Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon, a drilling oil rig leased by BP, suffered an explosion and fire that killed 11 crew members. [1] "Two days later, it sank about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast and crude oil began streaming out of a broken pipe attached to a well that the rig had been drilling nearly a mile below sea level." [2] Initially, the oil flowed at about 42,000 gallons per day. By April 28, government officials stated that the oil was flowing at a rate five times that of initial estimates. [3] "By April 28, BP officials had identified three separate leaks, and had increased the estimate of how much oil was spilling to 5,000 barrels, or about 200,000 gallons a day....The next week, BP officials told members of Congress that the ruptured oil well could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow." [4]

As of May 5th, the oil has been spilling at a rate of 210,000 gallons per day. [5] BP is trying to use a giant dome like container to collect the oil leaking into the gulf of mexico. [6] The oil has made its way to the coast of Louisiana, specifically New Orleans. [7]

Federal regulators had warned the oil industry to install backup systems in the event of an emergency. [8] "The warnings were repeated in 2004 and 2009. Yet the Minerals Management Service, the Interior Department agency charged both with regulating the oil industry and collecting royalties from it, never took steps to address the issue comprehensively, relying instead on industry assurances that it was on top of the problem, a review of documents shows. Last year, BP, the owner of the well that blew up in the gulf, teamed with other offshore operators to oppose a proposed rule that would have required stricter safety and environmental standards and more frequent inspections. BP said that “extensive, prescriptive” regulations were not needed for offshore drilling, and urged the minerals service to allow operators to define the steps they would take to ensure safety largely on their own." [9] In fact, federal regulators have reduced the frequency of inspections of blowout preventers to once every 14 days from once a week. [10]

Who's Liable for Clean up Costs

External Articles

  1. Times Topic"Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010),", "New York Times," May 7, 2010.
  2. Id.
  3. Id.
  4. Id.
  5. Sam Dolnick and Liz Robbins,"Giant Container to Collect Leaking Gulf Oil,","New York Times," May 5, 2010.
  6. Id.
  7. Susan Saulny,"As Oil Spill Looms, New Orleans Plays the Waiting Game Again,","New York Times," May 6, 2010.
  8. Eric Lipton and John M. Broder,"Federal Regulators Warnings on Safety Weren't Acted On,","New York Times," May 7, 2010.
  9. Id.
  10. Id.