Oil spill disaster keeps getting worse

The disastrous Gulf Oil spill may cause more damage than the Exxon Valdez calamity:

Migrating birds and those along the shoreline, nesting pelicans and even river otters and mink along Louisiana’s fragile islands and barrier marshes are the first in the path of a massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill that was starting to ooze ashore.

The leak from a blown-out well a mile underwater is five times bigger than first believed. Faint fingers of oily sheen were reaching the Mississippi River delta late Thursday, lapping the Louisiana shoreline in long, thin lines. Thicker oil was about five miles offshore. Officials have said they would do everything to keep the Mississippi River open to traffic.

The oil slick could become the nation’s worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez in scope. It imperils hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world’s richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters and other marine life.

“It is of grave concern,” David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press about the spill. “I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling.”
Oil clumps seabirds’ feathers, leaving them without insulation – and when they preen, they swallow it. Prolonged contact with the skin can cause burns, said Nils Warnock, a spill recovery supervisor with the California Oiled Wildlife Care Network at the University of California. Oil swallowed by animals can cause anemia, hemorrhaging and other problems, said Jay Holcomb, executive director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center in California.

This graphic from the New Orleans Times Picayune shows the potential for damage:
oilsheenforecast042910jpg-9d3e6d0f336909df
The calamity is also requiring extensive federal resources:

Resources from the United States Navy were marshaled to supplement an operation that already consisted of more than 1,000 people and scores of vessels and aircraft.

Calling it “a spill of national significance” which could threaten coastline in several states, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the creation of a second command post in Mobile, Ala., in addition to the one in Louisiana, to manage potential coastal impact in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ordered an immediate review of the 30 offshore drilling rigs and 47 production platforms operating in the deepwater Gulf, and is sending teams to conduct on-site inspections.

The oil slick was only three miles offshore on Thursday afternoon and was expected to hit coastal Louisiana as early as Thursday night, prompting Gov. Bobby Jindal to declare a state of emergency and to request the participation of the National Guard in response efforts. An eyewitness late Thursday night reported a sheer film of oil approaching South Pass of the Mississippi river delta, but it had not yet reached the shoreline. The Coast Guard could not confirm whether oil was beginning to wash onto shore, and likely would not be able to do so until daylight.

About 40,000 feet of boom had been placed around Pass-a-Loutre, the area of the Mississippi River Delta where the oil was expected to touch first, a spokesman for Mr. Jindal said.

The Navy provided 50 contractors, 7 skimming systems and 66,000 feet of inflatable containment boom, a spokesman said. About 210,000 feet of boom had been laid down to protect the shoreline in several places along the Gulf Coast, though experts said that marshlands presented a far more daunting cleaning challenge than sandy beaches.

279 comments Add your comment

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
7:46 am

Forgive me if I fail to wring my hands in panic. On a scale of disasters, where a “10″ would be Iran getting a nuke or Obama being re-elected, this one is a “3.” Sad, but not exactly the end of the world.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
7:50 am

While we are thinking about Louisiana “disasters,” friend sent me a funny Larry the Cable Guy quote:

“Even after the recent Super Bowl victory of the New Orleans Saints, I have noticed a large number of people implying with bad jokes that Cajuns aren’t smart. I would like to state for the record that I disagree with that assessment. Anybody that would build a city 5 feet below sea level in a hurricane zone and fill it with Democrats is a genius.”

Not on my watch

April 30th, 2010
7:52 am

“Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath ; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes 3:18-20

Not on my watch

April 30th, 2010
7:53 am

Sorry about that, it’s kind of easy to do a bible verse search that fits your needs.

Dee keith

April 30th, 2010
7:57 am

(On a scale of disasters, where a “10″ would be Iran getting a nuke or Obama being re-elected, this one is a “3.” Sad, but not exactly the end of the world.)

Ragnar Danneskjöld spoken like a true BIGOT. This is another example of free market conservatism by any means neccessary. 1st the W. Virginia mining tragedy, and now the Gulf Oil mess, but i’m sure special interest will weather the storm, and eventually get back to using the ignorance of conservatives like the Ragnar Danneskjöld’s of the world to fill their pockets at the country’s expense.

Not on my watch

April 30th, 2010
7:59 am

Just think of all the money the southeast asian countries will make importing their seafood. Ragnar, feast on the wonderful flesh of Vietnamese shrimp!

Tommy Maddox

April 30th, 2010
8:00 am

Oh brother…

Bubba

April 30th, 2010
8:02 am

Dee, with a little more wisdom you will learn that it’s far safer to trust men who are looking out for their own self-interests than “benevolent leaders” who claim to be looking out for us all. The latter are far more dangerous to our liberties.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
8:02 am

Dear Dee @ 7:57, we would agree that you lack capacity to distinguish a nuclear Iran from an oil spill.

Dear Not @ 7:59, yes, that is the beauty of free trade. Always at risk when statists are in control.

