The news just gets worse. Despite constant efforts to contain and put an end to spreading, the black ooze that is rapidly seeping through our Gulf Coast may have reached the point of no return…. a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.
It has been nearly a month since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers. Energy giant BP has made numerous failed attempts to stop the leak, trying in vain to activate emergency valves and using a giant 100-ton container to stop the leakage, only to be thwarted by ice-like crystals forming on and destroying the container due to too much frigid seawater combining with gases underwater.
BP has said today that about 1/5 (42,000 gallons) of crude a day is now being siphoned through a mile-long tube into a tanker ship. But over the past month 210,000+ gallons have been pouring into the gulf every day, and thousands of barrels worth are already in the ocean. Computer models show the oil may have seeped into the loop current, a powerful water stream sweeping through the beautiful white sandy beaches of the Florida Keys, then propelling into the Atlantic Ocean.
With the siphon tube up and running, crews will slowly increase the amount of crude being collected over the next few days. In order to prevent the same ice-like crystals that doomed the previous containment effort they need to move slowly, being careful how much frigid seawater they allow to enter the pipe.
“This can’t be passed off as ‘it’s not going to be a problem,’” William Hogarth, dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, recently told the media. “This is a very sensitive area. We are concerned with what happens in the Florida Keys.”