Sunday, April 25, 2010
The sunken oil rig off the coast of Louisiana is leaking an estimated rate of 1,000 barrels, or about 42,000 gallons a day. The massive oil rig exploded this week. The rig burned with such intensity that it melted the pylons supporting it, causing it to sink. Eleven workers are still missing and presumed dead.
A robotic Coast Guard camera determined a pipe leading from the well is leaking oil at an estimated rate of 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons a day into the environmentally sensitive water off Louisiana’s coast. Bad weather halted efforts to clean up the mess that threatens the area’s fragile marine ecosystem.
An oil slick has formed 20-by-20-mile in size, about 25 times larger than it appeared to be a day earlier. Coast Guard officials say they have a third of the world’s oil spill cleanup ships in the area already and they’re fighting the spill. The hope is they can contain and skim that oil off the surface until workers can shut off the flow.
The explosion comes just weeks after President Obama bowed to pressure from GOP lawmakers to push forward on opening up the eastcoast, Florida and Gulf coast to new oil drilling and exploration. Such an explosion, while not common, is a reminder that calls to “drill, baby drill,” are as hollow as Sarah Palin’s head.