Bp Horizon Oil Spill

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Nancey A Van Dyke
Professor Maney
Hazard Analysis and Impacts FFP1830
25 May 2010
BP Horizon Oil Spill
Back in the '40s and '50s I believe that companies stood behind their products. In later decades I don't think it was as common and there were a lot of lies, double books, and skimming going around. In this current age how many companies can you honestly say you would invest in their products for the rest of your life? BP is just one of thousands of companies that work by the bottom line and only by the bottom line, usually bypassing safety and employees. BP just got caught because of their ineptness to control the leak and non-consideration of such an event occurring. Unfortunately, like the Exxon Valdez 21 years ago which is still impacting the waters and peoples of Alaska, this oil spill will continue to decimate species and continually damage what restorations are put into place for estuaries and beaches and marine and coastal species. Sadly, this spill in its short time has already surpassed the Exxon Valdez.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010 killing 11 people and had leaked 2.5 million gallons daily of crude oil into the Gulf before BP capped the leak on 060310. Some scientists are saying the estimate is closer to 4 million gallons daily of oil leakage and based on some government estimates more than 140 million gallons of crude have now spewed from the well. This should not have been a surprise – BP has had previous problems that either people read about and thought that it didn't really affect them or the incidents weren't as highly media-ized as could have been. BP announced on 071906 that they would shut down the last 12 oil wells in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay that leaked insulating agent consisting of crude oil and diesel fuel. Mother Jones Magazine called BP one of the "ten worst corporations" in 2001 and 2005 because of their miserable environmental and human rights records. Based on EPA toxic release data, in 1991 BP was cited as the most polluting company in the US. BP was fined $1.7 million for burning polluted gases at its refinery in Ohio. In July 2000 BP paid a $10 million fine to the EPA for its management of its US refineries. PIRG research shows that between January 1997 and March 1998 BP was responsible for 104 oil spills.

This spill has been closely monitored for its movements and as of 052510 satellite imagery continued to show a very small portion of the oil moving to the southeast. On 053010 meteorologists were advising that moderate southerly winds may push the oil toward the Delta and the barrier islands off Mississippi and Alabama and a new plume of possible leaking oil from the wellhead was spotted 22 miles northeast heading towards Mobile Bay, AL. Some of the oil spill seeped into Louisiana's lower marshes and some made it into the Loop Current. On 060210 the oil was reported less than 10 miles off Pensacola and tar balls and puddles of oil reached the shores of Alabama's Dauphin Island. According to the Palm Beach Post on 060610, if the spill were laid over the state it would cover much of south FL. There was a recent federal report that verifies what independent scientists had said for weeks about the spill: that there are numerous undersea oil plumes that extend for miles from the ruptured well. Concerns about the publicity of the spill reaching Florida shores caused Gov Crist to allow non-licensed saltwater fishing the weekend of June 5-6 to help ease people's apprehensions. He also requested $100 million from BP for research into this spill and BP has given $10 million to the Florida Institute of Oceanography to study the effects of this spill. On 060910 oil was in the mouth of the Perdido River that separates Florida and Alabama. The oil bypassed the boom that was supposed to keep the oil contained. The media is also saying that they are not being allowed full access to affected areas which makes documenting this spill difficult. BP has been...
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