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May 28th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

The Gulf's silent environmental crisis

John D. Sutter
CNN

On the Gulf of Mexico (CNN) - Ten miles off the coast of Louisiana, where the air tastes like gasoline and the ocean looks like brownie batter, Louisiana State University professor Ed Overton leans out of a fishing boat and dunks a small jar beneath the surface of the oil-covered water.

"God, what a mess," he says under his breath, scooping up a canister of the oil that's been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

Even though Overton has been studying oil spills for 30 years, he's not sure what he'll find in that sample. That's because, just below the surface, the scope and impact of one of the biggest environmental disasters in the history of the U.S. remains a mystery.

And that terrifies some scientists.

It's been five weeks since an oil rig exploded and sank, rupturing a pipeline 5,000 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Some clues about what so much oil - perhaps 22 million gallons of it - will do to the environment have become obvious:

Dolphins have washed up dead. Endangered sea turtles have been found with oil stuck on their corneas. Lifeless brown pelicans, classified as endangered until recently, have been carried away in plastic bags. Beaches in Grand Isle, Louisiana, are spattered with gobs of sticky crude. And when the moon rises over the coast there, the oil-soaked ocean sparkles like cellophane under a spotlight.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Gulf Oil Spill • T1
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. D Cook from Colorado

    I agree that, BP should have their assets frozen until they have paid for the cleanup of the oil in the gulf, however, it seems we are beyond the scope of just money at this point. The question is, can we find a way to stop this disaster, regardless of the cost? NOW, MORE THAN EVER, WE NEED TO END OUR DEPENDENCE ON OIL. IT'S TIME TO CHANGE.

    May 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  2. Anthony

    Dear Mr Cooper,
    Again, we as Americans,can not thank-you enough
    for staying on top of this US and possible World oil disaster.Express
    to Mr Carval our heartbreaks with him and the entire Gulf Coast.We are
    one nation and pray for a quick resolution; to this obvious ill prepared
    oil exploration by BP.Gov Jindal ,Billy Nunmeiser (spelling)and the parish presidents are doing a wonderful job fighting for the people of
    LA and the region .I wish we had leadership in NJ as these four titans
    (Carvil,Nunmeiser,Jindal and Douglas Briekley)have displayed in Standing up to the BP cover-ups and the Governments incompetances.
    These are truly the Magnificent 4

    May 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Bill Louden

    As a Texan, I have to also ask, what are the neighboring states, if not all other states, doing to help?

    Why hasn't Texas mobilized the national guard to assist?

    What preparations is Texas taking to protect our coastline, especially since hurricane season will push these contaminants westward to our shores?

    Shouldn't we stop ALL deep water drilling until the oil companies can PROVE that they can work at those depths to fix any problems?

    Why is BP focusing on containment and not cleanup? Containment means that they HARVEST THE OIL that is being LEAKED so they can SELL it (ie. this is revenue being lost). The oil derived from the cleanup is an expense – they can't harvest it for sale (ie. this is an EXPENSE that they, so far, are avoiding).

    I would predict that by September, BP will declare bankruptcy, and its remaining assets (and not the liability for cleanup) will be bought by a non-American company, leaving Americans to foot the bill.

    May 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  4. Diana Gewertz Sarris

    Mr. Anderson:
    Some years ago a company named Biotecknica, Mr. Bryon Moe, received the first patents on I believe 5 living organisms that ate oil on open water, the residue was harmless and provided food for the fish and plankten. These patent should be public record. My brother Kenneth was a stockholder in this company and Mr. Moe became ill and the application was never completed.

    Given the dire situation perhaps this could be looked into.

    Sincerely,

    Diana Sarris

    PS: Keep up your excellent coverage

    May 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  5. Bill Louden

    Anderson,

    Questions I'd like to see asked of Government, BP, etc....

    1) With 9% unemployment, why isn't the government hiring the unemployed for the cleanup? Bus them in from neighboring states even!

    2) BP has caused three major environmental disasters in the past 5 years. Why are they allowed to stay in business? Shouldn't the government nationalize BP (aka British Petroleum)? Or perhaps simply bar them from ever drilling for oil in American waters?

    3) Does all the oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico come to America? In other words, is 100% of the oil produced sold in the US market, or do these companies sell it to the highest (international) bidder?

