Mystery Oil

February 3, 2015

KsSZ5.AuSt.69Drizzling rain this early Tuesday on California’s north coast — we’re supposed to catch a short break this afternoon and tomorrow before another river of rain is expected by Thursday and on through the weekend.
Meanwhile, Boston had the heaviest one-week snowfall in its history, more than 40 inches — average for a whole winter, 47 inches.

Also back east in the ugly oil-don’t-mix Gulf of Mexico and an environmental disaster that won’t go away, a criminal legacy continues.
Last weekend, via UPI: ‘Up to 10 million gallons of crude oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 remains buried under sediment in the Gulf of Mexico, spelling out long-term dangers for local marine life and raising questions about permanent damage to the waterway, a Florida State University professor said.’

I grew up on the Florida Panhandle, and this is fucked.

(Illustration found here).

Nifty time for this shit as two legal battles in New Orleans federal courtrooms on the notorious BP blow-out come to the forefront this week — trial started yesterday on a case where BP and a minority partner try to weasel out of paying billions of dollars in violations of the Clean Water Act.
And this morning, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider BP’s arguments the administrator of claims over the spill be fired, accusing the guy of “gross mismanagement.”
Ironic assholes, huh?

Although it’s been nearly five years since the blow-out, the long-term impact is still not in sight — wetlands, bays, bayous and all kinds of other off-shoots from the Gulf have in some way been altered, some spots, never to return.
Continuing from the UPI story:

For years after the devastating 200-million-gallon spill, BP cleanup crews and government officials said they didn’t know what happened to 6 to 10 million gallons.
Oceanography Professor Jeff Chanton said the mystery oil is located in the Gulf floor sediment, about 62 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta.
The oil means there will be less oxygen on the Gulf floor, making it difficult for bacteria to attack and decompose it.
“This is going to affect the Gulf for years to come,” Chanton said.
“Fish will likely ingest contaminants because worms ingest the sediment, and fish eat the worms.
“It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web.”
Chanton and his team mapped the oil sediment distribution using carbon 14, a radioactive isotope.
Since oil does not contain carbon 14, the sentiment with the oil stood out immediately.

The Gulf will never be the same. As a resident of Florida’s Gulf coast for decades earlier in my life, the damage stands out as personal, and just how long into the future that beautiful, white-sand will continue to sparkle and crunch underfoot. Oil will eventually seep into all aspects of the region — more shit like that above will continue to bubble up for years and years.
BP — Suck it!

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