Hurricane Season Threatens Oil Spill Abatment Plans
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Since April 20th, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has been spewing tens of thousands of barrels of oil into fragile ecosystems every day. For more than a month BP has tried and failed to stop or slow the gushing well without success (calling a project ‘top kill’ doesn’t exactly inspire confidence). Current attempts to stem the flow of oil may actually increase overall oil flow into the Gulf if the strategies fail, and permanent relief will not be available until August at the earliest–but BP may not have that long. Hurricane season officially starts on June 1st, further complicating BP’s efforts to end this environmental disaster. Making matters worse, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting that this year will feature above-average storms; potentially with 14 to 23 named storms between now and the end of the season. If a hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast, all oil spill abatement procedures will have to cease immediately. With so many hurdles in place, it is hard to see an end to this devastating environmental disaster. The real mystery is in the unknown: how long will it take to end the oil spill? What will happen to all the fish and wildlife on the coasts of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana? What about tourism and the industries that rely on these resources? Stopping the spill will be the first step, but we may have already done too much damage. Moments like these remind me why I support clean, renewable energy. While renewable energies are by no means problem free, you are never going to hear about a never-ending wind turbine disaster or an unstoppable solar panel toxic mess. Every day we continue our reliance on fossil fuels like oil and coal, we are perpetuating an energy system that must take risks like BP took with their Deepwater Horizon rig to continue to be profitable. We must fight for clean energy every day, for change does not come over night, it comes when you add up all those small steps that we have taken after we say “no more dirty energy!” Take a small step today: support clean energy now.