Smith: 2000 sec 44
2 May 2012
Smooth move, Slick.
Have a second? Good. In one second, 1,704 gallons of oil were being projected into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico from the burst pipe attached to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oilrig. That is the average rate at which petroleum spewed for nearly 84 days. It has claimed its fame as the largest marine oil spill the United States has ever seen, constituting the largest worldwide emergency response to an oil spill — ever (Atlas). Although the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill that engulfed the pristine environment of Prince William Sound, Alaska, killed more wildlife than the BP spill, and has tested positive for oil remnants more than 20 years later (Mascarelli), the BP oil spill will prove to be the more influential in respect to the local areas. In fact, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill will turn out to be more devastating and costly than the Exxon Valdez spill, simply because of the shear volume of oil and dispersants released into the Gulf waters, the depth and unpredictability of the spill, an especially the lasting psychological and emotional effects rendered to the Gulf Coast’s residents.
The two spills both have their own sets of variables and circumstances that make each unique. For example, the North Slope Heavy Oil spilt at Prince William Sound is much heavier than the Light Louisiana Oil that spewed from the Gulf’s floor bed. The North Slope Heavy Oil is much, for the lack of better terms, stickier than the Light Louisiana Oil making it much more difficult to clean or remove from an environment (Grunwald). On the other hand, the amount of oil that was spilled in Alaska is relatively small in comparison to the BP spill. The Valdez tanker spilled its entire contents, totaling around 41.6 million liters (11 million gallons) of oil (Atlas). Compared to the BP spill, which totaled an estimated 790 million liters (210 million gallons) of oil (Gill 3), the Alaskan spill was around 19 times...