Remember early on in the history of the oil spill (which started 105 days ago today)? Mistakes were being made so rapidly as to almost be comical, if not for all of those highly unfunny photos of birds doused in oil and the sinking feeling that the Gulf was destroyed forever. And then there were moves that seemed obviously ill-advised: like BP putting toxic chemicals on toxic oil to somehow detoxify the Gulf.
Well, Tony Hayward, this one’s for you: Turns out that the chemical dispersant used by BP in the Gulf was actually less toxic than the oil itself when combined with oil, according to the EPA.
When mixed with oil, Corexit is also less toxic or no more toxic on the two Gulf species tested — a shrimp and a small fish — than other available chemicals that could be used as an alternative, the EPA stated. Juvenile shrimp and fish were used since they are more sensitive to chemicals than adults.
“Less toxic or no more toxic” — these days, that’s a win-win for BP. Or a lose-lose, if you’re a glass-half-empty juvenile-fish-and-shrimp-eating sort of person.
Same goes for this, per ABC: “It appears that the tide has turned and there’s reason to hope. Some 180 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, but the leaky well remains capped, and crews are on track to complete the relief well that will plug it for good within the next few weeks.”
So far, “only” 2,800 birds have been found dead, compared with 250,000 killed related to Exxon Valdez. And 11 men. And tonight, BP technicians will complete testing to decide whether or not they should pump the well with mud in hopes of sealing it completely.
Cynical optimism, it’s a lifestyle choice.