Monday, May 24, 2010

The Day the Gulf Coast Died

Apparently, according to Monkeyfister, the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is no longer a leaking wellhead. It seems to have progressed into a rupture in the sea floor. If true then all plans to cap the wellhead or plug the leak are worthless because the wellhead in no longer a factor in the flow of crude oil. That means it will be months, perhaps years, before relief wells can reduce the flow of oil through the rupture.

No one has every tried to calculate the effect of dumping multiple millions of barrels of oil on a marine ecosystem. The coastal wetlands will certainly be annihilated. The northern Gulf fisheries too. There is no way of knowing how far the dead zone will extend in the Gulf waters. All of the Gulf states from Texas to Florida will be impacted. Cuba certainly will suffer. Perhaps Mexico. And if the oil flow enters the Gulf Stream the Bahamas are doomed.

This may no longer be the Three Mile Island of petroleum spills - an object lesson for future caution. It may become the Chernobyl of oil disasters - a generational cataclysm.

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