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
8:11 am

Scoffing are we?

google this

Exxon Valdez oil lingers, as does its toxicity

Dee keith

April 30th, 2010
8:19 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld a nuclear iran is less of a threat to the U.S. than N Korea, and Pakistan. My point was that you and your discredited politics pose more of a threat to this country than Pres. Obamas reelection anyday of the week. The real threat is people like you, and Bubba who support oil companies that do business with countries that use our money to support terrorist who are trying to purchase a nuclear bomb, which will put you and your family at risk. That would make you and Bubba upatriotic.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
8:21 am

Dear Dee @ 8:19, we would agree that you believe that market freedom is unpatriotic.

Bubba

April 30th, 2010
8:21 am

While you’re googling, Granny, try this: Mount St. Helens: Eruption’s Effects on Wildlife

It would appear nature may be a bigger enemy of the environment than the oil companies.

Jerry

April 30th, 2010
8:22 am

If Obama would have reacted sooner, this disaster could have been avoided.

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
8:23 am

Bubba

You’ve seen the margarine commercial haven’t you? You can’t fool mother nature.

Guess what? BP can’t fool mother nature either.

Not on my watch

April 30th, 2010
8:26 am

Ragnar and Bubba; I’d venture a bet that both of you are NIMBY’s. How about we build a nuclear plant in your backyard?

Bubba

April 30th, 2010
8:27 am

Dee, I think your logical string fails to meet the modus ponens formula.

Bubba

April 30th, 2010
8:28 am

Build a nuclear plant in my back yard? Sure, but I don’t think there’s room.

Dee keith

April 30th, 2010
8:32 am

(Dear Dee @ 8:19, we would agree that you believe that market freedom is unpatriotic.)

Ragnar Danneskjöld particularly when it produces Bernie Madoff, Wall Street Execs., Alan Stanford, Enron executives, and the owner of the W. Virginia mine.

Reality

April 30th, 2010
8:41 am

It is very sad and shocking to see so many posts belittling a major American city. What have we come to?

Cynthia is Sexy

April 30th, 2010
8:43 am

“(On a scale of disasters, where a “10″ would be Iran getting a nuke or Obama being re-elected, this one is a “3.” Sad, but not exactly the end of the world.)”

Might I add…I think an Obama re-election would be more devastating than a Nuclear Iran. This Obamination needs ot be sent back to his congressional seat or parts unknown. Now he wants to limit personal income. Tell us Barry…when is enough, enough and who the hell are you to make that determination?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
8:44 am

Dear Not @ 8:26, I’ll give you the land for it in exchange for free power for my house.

Dear Dee @ 8:32, by a bizarre coincidence, 80% of your list is democrat; only the mine owner is republican. 80% of your list was intentional fraud, and only the mine owner was an accident. There is a difference between the democrat and republican “free market.” One games the system, the other looks bad only when there is an accident.

Cynthia is Sexy

April 30th, 2010
8:44 am

Obama isnt doing enough to contain this oil spill.

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
8:46 am

“now he wants to limit personal income”

was it WC Fields or PT Barnum that said….There’s a sucker born every minute?

Reality

April 30th, 2010
8:46 am

This little spill has yet to fully reveal its capability. Remember that the hole hasn’t even been plugged yet – which means there is more and more continuously spilling into the ocean with each passing hour/day.

And, when this spill nears the coast, it will impact everything from the cost of YOUR seafood to the summer vacation that YOU may have wanted to take. I make this statement for those select selfish people that cannot see beyond their own little lives.

For the more mature of us, this also means that the ocean life in that area will be majorly altered for decades. If they try to ‘burn off the oil’ then that will mean major air pollution in addition. There is no good answer at this point…. only mitigation to minimize damage.

The real question is: could this have been prevented at all, or is this just the cost of off-shore drilling? And, if this is the cost of off-shore drilling, is it worth the cost?

Peter

April 30th, 2010
8:47 am

Some folks are without conscience, and understanding of how nature and man interact and survive together……thus the silly stuff written today.

The impact this disaster will have for a long time will be unthinkable.

Typical reaction from folks who care only about themselves, and their personal agenda.

Union

April 30th, 2010
8:49 am

Why did Obama wait so long to do anything about it?

Reality

April 30th, 2010
8:49 am

@Cynthia is sexy -

I think that you have crossed the line with regards to what you say about our President. I don’t mind you discussing policies and your opinions, but at least respect the office of the US.

And, when you do discuss policies, it would be nice if you were factual and gave specifics rather than contributing to spreading lies and rumors. This isn’t a propaganda forum.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
8:51 am

Dear Granny @ 8:46, “We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money, but you know, part of the American way is, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product.” Sounds to me like The Chosen One sets hijmself up as the judge of what’s “fairly” earned. Otherwise the statement would be meaningless.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
8:53 am

Dear Reality @ 8:46, “The real question is: could this have been prevented at all, or is this just the cost of off-shore drilling? And, if this is the cost of off-shore drilling, is it worth the cost?” Do you realize we could reduce auto deaths to zero if we would just reduce the speed limit to 7 mph? Are all these traffic deaths worth the cost of a higher speed limit?

