The Gulf Oil Spill – When Will it End?

When I first heard of the explosion on the Deep water horizon, I thought very little of it. When the dead list came in, my ears pricked up and I thought,”This could be bigger than we think.” Soon after that we began to hear on the news that the rig had sank; then the BIG news hit on April 22nd when a oil slick began appearing on the surface around the area of the well.

This disaster, after being relinquished to a end of news program story now became the only story the media were focusing on. Soon, people realized that it was the blow-out preventer that had failed, and that this was the critical mechanism that could have prevented the entire oil leak and gas surge. The oil spill has been continuing at an increasing rate as BP and the US government try more desperate measure to contain the spill.
The oil disaster has had a critical effect on local tourism in the area of the Gulf, with oil slicks covering the coast, people just don’t want to visit these towns any more, and rightly so. I have sympathy for all of the business owners and workers who rely on the tourism industry for their livelihood, and however much I hope that they survive this crisis I know that some of these business’s have already shut and most likely more are to follow. The US governments response can be compared to that of the former administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina being over a much longer and more enhance time frame. Compared to this however, Hurricane Katrina was much less threatening to long scale species survival in the area as the major part of the disaster occurred within one week, thus the primary effects of the Hurricane only being short term and thus less threatening for overall bird numbers.
When you see hundreds of birds piling up on the beaches of the southern states you can’t help but feel sorry for them and even though the National Guard and many, many charities are doing a fantastic job thousands of birds are still dying of drowning or starvation. The significance of this event will be critical in the current administrations energy policy change and hopefully we can all benefit from a better, greener future from this.
But what this article really is about is the time frame for events. The time when all of the analyst’s believe that this can truly be stopped is in mid August; when the relief wells will allow for the leaking well to be plugged full with drilling fluid, blocking the flow and ending the short term disaster. However, the long term effects of this disaster are still going to be felt long into the future, with consequences stretching in long term estimates for decades. Some of these consequences are the inevitable change in energy policy which has come about directly from this disaster.
The new energy policy will have a dramatic and long lasting affect on the way the US conducts itself in the world of Oil and possibly in other fossil fuels. Many of the other economic consequences are too numerous to list here, but the plight of the tourism industry in all of the seaside resorts and towns will be a critical test for this administration. Could we see a bail out of the tourism industry like we saw of the banks? Unlikely, as we are still recovering from the largest economic crisis in decades, the administration want to cut down costs and so won’t fund another bail out. Although this is unlikely, I believe that the long term future of the tourism industry in these areas is at stake, and if they don’t get back on their feet after this disaster; then they could potentially create a huge rate of unemployment and crime.
What you have to take away from this article is this; the future is not safe for many of the thousands of animals threatened by the oil. The long term effects on the tourism industry in the Gulf is disastrous; and that BP and the administration are doing all that is possible to stem, stop and contain the oil. People are going to be angry, but maybe, just maybe, America can gain from this; through a new energy policy for a brighter future.