The gigantic oil spill off the coast of Louisiana is apparently far more severe than initial government estimates. From the NY TImes:
The criticism escalated on Thursday, a day after the release of a video
that showed a huge black plume of oil gushing from the broken well at a
seemingly high rate. BP has repeatedly claimed that measuring the plume
would be impossible.
The figure of 5,000 barrels a day was hastily produced by government
scientists in Seattle. It appears to have been calculated using a method
that is specifically not recommended for major oil
Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida
State University who is an expert in the analysis of oil slicks,
said he had made his own rough calculations using satellite imagery.
They suggested that the leak could “easily be four or five times” the
government estimate, he said.
The consequences of this oil spill will not be fully understood for some time. The damage to delicate eco systems, fishing stock and the economy will be far reaching and potentially devastating. The chemicals being used to clear up the spill may also pose serious health risks to those involved in the clean up (not to mention the effect on wildlife).
Of course, BP is more interested in protecting its corporate interests and has laid out a strategy of placing the blame on everyone else but itself despite the obvious fact that it could have prevented the spill had it not attempted to cut corners to make more money.
It is another perfect example of a deregulated industry imploding due to short term greed, and a clarion call for a serious clamp down on the industry that has profited for far too long on polluting and ripping its customers off.