Today is the first official day of hurricane season, and meteorologists predict that it could be a doozy.
That alone would be cause for concern on the Gulf Coast, but there’s also the pesky matter of the biggest oil spill in U.S. history that continues to defy containment efforts. A hurricane in the Gulf could push even more oil ashore and would shut down response efforts to the spill.
Though I tentatively reported Thursday that the “top kill” strategy had worked, I spoke too soon. BP spent three days pumping heavy drilling mud into the well, but most of it escaped out of the damaged riser. Next, the company plans to send undersea robots to sever the broken pipeline, then try for a third time to lower a small dome to siphon the oil to the surface.
If the attempt fails, it could release up to 20 percent more oil than is already gushing into the Gulf if it fails.
BP is also drilling two relief wells, but they won’t be completed until August, at which point more than one million barrels of oil (more than 40 million gallons) will have spilled into the Gulf.
70,000 people have signed our petition to stop offshore drilling. Help us reach 500,000 strong if you haven’t already.