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The Oil Is Still There

Gulf Gusher symbolRick Outzen is taking umbrage at the recent reports that the oil in the Gulf has disappeared and it wasn’t as bad as had been assumed.

Perhaps those people who think it’s over would care to explain Louisiana authorities report oil sightings from Gulf of Mexico spill for Friday July 30th. These are the reports of visible oil on the surface.

Bob Marshall, Times-Picayune, notes that the Surface of Gulf of Mexico looks better, but millions of gallons of oil remain below:

Charter captain Mike Frenette has been wondering whether the news media are living in a parallel universe. The Internet and mainstream media this week are filled with reports that the BP oil disaster is over, that the Gulf is now devoid of the slicks and sheen, and the marshes are no longer being bathed in crude.

That’s not what he and his crew saw at the mouth of the Mississippi River and along the river’s delta this week.

“There was more oil at South Pass Tuesday than I’ve seen since this whole thing started; it was really discouraging,” Frenette said. “I don’t know where everyone else is looking, but if they think there’s no more oil out there, they should take a ride with me.

“I wish this thing was over so I could get back to fishing. But that’s just not the case. We’re a long way from finished with the oil.”

It’s a lot easier to sit in an air conditioned office somewhere and write stories to please advertisers that to go out on the Gulf during heat advisories and monitor the oil. These people could just rent a beach front condo and go down to the shore line and dig down 6 to 12 inches if they want to find the oil. BP has only been skimming the top, and the oil is soaking into the sand to discolor and poison it.

4 comments

1 paintedjaguar { 07.31.10 at 9:05 pm }

You may have seen this Dan Froomkin story about oil+Corexit being found in crab larvae all along the Gulf Coast.

Also from the Times-Picayune: Soft-shell crabs in season! Sounds delicious, but according to the Froomkin story, “Larvae are a major food source for fish and other blue crabs […] Fish are generally able to excrete ingested oil, but inverterbrates such as crabs don’t have that ability.” Personally, I think I’d order something else — maybe a nice steak.

I knew that a lot of oil was still underwater but hadn’t quite realized that Corexit was being injected directly into the geyser to keep the oil from ever appearing on the surface. Sort of gives the lie to all the recent talk about degradation from sun and wave action.

2 Bryan { 07.31.10 at 9:24 pm }

That was one of my objections to they way they were using the Corexit. If you let the oil float to the surface, then things like that giant skimmer ship, A Whale, would be very effective in picking it up. By injecting it at depth, the oil stays in the water column, much of it at depths and temperatures where no one knows if the oil-eating microbes will work. Another problem is the really bad news stuff like benzene can’t evaporate. The oil underwater is much more toxic than what’s on the surface after an hour.

The only thing injecting the dispersants at depth did was hide the amount of oil coming out of the well.

3 Moi;) { 08.01.10 at 10:03 pm }

I have seen more news stories with people shucking oysters and catching fish this weekend than I care to remember. Like I’d go eat the fish from there now, just ‘cuz it’s “capped”????

4 Bryan { 08.01.10 at 11:43 pm }

If they are eating anything from the Gulf they have lost their minds. The oil is bad enough but the dispersant BP used carries a warning that it can cause uncontrolled bleeding. The oysters feed by filtering the water, they have already found oil in seed oysters, which are tiny, so the the full-sized ones will be worse.

Tourism officials are out of their minds talking state governments into allowing this.