Researchers are discovering that the “worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history” did far more damage than originally believed. The amounts of oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico after 2010’s Deepwater Horizon Macondo well explosion was far more significant and left a much more damaging “toxic footprint” in its wake.
Research now indicates that an estimated 210 million gallons of oil got released into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It spread nearly to Texas and all the way to western Florida beaches, then was carried in a loop current toward Miami. Along its way, scientists have discovered remaining “invisible oil” located under the surface of the water.
This lingering pollution remains toxic and can destroy up to half of the marine life it encounters over 92,500 miles.
The research was published now, when the president is about to sign off on a proposal to sell off oil leases in all parts of the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, as well as expanding leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
Simultaneously, the administration has also dismantled safety regulations for oil platforms that were put in place to avoid these type of disasters and protect workers from injury and death out on the water.
The anniversary of the catastrophe is approaching in April. That’s when 11 workers died in the blast that also sank the oil platform and triggered a five-month oil spill that decimated the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.
Once these regulations are rolled back, oil field workers on offshore platforms can face severe risks to their health and well-being if offshore accidents occur. Holding negligent parties liable for the ensuing injuries and deaths requires prompt legal action to be taken.