It’s been three weeks and six days and oil continues to gush out of the broken pipe. Only it’s not one but two broken pipes. While BP stick with their 5000 barrels a day estimate, a professor of mechanical engineering has studied the latest video and reported that the two wellhead leaks combined are gushing 95,000 barrels a day, with 70,000 barrels from the largest leak and 25,000 from the smaller. This is the first reference to two leaks. Previous video footage only appeared to show one. It shows how we have no idea of the truth of the situation.
The story is old now. You have to search to find coverage. But it’s still happening and the oil has reached the shoreline. The damage is unknowable. One of the dispersents being used is Corexit, a chemical banned in the UK because of its effects on limpets and other sea life. The word helplessness comes to mind. Helpless to stop it, helpless in the face of the potential environmental damage. Argument and debate in the US is focused on passing the blame, on the politics of deep water drilling and on attempts to limit political damage on the November mid-term elections. In the mean time the oil continues to leak unstoppably into the Gulf of Mexico.