In a series of images taken in and around the Gulf of Mexico in late June, a team of independent photographers have documented the ongoing fallout from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Collected as part of the TEDxOilSpill project, the photos — taken from chartered airplanes, fishing boats, and coastal communities across the region — will be shown at a June 28 conference in Washington, D.C. coordinated by TED Conferences, LLC. “From the source to Gulf Shores [Alabama],” says one of the project participants, “we saw oil ranging from sheen to much heavier all the way (more…)
But it’s far from the only spill that’s taken place this year – or even the only spill occurring in the Gulf right now.
On June 7, the Mobile Press-Register reported that the Ocean Saratoga rig has been leaking into the Gulf since April 30. Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff confirmed the next day that “small amounts of oil” were leaking from the wells beneath the rig, about 10 miles from Louisiana’s southeastern coast. (more…)
Lessons from the Deep: If the unstoppable hose at the bottom of the Gulf has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know much about the ocean. Don’t know how to stop a leak, don’t know whether deepwater oil floats or sinks — and know even less than we thought about the oceans’ role in global warming. This week Yale Environment 360 reported that the last Ice Age may have ended when a giant belch of carbon dioxide erupted from seabed. Add similar revelations about the world’s bajillions of microbes, and it seems we know almost nothing at all. (more…)
The horror emerging from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico continues to lay its nightmare before a nation – and a world – of stunned witnesses. With the tragedy of native waterfowl now being found smothered in petroleum along the marshes of Louisiana comes continued reports that the American people have been prevented by BP officials from seeing images of the slaughter. According to reports by photojournalists, television producers and others (more…)
Three groups of researchers are now reporting evidence of large plumes of oil far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. This growing proof that an unknown quantity of oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon rig is now accumulating in deeper waters of the gulf comes after BP chief executive Tony Hayward said his company found “no evidence” of such plumes. Hayward also maintained that oil is lighter than water and thus will float to the top of the gulf. (more…)
Comprehensive federal environmental regulation does not come easily. First, there is the difficulty of crafting scientific regulations. Then there are the entrenched interests to be combated, both in the private sector, and with the states and local governments who may have had authority prior to federal regulation. Compounding these issues is the high cost of regulation and enforcement itself. Criticisms abound from the right–too much regulation–and the left–too little. (more…)
For almost a month, BP monitored oil and natural gas gushing from the broken riser and blow-out preventer with remote operated vehicles (ROVs). And for almost a month, they kept all of that video to entirely to themselves. But that’s about to change.
In the hours and days immediately following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drill rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal response was centered on firefighting, search and rescue. For nearly three days, although the rig was burning, the wellhead and riser assembly were still in tact and there was no leaking oil to speak of. And then, the worst-case scenario happened: the Deepwater Horizon sank.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In response to the BP oil spill, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will announce on Tuesday that the Minerals Management Service will be divided so collection of oil royalties and safety inspection of offshore drilling are separated, a department official told Reuters.
The MMS currently carries out both roles, drawing criticism from some U.S. lawmakers and environmental groups.
Critics argue the MMS is faced with a conflict of interest because it is responsible for regulating and shutting down offshore oil production over safety concerns, if necessary, and also charged with keeping the oil flowing so the government can collect royalties.