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BP Oil Spill: Gulf Coast Update - #3

Updated on May 19, 2011

BP Oil Well Capped

Now, the Questions Begin

The good news is that the BP Oil well has at long last been capped. Many people along the gulf coast are greatly relieved by this. It has been a long time in coming. I'm sure many have heard that the oil spill could have lasted until Christmas...or longer. That was just too much to fathom. Ironically, it took the idea of an ordinary plumber to conceive a plan to finally cap the well. I say ironically because all the engineers were failing miserably at trying to cap this thing. A flange and seal design by the plumber is being credited to stopping the gushing oil. It only took BP almost three months to finally seal this thing. As of right now, the seal is holding. We all pray that this continues. Many are speculating if this design can withstand the internal pressure that is being exerted. Hopefully, the plumber and BP engineers calculated all this into the design.

Now, the questions are going to be asked. How did this happen? Did BP have any type of "Plan A " to stop the oil spill? From the very start it appeared BP was completely disorganized. The same can be said for the federal government. I know it will be hotly debated for years to come if the fire booms would have made any impact on the oil spill. From everyone I have spoke to, who is involved in the offshore industry, believes the spill could have been contained if equipment would have been available. I'm sure there will be commissions, lawsuits (which has already started) and hearings at the government level about this disaster. My opinion is that there is enough blame to be passed around to all parties involved. Obama hotly denies this is his Katrina. In the April 30th edition of the New York Times, an editorial was made that cast a lot of blame on the slowness of the Obama Administration to react to this oil spill. That was nothing short of amazing to me as I wrote in that hub at the time.

None of this really matters to the people whose livelihood depends on the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, the majority of the beaches along the gulf are closed due to hazardous oil sludge. In some cases, law enforcement and federal authorities are sending people away as I found out. Fishermen are out of work all along the gulf. There will be no full scale fishing for the foreseeable future. So, what happens to these people? The vast majority have, at most, a high school education. Many are 40+ years in age. They don't know anything else. Sending them to learn a new trade (at BP expense) would be fruitless. I honestly don't know what is going to happen to these people. There have been suicides of fishermen reported along the gulf coast. But, this disaster affects more than just fishermen. The tourist industry is shot along the gulf for this year at least. That hurts so many businesses along the gulf who depend on tourists this time of year. Charter boats aren't taking people to see dolphins or deep sea fishing this year. Casinos are hurting badly (although they tell the press they are not). All the little businesses that feed off the gulf fishing industry are just devastated. So many people's lives have been affected.

I'm not sure what happens next. Of course, the cleanup will continue on for God knows how long. The complete fallout from that, from both a medical standpoint (cleanup workers) and ecologically will not be known for several years. Will the oysters, crabs, herons, pelicans etc., make a comeback? We don't know. All we can do now is continue working at bringing the gulf coast back as quickly as we can. How ever long that takes, we are confident we can do it.


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  • SheriSapp profile image

    SheriSapp 7 years ago from West Virginia

    Thanks for another update. I hope this cap continues to work and the cleanup can finally make actual progress.

  • Writer David profile image

    Writer David 7 years ago from Mobile, AL

    Sheila, I was chased away. I thought maybe I was just an isolated case. Not so. I have talked to many people who have been to the beaches around here. Almost everyone has the same story; feds lean on the local enforcement and then the locals lean on civilians. Something is not right in America.

  • sheila b. profile image

    sheila b. 7 years ago

    It seems to me this is the first time we've had a disaster and people are told to stay away. If people had been allowed to go and help clean up, they would have brought business to hotels and restaurants, too. It's very frustrating to have this happening in our country and not being able to help in some way.

  • Writer David profile image

    Writer David 7 years ago from Mobile, AL

    Breakfastpop, don't expect the "truth" to come out unless the Repubs take the House. Just like with Sestak in Pa, that story is being buried by both the WH and the MSM.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 7 years ago

    Hopefully, in time, the truth about this fiasco will emerge. In the meantime, the only thing that matters is helping the people of the area to get back up on their feet. Great sensible article.

  • Writer David profile image

    Writer David 7 years ago from Mobile, AL

    vraj, I'm trying really hard not to get involved in any conspiracy theories over the BP oil spill. But, I freely admit there are things about this explosion and the slow reaction afterward, that puzzle me.

  • vrajavala profile image

    vrajavala 7 years ago from Port St. Lucie

    what's interesting is the Aquatic Species Program started by Carter and then picked up again by Obama. Certain algae were found to be able. with some genetic manipulation, to manufacture and secrete diesel fuel. Unfortunately none of the scientists examined whether algae could dissolve oil spills into a less toxic substance.

    However,Obama wasn't exactly "drill, baby drill", so I think, when he gave the go ahead to do the drilling, he would have made sure that safety was insured. So, that's why I think it was just part of his plan to get the country fed up with fossil fuels, so he could go ahead with his cap and trade agenda.

    I hate when people think they're so slick.