NOAA: No Basis of Gulf Recovery in 2012
There has been a flood of news here recently in the U.S. from all channels that it’s time to get back to deep water drilling because everything is A-ok down in the Gulf once again. Really? That just does not seem right to me. So, off to see what is being reported across the pond and look what I found….
A spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) said there was “no basis to conclude that the Gulf recovery will be complete by 2012”, and warned that some of the consequences of the spill may not be known for decades. The spokesman went on to note that about 60 miles of the coastline remain oiled. Tar mats continue to wash up on beaches in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. And although Gulf waters have reopened to fishing, many oyster beds were wiped out when state authorities flushed fresh water into the Gulf in the hopes of rolling back the oil. At a public meeting last month in Biloxi, Mississippi, fishermen said they were hauling up nets full of oil with their shrimp.
Now what is interesting is the House Republicans want to cut NOAA’s budget. Yes, indeed. In fact, they announced their intention the very week that the 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan. I did a post over at our sister site, Path to Well-Being. At the time I thought it was sheer lunacy, but now I totally get it. They do not like these reports coming from NOAA about real science as it interferes with polluters like BP to do business when in fact, we should be studying the effects of the massive 4 million barrels of crude oil dumped in the gulf waters. The Republicans are very much anti-science, anti-environment, and therefore anti-EPA, which means they are anti-clean water, clean air, clean soil, and clean Earth. As sarcastic as that may sound, it is the honest to goodness truth. The Republicans are not representatives for you and me. They lobby for corporate polluters like the Kochs — tarsands — and BP — also oil and tarsands — and Exxon-Mobil — oil — and a whole host of other filthy polluters.
The Guardian UK reports:
There are few people who can claim direct knowledge of the ocean floor, at least before the invention of the spill-cam, last year’s strangely compulsive live feed of the oil billowing out of BP’s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico. But for Samantha Joye it was familiar terrain. The intersection of oil, gas and marine life in the Mississippi Canyon has preoccupied the University of Georgia scientist for years. So one year after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, killed 11 men and disgorged more than 4m barrels of crude, Joye could be forgiven for denying the official version of the BP oil disaster that life is returning to normal in the Gulf.
The view from her submarine is different, and her attachment is almost personal. On her descent to a location 10 miles from BP’s well in December, Joye landed on an ocean floor coated with dark brown muck about 4cm deep. Thick ropes of slime draped across coral like cobwebs in a haunted house. The few creatures that remained alive, such as the crabs, were too listless to flee. “Most of the time when you go at them with a submarine, they just run,” she says. “They weren’t running, they were just sitting there, dazed and stupefied. They certainly weren’t behaving as normal.” Her conclusion? “I think it is not beyond the imagination that 50% of the oil is still floating around out there.”
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