    4) Ask President Obama, "don't you feel played by BP after the staged workers were exposed and a day after you left BP, announces that their "TOP KILL" failed?" Don't you think BP knew it was a failure before you came down, but they were stalling for time, until after the 'photo op' to announce the failure?

    May 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  6. cate rellim

    Thanks for all the coverage on this catastrophe.
    Reporters , scientists and anyone who want insights into what IS known about the consequences this toxic pollution should look at what was learned from the Exxon Valdez experience. Read "Sound Truths and Corporate Myths. The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill" by Dr Riki Ott, marine biologist and Alaska resident.
    Read it and you will understand the true enormity of what is taking place in the Gulf right now. Read it and you will be able to see beyond the corporate spin.
    We must learn from this and make it a true tipping point. Ultimately, it will affect us all, not just those who live in the Gulf States, We must ALL speak out.

    May 30, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  7. Adam lathou

    I wonder about who owns the crude oil currently in water? And if I have to collect massive quantity of oil from water, how much is it worth and who is going to pay me. I'm an inventor and I can put together a system capable of collecting 3000,000 Gallons a month of pure crude oil.

    May 30, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  8. Lise

    Why not get all the most effective enginers in the western world together to find a solution? Your President was not given a magic wand on his inauguration. I agree it is a disaster; you are barking at the wrong tree... do not hold your president responsible for this mess, go after all your rich oil executives.

    May 30, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  9. SafetyBryanD

    Several People cleaning up the Oil Spill are getting sick. I am wondering how many of these Cleanup workers and volunteers are receiving the necessary training to actually be safe around crude oil. I doubt that HAZWOPR 40 is necessary, but I would highly reccomend it and have at least 10% of each team with such training. I see them walking around in Tyvex suits on the news but no respirators, not even cloth vapor respirators. Oil contains Benzene and other volatile chemicals that are harmful to humans. Breathing zone tests need to be done not just air monitoring.

    May 30, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  10. Bill in Vermont

    Why do we not hear much mention of the 1979 Ixtoc One oil spill in the Gulf?
    Also the comparison to the current spill, and the fact that all the same failed methods
    Used 31 years ago are the same as what is being done, and failing today.
    People need to know that this has happened in the past, with the same failed results.

    May 30, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  11. Wendy

    Why can't/ wont BP stop stammering around with cleaning up the oil and
    just do it. All of the fishermen/ people that have already taken classes on how to deal. What are they waiting for?
    Our gov't isn't stepping up....whjy?
    I
    This catastrophe will affect everyone.

    May 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  12. Jim

    Dear A.C. Thanks for the continued coverage oil spill in New Orleans. This sends a message to American people that we need to explore alternative and environmentally sustainable energy technologies. The research budgets for this type of research is way below the subsidies and budgets of conventional energy. If one disaster is all it takes for oil–imagine what nuclear energy would do to an entire region? Fuel cells using water as a feedstock could displace nuclear at scale; but without the waste that lasts for 10,000 years or that can be made into weapons. Deepen the research investment into pyrolysis oil from non-food biomass–and we can displace a large fraction of oil in the next ten years. Using wind, solar, geothermal and hydrogen technology could displace the country's filthy habit with coal. Even natural gas can be generated from manures and other non-food biomass. There is no need to drill in pristine landscapes nor spoil fisheries and estuaries. More stories highlighting progress of research in renewable and sustainable energy–but not that research that takes the conventional route. Nuclear is not the answer. Wind and solar do not generate GHG emissions, hazardous wastes or particulate matter-and also do not use water to generate electricity. America can do this; but it will take a major investment. The country will need to move away from wars eventually to invest in its own sustainable energy future and educational system. Policy should only subsidize those technologies that do not damage the environment. President Obama needs to be visible. His delegation is well taken; but the people need to see a deep concern and involvement. The only good from this is that more people will understand how important marshlands and estuaries are–and maybe one day all students in America will know the species that live in their bioregion and how important they are to the entire biosphere. All the best Anderson and thank you for challenging industrial leaders and digging for the truth. All the best, Jim from Windsor, CO

    May 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  13. wendy

    Why can't/ wont BP stop stammering around with cleaning up the oil and
    just do it. All of the fishermen/ people that have already taken classes on how to deal. What are they waiting for?
    Our gov't isn't stepping up....whjy?
    I'm just going to say -why is our President on a vacation In Chicago?!
    This catastrophe will affect everyone.

