Bp Oil Spill

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Date Submitted: 11/26/2012 05:56 AM

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The BP Oil Spill

Oil spills do not only affect animals that live in and around the ocean; they can affect us, too. Even if you don’t live near the ocean, do you eat seafood? After an oil spill, the fish you eat are killed off in mass quantities and the oil may contaminate the few that survive. The BP oil spill that occurred this year in April is ‘considered among the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history’ (Billitteri.) Oil spills can occur after people make mistakes, equipment breaks, or for various other reasons, it’s how the company handles the disaster that really matters.

In 1979, a spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 1.2 million gallons of oil a day poured out into the sea. Before it was sealed, about 138 million gallons had gotten into the sea (Madson.) Ten years later, in 1989, the worst U.S. oil spill ever occurred in Alaska. This one encouraged Congress to pass strict pollution legislation (Cooper.) The one that happened earlier this year surpassed both of these prior spills and killed 11 workers, injuring many others. It continues to affect hundreds of species of wildlife along coastal areas. If this many large oil spills continue to occur, maybe it’s time for some new legislation.

The BP oil spill was described as a ‘siege acrros the entire Gulf’ by Thad Allen, the government’s crisis commander. Scientists said, back in mid-June, that up to 60,000 barrels of oil (2.5 million gallons) could be flowing into the Gulf every day. That’s an amount that is equal to the 1989 spill and it could be occurring about every four days (Billitteri.)

BP’s response to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico was to immediately try to stop the spill and start cleaning up as much as possible. They completed a relief well and they claim to be committed to continuing the cleanup. Some efforts include skimming oil from the surface, carrying out controlled burns and spraying dispersant (BP Global.) Although the news has died down, the oil...