
      April 30, 2010 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

      This event makes my teeth grind. There's talk of Obama allowing oil “exploration” on the Atlantic coast as well and living in MD, we'd be directly affected and as an early Obama supporter, I'm greatly disappointed to hear this news. His environmental impact thus far has been mixed at best. We've gotta end our oil dependence…it's just nothing but absolute trouble on many levels.

    2. whocares1423
      April 30, 2010 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

      40cfr300.323(a)

      A discharge may be classified as a spill of national significance (SONS) by the Administrator of EPA for discharges occurring in the inland zone and the Commandant of the USCG for discharges occurring in the coastal zone.

    3. duh
      April 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

      Maybe this will put a temporary damper on the “Drill baby, drill!” chanting. I just hope we don't suffer collective amnesia about this once the energy policy debate heats up again.

    4. May 1, 2010 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

      Yeah, lets just let the russians, chinese and rest of the world be the only ones drilling in Gulf. Then buy all our oil from them, that will really make a difference. I think we should shy away from allowing one event (though tragic) to ruin our chances of moving toward energy independence. Sorry to break it to you all but we will be Oil Dependent for a long time, government regulation can't force that change on our markets they have to make the transition to Liquid Karma at their own pace.

    5. treehugger
      May 3, 2010 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

      english please

    6. treehugger
      May 3, 2010 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

      i’m hoping that this be a wake-up call to the government that we need to relie less on oil. we might still be oil dependent, but that doesn’t mean we can’t limit how much we are wasting. once we do run out of the fuel, it won’t devastate us as badly as it would if that day came today.

    7. treehugger
      May 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

      i'm hoping that this be a wake-up call to the government that we need to relie less on oil. we might still be oil dependent, but that doesn't mean we can't limit how much we are wasting. once we do run out of the fuel, it won't devastate us as badly as it would if that day came today.

    8. treehugger
      May 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

      english please

    9. April 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

      Well i hope this i finally fixed with the oil ?

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