Almost a year and a half has passed since the worst oil spill in U.S. history, but the aftereffects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are still being felt. A federal report released today investigated the causes of the disaster and has come to the conclusion that BP is ultimately responsible for the oil spill. The BP oil spill wreaked havoc along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and killed thousands of animals. By boycotting BP, you can help take action against the company responsible for the worst oil disaster in U.S. history.
The report is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement. Findings contained in the report will be used by lawyers representing victims of the oil spill and by government agencies to incriminate BP, as the government is currently considering pressing both civil and criminal charges against the oil company. The report will also help to encourage reforms of offshore drilling regulations.
The BP disaster started on the night of April 20, 2010, when an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, killing 11 men and injuring 17 others. Fire from the explosion lasted for 36 hours until the rig eventually sank. On April 22nd, an oil leak was discovered. Oil continued to flow into the Gulf of Mexico for three months after the explosion; a total of 4.9 million barrels had spilled by the time the oil flow was capped.
Extensive efforts have been made in the aftermath of the oil spill to determine the cause of the explosion. The newest federal report states that BP is mostly to blame. Allegations in the report contend that BP made a series of critical errors in the days leading up to the explosion and subsequent spill. Evidently, BP violated seven federal regulations, which would have greatly increased the risk of a disaster on the rig. Violations include improper maintenance that would have maintained the well and kept it under control, failure to perform a cement job that would have kept gas and oil inside the well, and failure to properly maintain the blowout preventer.
Prior to this most recent report, other investigations into the BP disaster have blamed other factors that influenced the spill, including faulty equipment and mistakes made by executives and crew members. The federal report is groundbreaking because it lays most of the blame on BP. The report notes, however, that several other companies had a hand in the disaster, most notably the company Transocean, who owned the Deepwater Horizon rig.
As a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, oil slicks wreaked havoc on the delicate ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico. As of November 2010, 6,814 animals had lost their lives due to the oil spill. In addition to this tally, it is suspected that a group of 67 dolphins who were found dead were also killed as a result of the disaster. The spill has also affected eight national parks and has affected tourism in several states, costing the area millions of dollars in lost business. Fisheries have also been negatively affected due to the quality of the water in the aftermath of the spill.
The findings of the report draw attention to the fact that BP has yet to accept full responsibility for the massive oil spill that was caused by greed and carelessness. Offshore drilling is still a huge problem in the U.S., and something must be done about it before another disaster happens. To take action against the greedy tactics of big oil companies, start by signing this petition encouraging the government to seize BP’s assets. An even more effective tactic is to completely boycott BP by refusing to purchase gas from them. BP also owns Arco gas stations, AMPM convenience stores, and Castrol. Taking action against BP by boycotting their products is a small but effective step to cut down the company that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals and the destruction of their ecosystems.
Photo Credit: rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect3/tsr-salazar-oil-spill-cnn-640×480.jpg