On April 20, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, more than a month later, everyone is demanding answers. How did this happen? Here are ten things you should know about the oil spill.
10 Things You Should Know About the Gulf Oil Spill
According to CBS News, more than 400 species of wildlife, including whales, dolphins and birds, face a threat from the spill. The New York Times also points out, it is also a temporary home for the eggs of dozens of species of fish and shellfish.
Fishing is banned in approximately 19 percent of the Gulf because of the spill.
The energy company British Petroleum (BP) has spent more than $700 million trying to clean up the oil spill.
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
In 1989, Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound, this was considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed a year after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster requires companies to oversee and pay for cleaning up an oil spill.
It is reported that at least six million gallons of oil have already poured into the Gulf since the rig explosion. If the flow can not be stopped it could go on for a year and half and total to half a billion barrels.
Louisiana's Worst Fear
In Louisiana heavy oil, not just tar balls has finally reached ashore this is now threatening the state's marshlands. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called it a "day that we have all been fearing," according to USA Today.
It has been reported that 11 people were killed in the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig. In fact, 115 were evacuated, including 17 who were injured, and 3 in critical condition, according to CBS News.
As much as 1,000 barrels or 42,000 gallons of oil is leaking each day.
Still Drilling (reread)
President Obama might have put a halt for drilling new offshore oil wells, but the New York Times is reporting, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted. In fact, records also indicate that since the April 20 explosion on the rig, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits.