MARCH 2011, a new oil sheen was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico that covered over 100 miles of open water while washing ashore and causing 30 miles of shoreline impact. This spill was caused by a Houston-based company, Anglo Suisse, which only claimed responsibility for the spill and clean up after they were caught by independent pilots and fishermen.
Apparently, there are a number of damaged and partially abandoned oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that have been leaking, unchecked for years, and these companies are not fessing up unless caught. As of today, a new 20-mile oil sheen has been spotted near the former Deepwater Horizon oil spill site, just a few miles away from the old Ocean Saratoga oil rig devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. A year ago, it was discovered that the rig was leaking 14 gallons of oil per day. Now, it is leaking at a much steeper rate of 251 barrels of oil per day.
Think about these statistics, "The total area of this slick is about 40 square kilometers. Assuming a minimum thickness of 1 micron (1/1000th of a millimeter) this indicates a total volume of 10,560 gallons of oil. At 14 gallons per day it would take 2 years to leak that much oil. But a micron-thick slick can survive at sea for no more than a couple of days at most before it dissipates." - John Amos, SkyTruth
The owner of the leaking oil rig, Taylor Energy, was and still is 100% responsible for the plugging of the former Ocean Saratoga oil rig. The scary thing is, is that the company is actually responsible for plugging 26 other leaking sites. Twenty-six sites that Taylor Energy has yet to make even measurable ground on.
My hope is that these events are beginning to unveil the irresponsibility of oil corporations and the dangers of drilling. Not just their lack of respect towards the ocean and the "safe" product that they provide to the US and the world, but the clear knowledge that drilling for oil is not safe and absolutely not harmless. The risks largely outweigh the means when accidents occur on a major catastrophic scale causing tremendously serious implications on the health of human and marine food supplies, the health of marine vegetation and animals, and serious implications on the health of the people that surround these sites. A 100-mile oil sheen affects a tremendous amount of ocean life. Can you put 100 miles into perspective?
A month ago I wrote a brief update and remembrance of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred a little more than a year ago on April 20, 2010. I would like to include that here:
A year ago today, the largest oil spill tragedy occured in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill spewed over 206,000,000 gallons (779,037 cubic meters) of oil into the Gulf, running rampant into our waters until September 2010. The tragedy thoughtlessly took 11 precious lives and is still strangling the livelihood of the communities and marine life to this day. Just because you haven't heard about it in the news recently, does not mean that you should forget, nor that the travesty does not still plague the Gulf.Again, a reminder that drilling for oil causes tremendous devastation to the environment and serious health implications. Not to mention that the big five oil corporations (BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell) are banking big time. Over the past decade they have received $1 trillions dollars in profits. Exxon's profits are up 69% from 2010. Shell's profits are up by 30%. This is ontop of $4 billion per year government-funded tax credits and subsidies. Don't like what you're hearing? You can start here by signing a petition to end taxpayer-funded subsidies for big oil. Why should your money go towards these monopolizing giants who have clearly shown a lack of respect for the health of our oceans and the health of their consumers, while funding for protecting air and water quality is cut.
Workers of the oil spill and families that rely on the Gulf are dangerously ill as a result. Many have suffered memory loss, sever respiratory illness, cancer, external organ degradation, mental disorders, suicide, and death. When I left Ohio in June of last year to come help with the cleanup, I never could have imagined such a poorly managed multibillion dollar industry hiding its faults and greed to keep your business. These companies tarnish our planet and put your health in jeopardy every single day with little remorse. BP is not the only corporation poisoning its consumers. Thankfully, Mother Earth hasn't given up on us just yet.
This Friday is Earth Day. Thank Mother Earth for putting up with our abuse and still giving us a place to stand. For even this too, is a temporary thing in the path of our current wake. Take a stance; be thoughtful to all we have left, finite and not so finite. Make up for those who are careless and know that your actions are the saving graces to us all. One.
"The good news is that in the last few weeks, pressure has been mounting on the federal government to do something about this. President Obama is pushing to end tax credits and subsidies for Big Oil. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has pledged to bring this issue to vote shortly."Please stay tuned for future information on the 20-mile oil sheen that was recently discovered in the Gulf of Mexico and the progress of the oil subsidies issue being brought to Congress by Nevada Democratic Senator, Harry Reid, and President Obama.
"End Taxpayer-Funded Subsidies For Big Oil." Center for Biological Diversity. http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6761
Parker, Judson. "New oil slick appears in Gulf of Mexico near site of former Deepwater Horizon." Tallahassee Environmental News Examiner. 12 May 201. http://www.examiner.com/environmental-news-in-tallahassee/new-oil-slick-appears-gulf-of-mexico-near-site-of-former-deepwater-horizon