The Gulf Disaster 2010

May 27, 2011
By , Oxford, AR
For a while people living along the gulf coast have been dealing with the aftermath of the major explosion of the Trans-ocean oil rig, called The Deep water Horizon. Due to the fact that BP was involved, many people pin the blame on them. However, Trans-ocean should also share some of the blame for the Deep water Horizon. Some people were protesting BP oil products. Instead of protesting these people should try to help. The spill is killing out wildlife and hinders oil on the market.

The Deep water Horizon exploded on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. There were 126 crew members on the rig. Of the 126 people on board at the time of the explosion, 115 crew members were accounted for. Of these 115, 17 were injured. 11 crew members were reported missing. it was reported that there would be minimal damage. The next day the Deep water Horizon sunk beneath the ocean. On the 24th of April officials discovered oil leaking from a drilling pipe, it was reported that the leaks appeared to be releasing 1,000 barrels a day. By the 26th of April the oil slick stretched 80 miles across the Gulf and was 36 miles southeast of Louisiana. Clean up crews attempted to block the oil by setting up oil booms, oil booms are made of polypropylene, which is the same material in house hold furniture and other objects. Booms are used to soak up oil in the water. On the 27th of April officials considered setting fire to the oil which now stretches 100 miles across the gulf. On the 29th of April Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declares a state of emergency and the federal government sends in skimmers and booms to prevent environmental damage. At morning, the spill is roughly 16 miles off the Louisiana coast and stretches across a 600-mile area. The Obama administration labeled the Deep water Horizon incident a “Spill of National Significance” on April the 29th (Potter).At an afternoon event in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama said that the federal government is prepared to assist with cleanup efforts.(Potter) The oil leak was stopped with an experimental cap on July, 15th, 2010. Now cleanup efforts are taking place. One of the methods of getting rid of the oil used were chemical dispersants, these are more dangerous than the oil. These dispersants are supposed to help break down the oil, they do break the oil down but they are also killing wild life, and making some fishermen that are helping to clean the gulf very sick. The sickness caused by the chemicals caused the fishermen’s lungs to fill with fluid, they coughed, and also get sore all over, and these are the same effects as over exposure to crude oils.

Many people blame Bp for the oil spill, While they do share some of the blame BP also had partners. Trans-ocean, for example is also the blame. The reason the rig exploded was because both BP, and Trans-ocean agreed to operate the well after the cement failed pressure tests. The cement wasn’t strong enough to contain the methane gas. The oil spill could have been prevented if people would have used common sense. , if the cement failed the pressure tests then don’t use it. The reason the rig exploded was because a methane gas bubble escaped through several different seals, along with some oil. When the gas escaped the rig exploded then caught on fire.

Because many people blame BP they are boycotting BP products. This doesn’t help to save the wild life or clean the gulf and its shores. Hundreds of people held hands as they lined a Florida shore in protest at the BP oil spill as clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico (Mail online reporter). Instead of protesting they should donate to the multiple causes that help to clean oiled wildlife, or just help clean the beach. One thing that can be done to help is to donate hair, fleece animal fur, or nylon these can be used to make oil booms which soak up oil without soaking up water as well. There are so many constructive and helpful things these people could do besides protest. While these reasons for protest are completely reasonable, it’s hard to understand why they don’t just donate hair to help make oil booms, or donate money to help clean the oiled animals.

The oil spill is also killing bird and marine life. Most of the effects are easily noticed, but some aren’t. The oil spill is even affecting deep-sea coral reefs, killing them. Since the spill occurred, 712 birds, 315 turtles, and 37 mammals have been counted dead due to the oil in the water. Also a recently discovered species, called the Pancake Batfish lives almost strictly in the oil spill area. These new species of fish are in danger of becoming extinct before we even get to learn anything about them. Some of the effects of the oil spill could permanently kill some species, like the Pancake Batfish. Just think of how many unknown species are in the gulf that we may never know of due to the oil spill.

Things like this have happened before and will probably happen again. This spill will pass, we will recover, but that doesn’t mean that oil spills will never happen again. In the past there have been oil spills, like the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. On March 24th, 1989 the tanker Exxon Valdez, going from Valdez, Alaska to Los Angeles, California ran into Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Shoreline cleanup began in April of 1989and continued until September of 1989 for the first year. The cleanup effort continued in 1990 and 1991 with cleanup in the summer. Some shoreline monitoring took place in the winter. The Exxon Valdez lost 11 million gallons of crude oil. Overall, scientists estimate that thousands of animals died in the Exxon Valdez spill. Some 250,000 sea birds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 orcas, and billions of salmon are estimated to have died. And even now there is more danger of another oil spill the BP pipelines in Alaska are corroded very badly. Now BP just might have to deal with another oil spill.

As humans we are dependent on oil for many purposes, yet the impacts of a spill are overwhelmingly devastating and hard to recover from. Technology needs to be advanced so that oil spills can be more easily prevented. Also oil drilling companies need to take better safety precautions so that no lives will be lost, both human and animals. This could be one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history. We can only hope that nothing this devastating ever happens again.

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