Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico
Written by Janet
It is now day 9 since the explosion on the offshore oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico, near the state of Louisiana. As of today, the U.S. Airforce was planning to spray oil dispersing chemicals off the coast of Louisiana, to help tackle the huge oil slick….but why did it take so long? Usually, they burn the lighter oil, and the more dense would then sink to the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, the burning didn’t work.
The dangers of an ecological disaster are coming true….as it reaches shore, and the oil keeps spilling, the fishing industry and wildlife are endangered. Animal rescue groups have started receiving their first patients. Seabirds are arriving, coated in thick oil. And the weather is now hampering the operation…..Strong winds have begun to push the oil into inlets, ponds and lakes in south-east Louisiana.
The booms that were put in place to try and contain the oil slick, are now in jeopardy of failing as heavy seas have started the oil moving over the containment booms. The U.S. Navy also has brought in more booms and other equipment. Even fisherman whose livelihood is threatened have been brought in to help.
Originally, it was thought only 1,000 barrels a day were leaking but it is more in the area of 5,000. The Deep Horizon rig which exploded and sank last week is owned by BP. Still, the cause of the blast is unknown and 11 workers are still missing. Alabama has joined Louisiana and Florida in declaring a state of emergency. The Louisiana National Guard is on standby to help with security, medical needs and engineering.
There are 1,900 emergency workers and more than 300 ships and aircraft in the area. At the same time the U.S. government is pressing BP to stop the leak.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano flew to Louisiana with other officials and urge the British oil and gas giant to use “additional assets to help lead the response in this effort”.
“We will continue to push BP to engage in the strongest possible response,” she said.