Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Who’s to Blame?

Rig Writer

As we’ve all heard, there was recently a massive oil spill off of the Gulf of Mexico. And, though there was an instant response to contain it, it looks like the oil is going to contaminate the Mississippi Delta as well.

According to an article on CNN, "BP America President Lamar McKay and Transocean President Steven Newman will appear before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee…[and then] the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee… BP leased from Transocean the oil rig that exploded off the Louisiana coast last month, starting the spill."

These hearings are to find out why BP was not more prepared for a spill. Why weren’t more precautions taken?

"They have horribly underestimated the likelihood of a spill and therefore horribly underestimated the consequences of something going wrong," said Robert G. Bea in an interview with The New York Times. Bea is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies offshore drilling. "So what we have now is some equivalent of a fire drill with paper towels and buckets for cleanup."

This certainly isn’t the first massive oil spill. Memories of the ‘89 Exxon Valdez oil spill still weighs heavily on many of our minds.

And that was 11 years ago.

What, if any, advancements have been made since the Valdez spill? And what can be done to prevent oil spills in the future?

Accidents are a fact of life. But oil companies should have a plan to contain the spills when they do happen, so that the least damage is done to the environment.

By Jessica Livingston

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