    May 29, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  14. Stephen

    They should have plugged the hole in the beginning but greed over ruled what would happened if BP could not get there precious oil and that is the devastation we have now. You see, we have the means to blow up that hole and shut it off. They could drill in from the sides at an angle some 100 feet in and just short of drilling into the main hole and place explosive charges in them then blow them up and the hole would be plugged. Our military has the capability to shoot some high tech missiles into this area I am sure of it. So I hope Mr. Cooper, that you will investigate why out Government let BP spend all this time trying to capture there precious oil so they could pump it out and make their money rather than shut it down from the beginning. I think since our government officials stood by and let BP play this out going from one plan to the next trying to capture the oil so to contain it and them continue to pump it makes me think they are in with BP and acting like this is the right way to handle stopping the flow of oil. Our Government officials have oil on their hands just like BP and I think it all about the money and they don’t care about what has happened to the environment or the people because they are selfish and greedy and it does not affect them, They all just care about the money and themselves.

    May 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  15. Heather (Qc)

    What is taking place in the Gulf is absolutely devastating, and with the 'Top Kill' attempt having failed, there's no certainty as to when it might end. While the focus is on BP (and rightfully so), BP is not the only company involved in deep water drilling. The fact that none of the other companies have put forward a solution (or a temporary patch for that matter) tells us that they wouldn't have a clue as to what to do if this happened to them. What other ecosystems are at risk because of deep water drilling, and how many of the companies in the oil industry are operating beyond their technical capabilities in their pursuit for oil?

    May 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  16. RaY

    I do not think B.P. IS trying to plug this Well.
    It appears from the amount of oil escaping,this may be the largest wells ever discovered in North America,and B.P. does not want to plug this well.
    What they will do is extract as much oil as possible,which will more than pay for damages caused by the leak.
    They were well aware that top Kill could not work with the large break in the riser.This could have been fixed with Robots to the point where top fill would work.
    So far I see a lot of show for the public of covering the real intention,
    to recover as much oil as possible.

    May 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  17. cindy wright

    Anderson, Do you think it is possible to cap oil leak from the surface of the water, by surrounding it with a large concrete cylinder,long enough too reach the leak itself , and cap off with concrete, the pressure outside the cylinder from the ocean may equal pressure on the inside of the cylinder with oil, it may help support a large amount of oil, maybe leave a spout for further use, to tap into, or to fill up an oil tanker.Just a thought..........I feel so helpless, this is so sad for this to happen. Pray that something works soon. Cin

    May 29, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  18. Barbara Teston

    Who is going to go to jail for this? If I dumped a barrel of oil in my back yard I'd be there already. This is an environmental catastophe that the gulf will never recover from and I'd like to know if the CEO and other decision makers at BP can really look at theirselves in the mirror and like who is looking back.

    May 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm |
  19. peter ross montreal canada

    Just listened to an ex president of Shell oil John Hofmeister, who said the Saudis had a spill 1993 in which 700 million gallons were spilled. They used supertankers to suck up the mixture of oil and seawater and then separated the oil and water on land . The clean up lasted two years but was very effective. John Pozzi an American engineer working for Aramco was part of that cleanup and has approached BP. BP has refused to talk to him. Its time for BP and the government to listen.

    May 29, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  20. Charles

    The solution to this oil leak might be simpler than we think. Why don't they use molten rock (lava) to plug the hole, instead of a man made material. Use mother natures creations to solve this problem.

    May 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  21. Mary

    I am really, really angry that BP has not unleashed an armada of super tankers to syphon up the oil/ooze. The Shell Oil Exec said he did that years ago. Why would they just WATCH and talk about stopping the leak for 40 days while they knew that there were syphon armadas that had been successfully used in the past?????!!!!!

    May 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  22. Bert Bell

    I had this idea that might work to stop up the hole long enough to then fill it with solid matter:

    I don’t know if this would, but it might be worth a try. Suppose they could drop large, partially water-filled plastic bags several meters down into the hole. Two hoses would be sealed into the bags. One hose would contain water to fill the bags to capacity thereby blocking the hole with water.

