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BP Oil Spill Finally Hits American Coast;Massive Impact on Economy and Environment Expected

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Despite “numerous efforts” by BP which took a week to wake up to the scale of the disaster, the Oil Spill has finally  hit the American coast.The oil spill will have a devastating impact on the wildlife , fishing and tourism of the area.It underscores the damage that our world suffers from its dependence on dirty energy.Most of the suffering will be felt by the common people while the politicians , corporates and lawyers continue to play their games. The US government has set up a Commission to look at the omissions and faults by different stakeholders leading to this environmental disaster.However don’t expect any solutions to the fundamental problems as US remains a laggard on issues of climate change and global warming.As I keep saying it will take a massive environmental disaster like the Sept 11 Terrorist Bombings to wake up the government from its lackdaiscal attitude towards climate change.Till then keep expecting these “minor” disasters and the fun and games associated with them.

Heavy oil hits Louisiana shore  – Reuters

The first heavy oil from a giant Gulf of Mexico spill sloshed ashore in fragile Louisiana marshlands on Wednesday and part of the mess entered a powerful current that could carry it to Florida and beyond.The day that we have all been fearing is upon us today,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said after a boat tour to the southernmost point of the Mississippi River estuary.”This wasn’t tar balls. This wasn’t sheen. This is heavy oil in our wetlands,” he told a news conference. “It’s already here but we know more is coming.”

Officials had previously reported debris in the form of tar balls, or light surface “sheen” coming ashore in outlying parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.The marshes are the nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish that make Louisiana the leading producer of commercial seafood in the continental United States and a top destination for recreational anglers. The United States has already imposed a large no-fishing zone in waters in the Gulf seen affected by the spill.A U.S. congressional panel heard testimony from experts who said the spill rate could be many-fold larger.

“This is not rocket science,” said Steve Wereley, associate mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University, who pegged the spill’s volume at about 70,000 barrels per day. “All outside estimates are considerably higher than BP’s.”BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said on Wednesday its 5,000-barrels-a-day estimate was “highly” uncertain.

Local tourism authorities said damage had already been inflicted by the negative publicity linked to the spill.”Even if we don’t get even a gumball-sized tar ball down here in the next month, there has already been significant perception damage to Florida Keys and Florida tourism,” said Andy Newman of the Monroe Tourism Development Council.”We understand we are not out of the woods yet, that there’s more oil out there,” he said.Tar balls have also been found on the Texas coast and were being tested, but a Coast Guard official said it was “highly unlikely those tar balls in Texas are related to this spill.”A Louisiana agency said a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, an endangered species in the state, had been brought in and cleaned of oil after biologists discovered it off the coast.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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