BP Oil Well Leaking Equivalent of Two Exxon Valdezes a Week


And it's not stopping.

The NYT reports:

"The figure of 5,000 barrels a day was hastily produced by government scientists in Seattle. It appears to have been calculated using a method that is specifically not recommended for major oil spills.

Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University who is an expert in the analysis of oil slicks, said he had made his own rough calculations using satellite imagery. They suggested that the leak could 'easily be four or five times' the government estimate, he said.

'The government has a responsibility to get good numbers,' Dr. MacDonald said. 'If it’s beyond their technical capability, the whole world is ready to help them.'

Scientists said that the size of the spill was directly related to the amount of damage it would do in the ocean and onshore, and that calculating it accurately was important for that reason."

Scientists say they're not sure if it was oil that killed the dolphin pictured above, dead on Horn Island in the Gulf. But it sure as hell looks like it.

Think Progress reports:

"Based on 'sophisticated scientific analysis of seafloor video made available Wednesday,' Steve Wereley, an associate professor at Purdue University, told NPR the actual spill rate of the BP oil disaster is about 3 million gallons a day — 15 times the official guess of BP and the federal government. Another scientific expert, Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated the rate of flow to be between 840,000 and four million gallons a day. These estimates mean that the Deepwater Horizon wreckage could have spilled about five times as much oil as the 12-million-gallon Exxon Valdez disaster, with relief only guaranteed by BP in three more months."


  1. Dave says

    We the people should seize the assets of BP, Transocean and Halliburton irrevocably rescind their corporate charters arrest their CEOs and boards and charge them with manslaughter and global environmental destruction.

  2. Bob R says

    Americans really don’t care about this. Unless you live near one of the affected or threatened beaches or your business is directly threatened the majority of Americans really don’t care. The polls show this, keep drilling, drill more, find that oil, NOW. Like any out of control drug addict nothing matters but our daily oil fix. We need our cars, we need our A/C in the summer and cozy heat in the winter and all the power it takes for our electronic toys and petroleum products required to make them. That’s all that really matters. The corporate execs know this, the regulators know this, the politicians (almost all bought and paid for by the corporations well paid Lobbyists on K Street) know this and deep down, although most of us wouldn’t be honest enough to admit it, we know it. Massive ecological damage, so what? Avian and aquatic species going extinct, so what? We’ve got pictures and maybe even plush replicas of the departed. Throw a couple of bucks to some tree hugger group and that’ll assuage our conscience. On to more important things, like who lost on American Idol, or what’s happening on Glee? This is just the sort of selfish, WIFM (what’s in it for me) society we’ve become. I’m old and tired and so glad I won’t be around much longer to see our sad end. Because unless we change priorities and attitudes, that dead creature on the beach may soon be us.

  3. Redebbm says

    I’m waiting on the “Drill, baby drill” people to show up and clean up. I thought they loved oil? Guess not. I don’t see miss Palin out there either, i wonder sometimes if she even know what Exxon Valdez was?

    This is a catastrophe, and a reminder of why we can’t let teabaggers in office, when they think investing in renewables and “green” jobs are a waste, and trying max out our measly 3% world supply oil is the future. A very sad thing indeed.

  4. Jeremy says

    Ugh how could they let this happen? The extremely delicate gulf shore ecosystem was already damaged severely by the hurricane, since many of the barrier islands were completely wiped.

    I don’t think it will ever recover from this. It’s one thing to clean oil from a sandy beach, that’s cake compared to trying to get it out of estuaries and bayous.

    The South has one of the most beautiful and amazing and mostly undocumented ecosystems in America. Look up Cahaba Lillies.

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