    The other hose would then be used to pipe liquid oxygen into the large bags of water freezing them solid. Obviously, these would be enormous bags of water, or at least large enough to temporarily block the passage of oil until they’ve been frozen solid. Once the hole is blocked with solid ice they might then be able to fill the remainder of the hole with concrete or other solids to permanently block the flow of oil. They might need a third hose for the air that escapes from the bag as it is filled up with water. If this idea isn't feasible I hope it will spark another idea somewhere that is.

    May 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  23. Citizen Jane

    Bring in the Native American medicine men...historically they have been more in touch with the natural world than any oil company CEOs or military and political figureheads! Just maybe they can make a difference in turning this environmental disaster around...no one else seems able to do it!

    May 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  24. Thomas J Walsh

    Perspective: IXTOCL 1 drilling at 1.9 Miles Depth 62 Milkes off of Campeche Mexico, burned and collapsed. The BOP failed and the well dumped oil into the Gulf from June 3, 1979 until capped on March 23, 1980. The blowout dumped 10-30 Thousand Barrels of oil per day.

    Drill, Baby, Drill... The Government is the problem... Deregulate all busisness... these idiots are inocent of any 'blame'. It's all the government.

    May 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  25. Ryan Miller

    Anderson, BP should get a few oil tankers to pull up near the source of the leak, run a large hose down to the source and pump the leaking crude into the belly of the tanker. Better to capture at the source than try to cleanup the mess on shore. Why are they not trying out-of-the-box ideas like this? They can try more than one thing at a time. There is no reason that this company should reap a profit after an event like this. As stated last night on your show, it's time for a criminal investigation.

    May 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  26. Glenn

    The government can get a rocket to the moon but they can't clean up an oil spill, Something is wrong with that.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  27. Chris Moore

    The silence is a cover-up isn;t it? The newscasts and news conferences all day Friday seem to reek. "Let's calm down angry America", seems to be the message. Well BS. Anxiety plays role in cleanup workers illness. This is true, but more BS. Where are the Middle East in all of this. We send troops but I haven't heard that one Arabic citizen has come with any help. Are we fools? This crisis belogs to the oil industry, not BP. And Barack, what the hell? Don't we have American scientists and engineers that could offer help here? There seems to be a parade of international experts, what happened to buy American? The only thing that has been bought American here is the White House. This whole thing is total BS!!!!!

    May 29, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  28. Chris

    For every finger pointed at BP, there are 4 pointed back towards us. This situation has been inevitable for a long time. Humans are not infallible, and if it wasn't BP, then it would have been Exon, or Shell or Conoco.... True, BP has made a mess of this; they had no plan. But, it was going to happen anyway eventually to some oil company. We should wake up and look at the fact that we have been consuming the world's oil resources at an alarming rate. All the "easy" oil is long gone. Look where the oil companies need to go now to find the oil that we demand. We are incredibly wasteful of oil and think nothing of it. Instead of carefully organizing our lives to minimize our use of cars, we buy houses a long way from public transit and our jobs - we continually waste car trips by making single purpose trips and then repeat it many times in a day or week. Our city buses run around emply. It's just so much easier to jump in the car and go where we want when we want to. People care a lot about their own convenience. So instead of blaming BP and the government for this mess, we should look at our personal lifestyles and see if there is a way we can arrange our lives to use much less oil. I don't have a lot of hope for this. People want what they want and it's so much easier to point a finger at BP rather than themselves.... Well, whether they realize it or not, 4 of their fingers are pointed back at themselves.

    May 29, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  29. Lael Bradshaw

    why can't they use huge vaccumes to suck up all the oil and water and put in big tankers, ship to shore and put in holding tanks till they figure out what to do with it. Sucking up everything is better than letting it spread all over.
    i am just sick to call my self a human - all we do is destroy everything for money. so sickening.

    May 29, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  30. rick

    Ok so there is the BOP on the ocean floor which purpose is to shut off the flow of oil when/if necessary. The diagrams of the leak indicate it is in a bend in the well pipe currently laying on the ocean floor. Wouldn't there be another bend somewhere above the BOP which brings the pipe down towards the ocean floor? How do we know there is just the one break in the pipe? Has anyone seen video of the entire submersed equipment of the well?

