70,000 Barrels a Day


Experts are now saying the spill is leaking 70,000 barrels a day. That’s more than 10 times the initial estimates. Ten times. I hate to say I told you so, but…

The new estimate is equivalent to an Exxon Valdez-type accident every four days.

BP has tried to mask the true extent of the damage of the disaster by injecting dispersants directly at the gusher site –– even though laboratory and field experience show that these compounds are poisonous at low concentrations to fish and crustaceans including shrimp, crabs and lobsters, and oysters. The dispersants have helped to keep the oil below the surface in a huge underwater plume that cannot be easily detected by helicopters flying overhead or even by satellite.

BP must be required to monitor and gather the evidence of the presence of its oil in that water column so that it can be tracked throughout the marine geography, from Texas to South Florida. Prime fisheries start their lives in the very area where the oil and dispersants have been focused. Evidence shows that the larvae of Florida lobsters move into these open waters where they are most susceptible to damage from the oil and dispersants. Game fish breed in the areas that center on this disaster zone.

This is going to be a huge blow to the Gulf Coast economy that may take generations to fully recover from.

© Smith Stag, LLC 2010 – All Rights Reserved

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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