Certainly. It could have gone on longer for any number of reasons, from technical inadequacy or a hurricane could have plowed through while the work to stop it was in progress.
There are any number of ways it could have been worse. One hundred twenty-five people were onboard the Deepwater Horizon when it blew out; one hundred fourteen made it out alive. We could have gone with the “nuclear option” some suggested was the only answer and turned an ordinary oil-gushing hole in the ocean floor into a radioactive oil-gushing hole (see citation #1 – and no, it wasn’t Clinton who suggested we use nuclear bombs). It could have been a larger oil well and gone on for longer, or we could have made more mistakes on the cleanup and recovery effort by building sand berms and other oil barriers against scientific recommendations (see citation #2).
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