    May 29, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  31. Debbie Leo

    What I have found most disturbing in all of the this disaster, is the lack of real "concern" on the part of all of the people on the planet! The consequences of this "spill(?)" will be potentially toxic to ALL THE WATERS AROUND THE GLOBE! What western science hasn't said, because it's really beyond our technologies at this time, is something even a school kid can tell you.... when you put a "drop" of oil on a body of water, even a very small drop of oil, it will spread over the entire surface of that body of water. That said, the millions of gallons of crude oil from this one area of the world will eventually spread around the globe... WE ARE INTER-CONNECTED. Now, how we proceed from here will tell all and I can only hope that it will bring the people of the world together in a sincere, eye-opening epiphany.... life on earth and the seas that feed it are the most important thing in this world. We need to stop the use of all petroleum related products. NOW!

    May 29, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  32. Heather (Qc)

    @Robert Partush: If you click on the 'Read more' link above, it will take you to CNN's 'Part of complete coverage on Gulf Coast Oil Spill' site. If you click on the 'Volunteers Recruited' link (bottom right), CNN has provided a complete list of organizations recruiting volunteers. Volunteer safely please – proper protective equipment at all times! 🙂

    May 29, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  33. sean

    everybody should watch this because it is very scary that after 21 years the oil company tactics to stop and cleanup these oil spills have not changed at all. this is a complete disaster from the top on down. i can't believe that we would believe anyone when the tell us that off shore drilling is a good option and a safe one for the environment. all off shore drilling should be stopped around the world, especially in america. we are now going to be known for the worst oil disaster known to man. what an achievement for the american people, and especially the obama camp. change.......yeah right. haven't the american people realized that democrats and republicans are the same. they walk, talk, dress, and act the same once they get into office. the people need to stop voting republican or democrat and give a real american at least 4 years to make a real change. these guys in washington do everything for the businessman and not the american. we need someone to run on the "American" ticket. a real american, not a man in a suite that never lived the life of a real american. we need to get rid of this career politicians, arlen spector, and the rest of these idiots that have spent their whole life messing everything up. these guys live high on the hog once they get into washington, then they screw the rest of us. their isn't an honest person in d.c. from the president on down.

    May 29, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  34. Richard

    Why dont somebody try to fill the hole so the oil does'nt come out so fast and keep adding stuff until theres a small leak then put loads of sand and gravel on top like a bandade. Just a thought.

    May 29, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  35. Jesse, Regina,Saskatchewan

    It`s naive to think that we could deal with all possible scenarios, and should realize that this sort of thing is inevitable one way or another. If were going to look to the future honestly, all we have to do is look to our driveway and realize the amount of power that big oil has over us. We can criticize, and express our outrage, but it is us who empowers them.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  36. Bob H.

    Hi Anderson–Please don't retreat! Keep the pressure on. I voted for Pres. Obama and had so much hope for our future, after 8 years of industry-controlled policy making. How deeply disappointing this administration has been. Also, please keep airing James Carville's critique of the federal response. I believe that James is correct when he says that sadly, wetland cleanup is dismissed because it's only happening to backwater southerners. It's unbelievable to think that Nunsgusser was asked to call the White House before he called 360 when there are problems! This just goes to show how dangerous the truth is to those who want to manipulate it. So much for a free press, the foundation of democracy! Finally, the administration is working very hard to keep public opinion from turning against off-shore drilling for a reason: the incredible US debt! They need the $23 billion annually that the government gets from off-shore oil and gas leases! As the saying goes, if you want to get to the bottom of a problem-just follow the money! Keep your hard hitting reporting! It's critically important.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  37. FRANK Tallahassee Fl

    Have water tankers on the beaches for workers. Rotate crews. Bring in the red cross to support the workers. The gulf is going to die and there will be a migration of people out of coastal areas if they cannot support thier families. This is not sea level rise this is oil level rise. Both have the same effect if people cannot make a living. This is getting to a point of uncontrolability. We all see it comming.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  38. FRANK Tallahassee Fl

    Encircle the spill with strategicaly positioned large barges with maybe 4 tanker trailers on them. Have sets of 2 boats in V formation with a smaller barge with a Sewage vacuum tanker in the middle at the point off the V. Coral the oil to the Sewage barge. Fill up the Sewage tanker and take to a larger barge with the Semi tankers. Fill the tankers and then take the larger barges back to shore for off load. Stop using dispersent(maybe). From the video of the guy with the stick picking up that sludgy sticky oil I am not sure if that oil had dispercent or not. That is easy to suck up by a crew with respirators holding a suction hose on a extension pole so that thier faces are right not in it. Dp this 24/7 before the weather changes for the worst!

