Oil Spill Update: Weather Dashing Hopes to Prevent Environmental Disaster; BP Downplayed Risks Before Disaster
There is new evidence BP downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at the Deepwater horizon oil rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. spill in decades along the Gulf coast and beginning to severely damage coastal wetlands.
In an exploration plan and environmental impact analysis obtained by the press, BP repeatedly suggested it was unlikely, or almost impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish, birds, mammals and fisheries.
BP’s plan filed with the Federal government for the Deepwater Horizon well, dated February 2009, says numerous times that it was “unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities.”
And although the company conceded that a spill would “cause impacts” to beaches, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, it argued that “due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected.”
“Clearly, the sort of occurrence that we’ve seen on the Deepwater Horizon is clearly unprecedented,” BP spokesman David Nicholas told The Associated Press on Friday. “It’s something that we have not experienced before … a blowout at this depth.”
Robert Wiygul, an Ocean Springs, Miss.-based environmental lawyer and board member for the Gulf Restoration Network, said he doesn’t see anything in the document that suggests BP addressed the kind of technology needed to control a spill at that depth of water.
“The point is, if you’re going to be drilling in 5000 feet of water for oil, you should have the ability to control what you’re doing,” he said.
The worst news was the weather on Friday. High winds and choppy seas negated efforts to hold back the oil spill seeping into Louisiana‘s rich fishing grounds and nesting areas, while the government and BP both almost helpless to deal with the growing environmental crisis.
For the latest information on the oil rig and oil spill on the Louisiana Gulf Coast check out this free link…www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.