Researchers have detected thick underwater plumes of oil that stretch 50 miles from the runaway well. The plumes are anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 feet deep and are as thick as 1,500 feet in certain areas. These new findings come on the heels of BP CEO Tony Hayward saying just last week: “The oil is on the surface. There aren’t any plumes.” Where is this guy getting his information? Hayward’s campaign of misinformation is as maddening as it is destructive. The real fear in regard to the plumes is that the oil’s most toxic components are floating deep below the surface where they can’t evaporate. That could mean more and longer-term damage to the Gulf’s ecosystem.
As for Mr. Hayward, as long as he’s playing a role in the company’s clean-up strategy, nobody’s interests are going to be served. Except possibly BP’s, but even that’s now in doubt. With the Gulf’s entire ecosystem at stake, Mr. Hayward needs to be replaced by someone who is serious about working with the government and third-party experts to determine how best to handle the massive plumes that are putting the long-term health of the Gulf and the Gulf Coast economy at grave risk. Mr. Hayward, it’s time to step aside.
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