You might recognize those lyrics from the song “Numbers on the Board” from the artist Pusha T., though slightly modified. Those bars are how I imagine someone like BP CEO Robert Dudley might spit them, as he eagerly declares that the Gulf Coast is clear four years after his company’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded.
The date of that disaster happens to coincide with Earth Week, which means millions of faithful environmentalists are at attention — and they want a full accounting of just how clear the coast actually is. Given that most of the nation benefits from the spoils provided by the Gulf — its seafood, storm protection, beaches…
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BP this week metaphorically hung a “mission accomplished” banner over the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems that it wrecked when the Deepwater Horizon oil well blew up and spewed 200 million gallons of oil in 2010. Funny thing, though: BP isn’t the commander of the cleanup operation. The Coast Guard is. And it’s calling bullshit.
Here’s what BP said in a press statement on Tuesday, nearly four years after the blowout: “The U.S. Coast Guard today ended patrols and operations on the final three shoreline miles in Louisiana, bringing to a close the extensive four-year active cleanup of the Gulf Coast following the Deepwater Horizon accident. These operations ended in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi in June 2013.”
Helpful though it may have seemed for BP to speak on behalf of the federal government, the Coast Guard took some umbrage. From The Washington Post:
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The accident-prone oil-transportation sector is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez grounding in Alaska with a large oil spill on the other side of the country.
An oil barge-versus-ship accident in Texas’s Galveston Bay on Saturday triggered the largest Gulf of Mexico oil spill since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Galveston Bay isn’t really a bay; it’s one of America’s largest and most ecologically productive estuaries, and it’s surrounded by wildlife refuges. Oil quickly started coating wildlife at the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary. A Texas wildlife official told the L.A. Times that “hundreds or thousands of birds” are threatened:
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The following link is to an article that looks into mass dolphin deaths as a result of the massive BP oil spill in the USA. There is also a link to an online petition.
Yet another oil platform has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The crew of the platform were all rescued from the sea without serious injury. On this occasion the oil wells were shut down preventing a major oil spill, though there was a small slick in the area caused by the explosion.