Worse than the “worst” oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: 14 years and counting

30.12.2018 - London UK - Silvia Swinden

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Worse than the “worst” oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: 14 years and counting
Deepwater Horizon explosión that killed eleven staff (Image by Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

When talking about fossil fuels disasters we are running out of superlatives.

The Deepwater Horizon operated by BP discharged an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. After several failed efforts to contain the flow, the well was declared sealed on 19 September 2010. Reports in early 2012 indicated that the well site was still leaking.

Recently a few news outlets have revealed that “Oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for the last 14 years in what may soon become the worst oil spill in US history. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan disrupted an offshore drilling operation owned by Taylor Energy. Between 300 and 700 barrels leak into the gulf each day. That’s 12,600 to 29,400 gallons per day for 14 years, and it continues to this day, just 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The apparently leaking wells are under 400 feet of water and 60 to 100 feet of mud. Taylor Energy has argued that there’s no evidence to prove any of the wells are leaking.” The Independent. The company has also prevented for many years any publication about this spill.

In view of more offshore drilling licenses being considered and more hurricanes forming  apparently in relation to climate change such catastrophic events will likely grow in the future.

On the other hand the non accidental damage produced by fossil fuels use is also on the rise. Trump, as part of his obsession with reversing every piece of positive legislation from the Obama era, is favouring the use of coal.

“Under the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, or MATS, enacted under former President Barack Obama, coal-burning power plants were required to install expensive equipment to cut output of mercury, which can harm pregnant women and put infants and children at risk of developmental problems.” Reuters  Doing away with this legislation will also extend the life of coal stations that would have closed otherwise.

At the same time The Guardian reports ‘Spectacular’ drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost. Falling solar and wind prices have led to new power deals across the world despite investment in renewables falling”

There is no justification to continue on the road of Climate Change and damage to health produced by fossil fuels. It is a political problem and a form of violence. Grassroots are raising the issue but it should be part of the basic agenda of progressive politics.


Categories: Ecology and Environment, Health, International, Opinions
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