Oil Spill in the Gulf Coast

>> Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Two weeks ago today, an oil rig outside of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and engulfed in flames. Eleven workers are believed to have died from the incident. After the fire has been contained the oil rig sunk under the sea and brought the pipe linked to the sea bed down and breaking it in a few places which caused the leak:

At a rate of 5,000 barrels of oil per day, the size of the oil slick is getting bigger and bigger and have reached the Louisiana coast over the weekend. Oil giant British Petroleum, the primary operator of the rig has claimed responsibilities to pay for the clean up. Louisiana shrimpers have filed a class-action lawsuit against BP, and Transocean ltd the owners of it, marking the first claim for economic losses stemming from the disaster. BP counter to offer $5,000 to fisherman who is willing to drop the lawsuits.

As one can imagine, it is an environmental disaster for ocean life as well as birds in that area. More than 400 species, including whales and dolphins, face a dire threat from the spill, along with Louisiana's barrier islands and marshlands. In the national refuges most at risk, about 34,000 birds have been counted, including gulls, pelicans, roseate spoonbills, egrets, shore birds, terns and blue herons.

The right is already blaming Obama for not reacting fast enough. Rush Limbaugh claims that maybe environmentalists blew up the oil rig and that the ocean will take care of the spill on its own if it was left alone and was left out there. Limbaugh said. "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is." While Sean Hannity is comparing the oil spill with George W. Bush not doing anything after the Katrina disaster.

Unlike the oil spill, Katrina has caused thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of destroyed homes. Other than the initial 11 rig workers still missing and presumably dead, the oil spill is largely incomparable to the hurricane. And how can you debate the oxycodone-filled mind of Rush Limbaugh? As if crude oil would just rush onto the sea for no reason all the time.

It is of course a big disaster, one that I sincerely wish that it would be resolved as much and as soon as possible, but I have hope that it would shock the nation into utilizing alternative energy more. Even if a few people started buying hybrid cars, the oil spill would have done some good. I mean, we all know the oil companies will transfer the costs of the cleanup and the lost of the oil onto their consumers somewhere down the line. How easy it is to say "The production of oil has gone down" and how sick and tired are people with paying expensive gas and then to learn the oil companies have another record-breaking profits?

Meanwhile, after paying for the cleanup maybe BP should divvy up the profit from that oil rig with the people in the gulf.

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