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Oil, Fear, Health Threat Continue To Plague Gulf Waters

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
19 August 2010, 5:24 AM
No amount of PR can cleanse the oil spill's continuing reality

<Update 8/19: The chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment said today that BP gets a failing grade for its cleanup efforts in the Gulf. He also castigated federal authorities for grossly underestimating how much oil remains from the BP spill.>

<Update 8/19: Quoting Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researchers, The Washington Post reports that a 21-mile plume of oil stretches underwater from the BP oil spill site in the Gulf. A similar report was put out by The New York Times.>

<Update 8/19: An oceanographer, from the Florida university whose scientists report that most oil from the Gulf spill still remains in the Gulf, is expected to tell a House subcommittee today that the federal government has underestimated impacts of that oil.>

Although initially slow to rush into Gulf waters and lead the clean-up of BP's oil spill, President Obama and his agencies are showing no hesitancy in rushing to clean up the public relations image of what that oil is doing to Gulf fishing and recreation. In the last few days, we've seen:

* Obama swimming along the Florida shoreline with his daughter to show just how clean and fun it is.

* EPA announcing that ¾'s of the 200 million gallons of crude have evaporated into thin air or into the tummies of hungry microbes.

* Various government authorities insisting that Gulf seafood is safe to eat—an insistence that accompanies the opening of shrimp season off the Louisiana coast on Monday.

Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it—many scientists aren't jumping on the Happy-Days-Are-Here-Again bandwagon.

Just today, university scientists presented findings that challenge EPA's positive take on things. As the St. Petersburg Times reports:

The oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is still in the Gulf of Mexico and is causing ecological damage, according to new findings from the University of South Florida…the oil has become toxic to critical marine organisms.

The Florida study also spotlights the unprecedented use of nearly 2 million gallons of dispersants. Toxic in their own right, the dispersants are also part of the ecological havoc, the findings suggest.

Separately, as CNN reports, a different study directly challenges EPA's insistence that most oil has been disappeared:

A team from Georgia Sea Grant and the University of Georgia released a report that estimates that 70 to 79 percent of the oil that gushed from the well "has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem," the university said in a release.

And yet another scientific study, by the Journal of the American Medical Association, on Monday warned that the oil/dispersant mix poses threats to human health and to the safety of sea food. Read a newspaper report on the study here, and a synopsis of the study here. Time Magazine also reported on the study, merging into it concerns expressed by Gulf coast residents.

No amount of surface swimming by the President and his PR corps are going to eliminate what can't be seen deep below in the Gulf—nor will it assuage the fear among those who sieve their livelihoods from the Gulf and are as yet unwilling to test its oil-fouled waters.




i like your website, its very good!

the oil slipping has troubled many countries and people!

I would not give a failing grade to BP. I will take over the cleanup efforts from them bring our navy in get the clean up done and make BP go bankrupt. 4 months and still oil leaking?? r u kidding me?? BP cannot handle disaster. they should not be allowed to drill...

Just because Obama is willing to risk his children's lives and his life (remember their healthcare is the best America has to offer) does not mean he is right. How much of the toxins poured into the ocean make it safe? How much of the toxins put in the air due to burning oil make it safe? Just because someone test a few seafood out of the millions that are eaten, does that make all of them everywhere safe? Have the level of toxins been 'adapted' recently?

What a pack of liars---guess that's why they want our population less and less educated and able to think for ourselves and apply we'll believe this BS! THat and absorbed in the boob tube! IT's infuriating!!

replying to my own post: Clearly, the consequences of this spill will take decades and decades to rectify and I doubt we have a clue really how to do it!! We didn't know with the Valdex oil spill----20 years later animals and people exposed to that spill are dying of cancer. I am glad that some are beginning to step forward and publicly state that "all is not yet well" It's the denial of that and minimizing that is BS. Just to be clear!!

that is wrong for the president to thinks its over with the oil spill, but i feel its not over. . i am very worried about sea creatures . if the oil is on the bottom of the floor bed , it can rise to the top. They do not care what happens later. i feel that you should hit them really hard this time. i wish the oil companies were not drilling in the gulf. its not right. they should stop. have they not learned about what happened long time ago with that oil tanker spill. please find away to stop the drilling in our oceans, i believe its killing the wild life thats in it. If i had a job like this i would show them that we are killing our plant. If there are people out there that really care about their plant like i do care about i feel that we should stop driving cars and find other means of transport. if we all stop driving our cars the oil companies would fall down. I love my plant so much but we are killing it. Please fight hard for the people that care. thanks

i'm not sure about this. its a lot of oil that went into the ocean. and i'm sure that its hidding somewhere. this is what I've been doing to help.

so good,i like this!

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