BP Spill Reminder #14 - Day 90 - Attention Moves to Long Term Damage

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico has turned oily black in this NASA satellite image.
While it is not yet clear whether the cap on the Deepwater Horizon well will become a permanent fixture due to pressure concerns. BP extended tests and Florida Oil Spill Law has the details:
[A] drop in pressure might indicate that oil and gas might be escaping into a formation below the Gulf floor, and might escape into the water through a fissure. …
“Work must continue to better understand thelower than expected pressure readings,” [Allen] said. … “Ultimately, we must ensure no irreversible damage is done which could causeuncontrolled leakage from numerous points on the sea floor.”...
MSM (MainStream Media) begin to chime in on the long term effects of the biggest man-made environmental catastrophy on life in the Gulf states too. They lean on the pessimist side.
The New York Times headlined "After Oil Spills, Hidden Damage Can Last for Years".
Here is a short excerpt:

Perhaps the greatest single hazard from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the gulf is the long-term erosion of delicate coastal wetlands it could cause. At another spill site on the Massachusetts coast, not far from the West Falmouth spill, the legacy of oil contamination is evident in the difference between two marshes on either side of a pebbly shoreline road.
On one side, where the marshes were suffused in 1974 when the grounded Bouchard 65 barge dumped 11,000 to 37,000 gallons of fuel oil into the sea, the grasses are stunted and sparse. They cling tentatively to the edge of the sandy beach. But the grasses on the other side, untouched by oil, rise tall and thick.
Louisiana’s coastline contains some of the most productive marshes in the world, delivering an abundance of shrimp and oysters and providing critical habitat and breeding ground for birds and fish.
The Washington Post declared Louisiana a petro-state, headlining "Oil spills. Poverty. Corruption. Why Louisiana is America's petro-state."
Americans may be torn up by the BP oil spill and its destruction of the Gulf of Mexico's natural habitat -- and torn up we should be -- but that habitat has not been pristine for decades. In many ways, Louisiana made its deal with the devil long ago.
And what a bad deal it was. Long before the oil spill, the state's embrace of the petroleum industry cast it under what economists call "the resource curse": the paradox that countries rich in minerals or petroleum tend to grow more slowly and have lower living standards than other nations. Simply put, Louisiana is the closest thing America has to a petro-state. 
Instead of blessing Louisiana with prosperity, the oil industry fostered dependency, corruption and an indifference to environmental damage. Our Cajun sheikdom's oil and gas riches -- like those of the Niger Delta, the Orinoco belt in Venezuela and the Iraqi marshes -- also stunted its development, leaving it far behind states with fewer natural resources. 
According to the Census Bureau and Harvard University health data, Louisiana ranks 49th among the states in life expectancy, has the second-highest rate of infant mortality, comes in fourth in violent crime, ranks 46th in percentage of people older than 25 with college degrees, and ties for second in percentage of people living below the poverty line.
Latest news on the posisoning of beaches are best shown in the video below.
Local TV station News 5 has this alarming video on water quality tests, showing high oil readings.

This catastrophy is far from over and another nail in the coffin of the US economy.


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