April 30th, 2010
07:33 PM ET

Worst-Case Scenario: Fighting the Gulf Oil Spill

Bryan Walsh

As an environmental disaster, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just keeps getting worse. Late on Thursday, April 29, BP — the energy company that operates the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig and is financially responsible for the spill — revealed that oil was leaking from the burst well at a rate of 5,000 bbl. a day, five times faster than previously estimated. That means about 210,000 gal. of oil are now spilling into the Gulf each day, forming a metastasizing oil slick that is 5,000 sq. mi. (13,000 sq km) large and growing by the hour.

Worse, shifting winds and currents are pushing the oil toward the Gulf Coast, where the Coast Guard and other government agencies are already preparing to minimize the environmental impact when the crude washes ashore. "We are being very aggressive, and we are prepared for the worst case," said Rear Admiral Sally Brice O'Hara of the Coast Guard in a press briefing on Thursday.


Filed under: 360º Follow • Oil
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