Macondo Oil Well Spills Again

Knock, knock! Hello? Obama, are you there? Anderson Cooper? Piers Morgan?  The Macondo oil well is spilling again (or perhaps spilling still). Why aren't you doing anything about it... or even talking about the problem at all? How come the only people who seem to be concerned about the health of the Gulf are lawyers and independent bloggers? Lately I've been following Attorney Stuart Smith's blog, because I'm all about justice-seeking underdogs willing to take on the big guys. On August 17th, he reported finding fresh oil in the Gulf, spewing in plumes from a location directly over the site of the Macondo blowout.  He writes: "Fresh oil is surfacing all over the northern quadrant of the Gulf of Mexico. Reports of slicks that meander for miles and huge expanses of oil sheen that look like phantom islands are becoming common, again. Fresh oil, only slightly weathered, is washing ashore in areas hit hardest by last year’s massive spill, like Breton Island, Ship Island, the Chandeleurs and northern Barataria Bay." See current spill pictures and read Stuart's full article here.

Same Oil, Same Location

Today, Smith has confirmed that the fresh oil is Louisiana Sweet Crude, the same type of oil released during the Macondo blowout. While chemical typing has not yet been completed, the proximity of the oil to the original blowout location and the fact that it is the same type of crude spewed during the Deepwater Horizon disaster make it exceedingly likely that the oil is still leaking from the original site. Smith fears the fresh oil is coming from fractures in the ground caused during BP's attempted repair operations. If this is the case, the spill cannot be stopped until the oil runs dry. Period.

Deny, Deny, Deny

So what is BP doing about this, you ask? In typical Big Oil style, they are, of course, denying that anything at all is wrong. BP spokesman Justin Saia issued a blanket denial, saying: “We stand by what we said last week, neither BP nor the Coast Guard has seen any scientific evidence that oil is leaking from the Macondo well, which was permanently sealed almost a year ago.”

Is the Coast Guard in Cahoots with BP?

Wait a minute. The Coast Guard didn't see any evidence of leaking oil either? Were they not looking, or is the government in cahoots with BP in a cover-up operation? Is this why there are no major media outlets reporting this story? (*update: the Coast Guard did NOT say there was no leak. They just declined to finger BP. See my latest post on the BP spin machine here.) Meanwhile, independent photographer Bonny Schumaker flew over the site and saw oil from the air--and plenty of it. Others spotted 40 BP boats on the water attempting to clean up the mess. Um, maybe it's just me, but 40 boats seems like a lot to dispatch to the site of an oil spill that's not really there. Read the full story and see photos here. Back to the question of why Obama isn't talking about this. Well, for one, it's an election year, and BP is nothing but bad news. One thing Obama really doesn't need any more of is bad news. Second, there's an ongoing investigation into the Macondo blowout, and involved parties are keeping a tight lid on information. Finally, there's not really anything anyone can do to fix this. There is a general consensus that the oil and gas industries don't really know how to clean up their messes.  But instead of putting a lid on Gulf drilling, Obama has given the go-ahead to sell more Gulf offshore oil leases. Okay, what? The bottom line is that our country will continue to be slaves to the oil industry without a large grassroots movement for change. Take action now. Write your Congressperson and tell him or her you want clean, renewable energy. Find out more about the legal thriller, Black Oil, Red Blood here. A portion of the proceeds benefits Gulf People Helping People. Read for fun and help out a good cause.

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