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What if the Deepwater Disaster Happened Here?

Greenpeace Takes a Look at What the Gulf of Mexico Spill Might Look in Southern California


Monday, May 3, 2010

With hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil still spewing unchecked into the Gulf of Mexico more than 10 days after the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the folks from Greenpeace have simulated what exactly this disaster would look like if it were happening along any of the stretches of United States coastline that President Obama has tentatively tagged for increased oil exploration.

Interestingly enough, besides painting a rather grim picture for places like Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas, Greenpeace — no doubt looking to draw a parallel to the horrific 1969 hemorrhage of Platform A in the Santa Barbara Channel that is credited by many for helping spawn both Earth Day and the modern day environmental movement — also developed a map for what the spill fallout would look like for us here in Southern California should a similar incident occur 70 miles off our coastline.

Click to enlarge photo

Greenpeace

Look for yourself — it is terrifying.

On a related note, adding their voice to a re-doubled growl of concern around the country about the environmental risks of oil drilling, the folks from the Center for Biological Diversity, based out of Arizona, issued an official statement this morning demanding that, in light of the current Gulf of Mexico tragedy, the recent decision by Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to pursue new offshore oil leases in certain areas be reversed and that an oil moratorium once again be put in place.

Currently, the spill slick from Deepwater has fishing closed from the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana east all the way to Pensacola Bay in Florida. U.S. Coast Guard officials are refusing to estimate the sheer size of the slick inching towards landfall but, by all accounts, it is massive and potentially the worst ecological disaster in the history of the continental United States. Since the explosion of the rig late in the evening on April 20 — which claimed 11 lives and injure 17 others — the underwater well has been pumping anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf. There are typically 42 gallons of oil in a barrel.

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