In June of 1979 at the Bay of Campeche workers tried to seal the Ixtoc I well 160 feet down in the ocean, when an unexpected release of pressure sent gas and oil up the pipe exploding into the Gulf of Mexico. When the oil rig had collapsed it started pouring oil everywhere. The spill then poured out onto nearby beaches, coral reefs, and swamps, then slightly hitting the cost of Texas. There was a huge effect on shellfish in that area almost completely wiping them out, but five years later the crustaceans were back on the beaches.
This issue is controversial because many people think that the Gulf of Mexico will be contaminated forever but the oil spill in 1979 shows that reasoning to be flawed. He does point out the fact that both oil spills were ‘uncontrollable’ and poured tons of oil into the water but he backs his argument with solid information.
The author points out that the Gulf’s ecosystem is habituated to some oil. Over 600,000 thousand barrels of oil can seep into the gulf each year and the wildlife become accustom to it. The author also states that when a study was conducted by Jernelov’s UN, they came to the conclusion that almost half of the oil evaporated and ‘only 6 percent landed on Mexican beaches, and less than 1 percent on Texas beaches.’ This shows that it is very hard for an oil spill to completely damage the ecosystems. For the Ixtoc spill there were many short-term effects and some good aspects of the spill. The study found out that the shrimp population were almost completely unaffected by the spill. This is where the shrimp are heavily commercialized so it was good that they were almost completely unaffected by the spill.
I do think that the long-term aspects of the problem are being overlooked. The author... [continues]
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