NOAA has released to the public images showing the dead and dying animals when the Deepwater Horizon, BP’s oil drilling platform devastated the Gulf of Mexico with its months long oil blowout. Until now only a few photos of oiled birds have been shown to the public. Emphasis was placed on the rescue and release of oiled animals and beach clean up so tourists would return.
Millions of gallons of dispersants were released into the Gulf waters to try a quick clean up. Volatile fractions of the surface oil slick evaporated into the atmosphere. There has been little information given about the health implications on the sea life or people exposed.
BP has agreed to pay US $7.8 billion for its part in the environmental disaster. People who feel they have a claim against the corporation can line up for a settlement handout or go it alone in trying to get redress.
People died directly when the drilling platform exploded in flames. People were sickened by the fumes from the spilled crude. Fishing and shrimping was suspended and the safety of eating the sea life remains a mystery. While the public has been assured that the marine life is safe to eat, the public has been given empty assurances before.
Greenpeace obtained the gruesome images through a freedom of information route. The Greenpeace Research Director Kert Davies is quoted.
“These photos are a grim reminder of the real damage that reckless oil corporations cause and also remind us never to stop pushing for transparency and accountability from Big Oil and the government that supposedly regulates its activities,” Davies said in a statement.”New York Daily News
In spite of the devastation wrought by this massive oil contamination and a temporary halt in offshore drilling in the Gulf, business as usual has returned. There are more platforms drilling and sucking oil out than before the Deepwater Horizon exploded. The Americans are far from the only people drilling offshore for oil.
The Europeans have declared the Canadian Tar Sands oil dirty oil while closing their eyes to the fact that all oil is dirty oil. Much of their natural gas and oil comes from the former Soviet Union, a country not known for its environmental protections. As the easy oil is exploited, more and more the multinational petroleum companies are turning to offshore exploration.
There is an oil rush right now. You and I fuel it with our careless consumption of this resource.
Short list of current offshore drilling areas
· North Sea
· Gulf of Mexico
· Caspian Sea
· Nova Scotia
· SE Asia
· Sakhalin Islands, Russia
· Persian Gulf
Also on the radar for future drilling:
· Falkland Islands
· New Zealand