The disaster grows in the Gulf. The oil leak at the BP rig that exploded on April 20 has the potential to be an environmental disaster that far exceeds the Exxon Valdez disaster. It could be of monumental proportions destroying the Gulf of Mexico as we know it. Already the Federal government has closed the fishing grounds from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Pensacola, Florida because of the spread of the oil leak. It is a huge area. More than 30 mil3w across and growing. And yesterday on “Meet the Press’ Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior dropped a big one–that it may take 90 days or more to find any solution to the leaks! The capping of the well head by robotics has failed time and again. One solution toward stopping the leak is evidently drilling a relief well. And that is what will take up to three months.
That will be millions of gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. It will make Katrina look like a walk in the park. The oil will devastate wildlife and fish and industry throughout the region. The Gulf Coast relies on tourism as well as the fishing industry. Who will want to go to the beaches of Gulfport, Ms or Pensacola, Florida if it is filled with tarballs?
The Louisiana coast is particularly sensitive. It is acres of wetlands and salt marshes that make up the Mississppi Delta. Chris Reddy an expert on oil disasters and the environment sees this leak as a huge threat to the entire Delta area and will affect it for decades to come.
Just as the coast seemed to be getting back on its feet. Now fisherman who supply a significant amount of seafood for the nation have been lining up to go to work for BP as part of its disaster response because they have to feed their own families.
We need to demand more of corporations like BP. Or the company that owned the mine that exploded in West Virginia in early April, Massey Energy. Safety precautions must be enforced and the government must not be afraid of enforcing stringent regulations on them.
In the mean time the leak in the Gulf pours oil. And I pour out tears.