A NeverEnding Story...er, Disaster - Sept 27, 2012

Written by Administrator
Thursday, 27 September 2012 00:00

BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest in US history, seems to be a never-ending catastrophe. Like fallout from a nuclear blast, it continues to hang over us, threatening plant and animal communities along the Gulf shore, creating hardships for people who earn their living from these precious resources. Most recentely, Hurricane Isaac uncovered tar ball and tar mats along the beaches, leading the London-based energy giant to propose a cleanup operation to remove contaminants as deep as four feet.

The company has already spent $38 billion on the disaster. No small sum, even for an energy giant. A large part of that money has gone toward paying damages to businesses filing claims against BP for the economic losses their Louisiana businesses suffered as a result of the oil spill. Those businesses that were able to produce the correct economic data are now being compensated, but the fact is, new claims are being filed every day. Small wonder that BP posted a $1.4 billion loss for the second quarter of this year and, in September, agreed to sell a portfolio of five properties in the Gulf Coast to Plains Exploration and Production.

BP's proposal is now being carefully weighed by state officials and environmentalists, who have reservations about the cleanup since the process could exacerbate coastal erosion. Coastal scientist Len Bahr, advisor to five Louisiana governors between 1991 and 2008, has expressed his concerns about the proposed operation, stating that he believes more harm than good will come from this type of a cleanup.

Whatever our officials decide in this particular case, we need to understand that post-hurricane industrial pollution is not isolated to BP. According to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network,Louisiana Industry is consistently unable or unwilling to take the steps necessary to prevent environmental impacts due to hurricanes. When a hurricane hits it consistently leaves in its wake a slew of oil spills, lost hazardous material containers and chemical plants and refineries releasing pollution due to power outages, start-up and shut-down, and flooding. Isaac was no exception.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 January 2013 14:01 )