Drilling Disaster Off the Coast of Louisiana
So, how’s that “Drill, Baby, Drill” working out for ya?
Disastrously. With some 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) a day now gushing into the sea just 50 miles off Louisiana’s coast after the explosion of a BP oil rig Wednesday, the prognosis is not good. Five times as much oil as previously thought could be leaking from the well beneath the rig.
Mike Miller, CEO of Safety Boss, a Canadian oil well fire-fighting company told the BBC, “I expect this will be the biggest oil spill in the world by far.”
“The Exxon Valdes (tanker disaster off Alaska in 1989) is going to pale in comparison to this as it goes on,” Miller continued.
The oil slick began washing ashore in Louisiana, threatening sensitive coastal wildlife and commercial fisheries. The region is the prime spawning ground for fish, shrimp and crabs.
The states of Alabama and Mississippi followed Louisiana to declare a state of emergency as the oil slick continued its sickening, relentless march to the coastlines.
The damage is yet unfathomable. Damage to ecosystems and livelihoods.
Dr. George Crozier, director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab south of Mobile Alabama stood looking over marsh he describes as a nursery as he told NPR, “This is what worries me, right here.”
"Shrimp, oysters, crab, flounder, even red snapper larvae have been found in here. Almost everything that we value comes in here as a baby. A lot of life in here now. Birds and pelicans flying around — and it's open to the Mobile Bay," Crozier continued.
Paul Nelson, a commercial fisherman in Coden, Ala., looks over Portersville Bay where his family has been making a living for generations.
“I see something that can’t be replace,” he says. “I see something there that we sure don’t need destroyed. This is going to set us back and our way of life. If this does what we as commercial fisherman….think it can do, it can destroy us for the next 50 years.” (NPR)
After two disasters in the last few weeks with mining for coal and off shore drilling for oil, we need to change the mantra from “Drill Baby Drill” to “Shine Baby Shine” for solar energy or “Grow Baby Grow” for corn and ethanol.
Cheri Cabot, Politics Correspondent
Cheri’s column, “Personal About Politics,” published every week, will reflect on how the life of a 60 year-old, middle class woman is affected by politics, policy and the current state of the nation - a look at the personal aspects of politics. Her column is part of Gather Essentials.
Cheri is a freelance writer, living in Southern California. She has two grown children and is the proud grandmother of three.
You can find all of Cheri’s columns on Personal About Politics at www.personalpolitics.gather.com, The Obama Watch at theobamawatch.gather.comor her home page here, www.ccabot.gather.com.