Saturday, May 1, 2010

Nobody Wants No Oily Shrimp!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

A week ago British Petroleum told us that the oil leak beneath the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was 5,000 gallons a day. It was bad, but they would get it stopped and pay for the cleanup. Yesterday the estimate was that the leak was more like 200,000 gallons a day. The Feds were declaring it a situation of national significance, and they would step in to help staunch the flow and contain the damage. Today the estimate is that over a million gallons of oil a day are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, and the slick is already the size of Puerto Rico.

And it just gets worse, and worse, and worse.

If a million gallons a day is correct, the spill will surpass that caused by the Exxon Valdez a couple of decades ago in the waters off of Alaska. It will officially become the worst oil spill in history tomorrow - with no end in sight! If the oil slick makes it into the Gulf Stream, which now appears likely, the spill will make its way around Florida and work its way up the eastern coast of the United States. The country could have oily beaches from Miami to Coney Island.

This is really, truly, terribly serious.

It seems like we, all of us, should be doing something - rescuing sea creatures, cleaning beaches, washing the oil off of sea birds - something. But this crisis is epic, and it is far from over. All we can do is stay out of the way and hope that somebody can figure out a way to turn the oil tap off.

This man-made tragedy is devastating the economy of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Things were just starting to get back to normal after the deadly hurricanes of a couple of years ago, and New Orleans is still years away from completely recovering from Hurricane Katrina - and then they get hit with this!

Jimmy Rowell is a third-generation shrimp and oyster fisherman in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The 61-year-old Rowell knows that his livelihood and his way of life are slipping away with each gallon of oil that spills into the Gulf. He commented on the growing oil slick that is heading his way: "It's over for us. If this oil comes ashore, it's just over for us. Nobody wants no oily shrimp."

And indeed, nobody does.

1 comment:

Mike Box said...

How long to Europe? Will the infamous category 5 storms of the Gulf suck the oil up and rain it inland?

Kind of makes you lonesome for the good old dust bowl days!