Reality

April 30th, 2010
8:53 am

@Union,

It is my understanding that as soond as the platform exploded, the priorities were:

1. rescue potential survivors.
2. put out the fire
3. contain the spill
4. plug the hole

I feel that these actions and the prioitization is appropriate. The problem now is HOW to plug the hole. This is the first deep water rig to experience anything like this.

In the meantime, the problem is also HOW to deal with the oil spill. They have already been using the typical barricades that were successful in the past. But, this is unique in that the hole hasn’t been plugged yet so the size of the spill is growing larger thus making it hard to ‘contain.’

Reality

April 30th, 2010
8:55 am

@Ragner D.

What is your point. I pointed out that a cost analysis needs to be done regarding off shore drilling. You point out a MEANINGLESS and rather stupid example. Grow up!

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
8:57 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
8:59 am

Dear Reality @ 8:55, I understand you take umbrage when I point out the limits of your bias. Of course spills will happen, they are a natural cost of society. The last thing we need is for the overlords to prohibit economic activity. Had you truly offered “cost analysis” you would have correctly observed that BP will bear all incidental costs of the accident, rather than suggesting that the activity ought to be restricted.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 30th, 2010
9:00 am

Dear Granny @ 8:57, perhaps you are proof that slaveholders laughed when they beat their workers.

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
9:02 am

Rags

Probably not.

Are you out of your 20’s yet?

Dee keith

April 30th, 2010
9:02 am

(only the mine owner was an accident)

Ragnar Danneskjöld purchasing politicians in an effort to deregulate laws that allows you to GAME the system is no accident. If the end result is fraud, or safety violations, the average person on main street gets burned either way. However I will submit that you are a classic example of a conservative/ignorant making a distinction witout a difference, which most conservative /ignorant are good at.

Bubba

April 30th, 2010
9:05 am

Not that he needs me to defend him, but Ragnar’s point is far from “goofy.” It’s right on target. We make value judgments every day on what we consider “worth the risk.” There is an environmental price to the automobile. We deem it worth the price. There is a cost of life to the automobile too (and a higher speed limit). We deem that worth the price also. There is an environmental cost to the production of oil. We deem that worth it. Oddly, there is very little environmental cost to nuclear power. Yet some people are so afraid of technology, they deem that not worth it. Strange, isn’t it?

Cynthia is Sexy

April 30th, 2010
9:06 am

Reality

April 30th, 2010
8:49 am

Facts are facts my friend.

Union

April 30th, 2010
9:07 am

Reality
April 30th, 2010
8:53 am

@Union,

It is my understanding that as soond as the platform exploded, the priorities were:

1. rescue potential survivors.
Thats in the first couple of hours.

2. put out the fire
Its in the middle of the ocean.. they were saying it was going to collapse into the ocean the first few hours of the explosion

3. contain the spill
Wasn’t done

4. plug the hole
Just getting started on this one..

Fringe Lunatics

April 30th, 2010
9:07 am

Ragnar’s SUV is more important than any human life.

LeeH1

April 30th, 2010
9:07 am

Thank God all the governors of the affected states are Republicans! That means they won’t ask for any government money from the rest of the country, or raise taxes to fight, clean-up or for restoration after the emergency.

I really appreciate those Republican governors who are strong enough to sacrifice their citizens and their quality of life in order to protect their own political base and stupid promises.

The Tea Baggers, as usual, have offered a boom made from used tea bags, but mostly are watching to see that only contractors make profits from the disasters, and the working men and women of the Gulf are left to wallow in the oily mire in order to make their profits.

Reality

April 30th, 2010
9:08 am

@ Rag D.

Excuse me, but I in no way suggested that the activity be halted. You are so bloody immature, YOU take that leap of faith when reading my posts.

I simply suggested a cost analysis and then YOU made a lame comment with a useless example. Do you even KNOW what a cost analysis is? Clue – it has NOTHING to do with who pays for the clean up!

Become educated, grow up, and THEN post.

Cynthia is Sexy

April 30th, 2010
9:08 am

Obama needs to be visiting the Gulf and doing flyovers so he might obtain a proper assessemnt of the situation. Instead he is in the whitehouse attempting to defeat his nemesis, little Sasha, at a game of Parchessi.

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
9:09 am

bubba

it is goofy. big time.

saying the President wants to limit personal income
is goofy to the ‘enth power.

Reality

April 30th, 2010
9:09 am

@ Union -

Thanks for the recap. What’s your point? Also, today Obama did do something else! He declared no new drilling until the cause of this is found. Smart. Very smart.

Cynthia is Sexy

April 30th, 2010
9:10 am

No new drilling = Smart. LOL…thats just common sense. A 7th grader couldve reached the same conclusion.

david wayne osedach

April 30th, 2010
9:11 am

What will this do to future off shore drilling?

Granny Godzilla

April 30th, 2010
9:11 am

Union…you’re doing a heck of a job

Reality

April 30th, 2010
9:12 am

@ Cynthia is sexy.

You are a waste of oxygen and internet energy. Please grow up. Just a little. Try?