News & Politics

Oil in the Gulf is Not Quite Gone


Though the Louisiana oil spill has all but faded from the public consciousness, fishermen in the region have reportedly discovered “miles-long strings of weathered oil,” despite the U.S. Coast Guard claims that little more could be done in terms of clean-up. The local Times-Picayune has a jarring set of pictures, along with a report, which lead to a vague recollection of a time back in April — and well into the summer — when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill might have mattered on a national scale. Remember?

The Huffington Post was happy to remind us, if only for the shock value, splashing the above image across their homepage with a link to the local article:

The oil was sighted in West Bay, which covers approximately 35 square miles of open water between Southwest Pass, the main shipping channel of the river, and Tiger Pass near Venice. Boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up. The captains said most of their sightings have occurred during stretches of calm weather, similar to what the area has experienced most of this week.

Sadly, the ship captains reporting the oil — with “some strips as much as 400 feet wide and a mile long” — are forced to remain anonymous “for fear of losing their clean-up jobs with BP.”

Still, a local environmental sciences professor is careful to note that it might not be some conspiracy, but rather, a complicated situation and a seemingly never-ending nightmare:

“I say this is a possibility, because I know that the (Coast Guard) has sent boats out to investigate these reports, but by the time they get to the scenes, the weather has changed and they don’t see any oil.”

“I think the reports are credible, but I also think the incident responders are trying to find the oil, too,” Overton said. “This is unusual, but nothing about this bloody spill has been normal since the beginning.”

Massive stretches of weathered oil spotted in Gulf of Mexico [Times-Picayune]

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