Environment - Gulf oil disaster - How much spilled is anyone's guess

Monday, May 24, 2010   (Image © The New York Times)
 Environment  Gulf oil disaster  How much spilled is anyone's guess
No matter how you parse it, the Gulf oil spill looks like a catastrophe that will have far-reaching implications on energy policy, on seafood prices and on recreational boating. Just how much has spilled since the explosion of the drilling rig a month ago, is a wild guess, because neither government nor BP seem to be eager to measure it. The New York Times reported that two ocean scientists of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, “who have routinely made such measurements, spoke extensively to BP last week … and were poised to fly to the gulf to conduct volume measurements,” but were told “not to come.” The Times published estimates that range from 6.2 million gallons (NOAA) to 83 million (worst case scenario by BP). By comparison the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 was 10.8 million gallons. Now that the slick is connecting to the circular current in the Gulf it looks like it is only going to be a matter of time before it reaches the Florida Keys. Check the NYT oil tracker map and join the discussion on our Facebook page.


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