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The Slick Spreads

It appears as though the Deepwater Horizon saga is not over, with new reports suggesting there is yet another oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico coming from the site of the 2010 spill.

BP had confirmed the oil sheen that appeared in mid-September in the Gulf was leaking from the containment dome, an abandoned piece of equipment which capped the original spill.

The company addressed that leak by plugging it, only to find more slicks surfacing days later. It is clear that despite the company’s (hopefully) best efforts, the job hasn’t been done properly, and there is little evidence to convince one to think otherwise.

The new oil sheen is under review by officials to determine who or what is culpable for the leak, but the latest reports pin the responsibility back on BP. However, it is an indirect consequence of the company’s action, which may help mitigate some public backlash.

“The only places that we have high suspicion that there might be contained oil is in the containment dome where we already found some previously,”

Said Cpt. Duke Walker, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Response. Investigation crews have not been able to look at the rig wreckage itself, or the abandoned containment dome, but Walker doesn’t think oil is leaking from any other wells associated with BP. The problem lies in the Deepwater site, and that is the target for inspections. For the time being, crews are going to work as protocol dictates, and the culprit will eventually be identified.

It is generally accepted that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, and the Deepwater tragedy is a microcosm for action to combat climate change. However, when attempting to convince climate change skeptics to take action against it, a poll released by the Associated Press shows the public is swayed more by consequent extreme weather than the science of the matter.

Accordingly, it is likely that man-made disasters dissuade the public from continuing the flawed practices.

When the public is mobilized, it is difficult to ignore action, so perhaps there will be enough mobilization to not only deter further reckless oil extraction, but also to mitigate negative effects of a changing climate.

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