    May 29, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  39. melinda

    dont americans notice that the president has alot going on right now floods hurricanes oil spills unemployment just to name a few things why do we think our problems r more important then others he cant just concentrate on one show too much to oil spill people that lost everything in recent flood complain

    May 28, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  40. Henrique Drumond

    Oil spill solutions:
    1) instead of plugging the hole, move another oil platform to get the leaking oil;
    2) use a shoking wave bomb to make the sides of the oil drilling to close the hole;
    3) Make some explosions at see where the oil is concentrated to desintegrate the oil until it reaches the coast;

    Oil spill big questions:
    1) Is this disaster strong enough to change the energy matrix os US and start a real worldwide energetic revolution?
    2) Why don't the oil companies face the fact that a shifting from carbon generated energy to environmently friendly energy production is inevitable and be the first ones to get money out of this new reality?
    3) Why no government started an international campain offering 5 to 10 years tax free opportunities for all environmental friendly firm to start doing business in their countries?

    May 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  41. FRANK Tallahassee Fl

    Float out Sewage Vacuum Trucks on barges out to sea and in the shallow marshes as well and fill em up then take them back to docks and off load them to Semi Tankers and just keep it going on till its over. Form V formations with two large fishing boats towing boom in a V shape with a barge with a Sewage Tanker. For pete sake they use them to such up oil from aGas Station sump pits. What is so hard about that?

    May 28, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  42. Heather

    Hey. Here's an idea: cover the entire Gulf Shore of Louisiana with blue tarp. It won't stop the oil, but just like in Katrina, it would be a futile attempt to ward off what is looming and inevitable. In bad situations, you have to at least try something, because when those in power don't offer any solutions of substance to our state, it might feel good for us to do something. Even if it's just symbolic... Would certainly get a lot of attention.

    May 28, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  43. Robert Partusch

    looking for contact info to Volunteer on the Gulf Coast. Can anyone tell me who to contact?

    May 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  44. Peggy

    The second visit of President Obama did not seem to include the same areas as did the oil spill newscast coverages. President Obama really needs to go the site unannounced and take both a boat and helicopter trip of the contaminated areas without the attendance of the Coast Guard, BP officials, and other various elected officials to accurately access the scenario and bridge the gap. In addition, since the bailouts in other industry sectors, BP's assets should be frozen by the federal government; especially, since the federal government has had to put up the first monies. Moreover, BP has proven to have a crediability issue.

    May 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  45. Tony Bernard

    What is going to happen to all that oil in gulf when or if a hurricane comes? What is the science? Will it attract more hurricanes to the region? ??

    May 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  46. Murray G. Orsot

    Hello Mr. Cooper, I am a Louisianian and I am glad that you are here in Louisiana just like you did during Katrina. I am glad that the world through you is getting a first hand look of the oil disaster (they call it a SPILL)-NOT. It is a disaster which will affect us for a long time and will affect our children's children. It will affect our water (Ocquafers), Gulf Streams, air quality, future crops (through evaporation and rainfall), not to mention the quality of the fisheries and their offspring that will be affect in the future. Just think they will remove above the ground contaminated material, but they cannot remove the chemicals that seeps down with the water into the soil, sand and marshes. BP is more concern in profits and image because if they were concern with our coastline they would have reacted sooner would have done more. Prior to drilling, people enjoy our coastline, fisheries, marshes for hunting and simple beauty, but it seems like outsiders are unconcerned with perserving this way of life before they started drlling. BP is only one of many oil companies in the area that have and are drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and they employ thousands from Louisiana and other states as well, but BP is global which means that they have access to equipment globally. BP could have had a two fold initiative to minimize the damage. One could have been to plug the well and the second could have been containment which would minimize (what they called) the spill. BP made a $500+ billion in profit last year, then why not write a 3 or 4 billion dollar check to the Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal and let him take charge and cleanup the state. BP could also setup another fund to help compensate the people that are hurting finacially due lost wages and lost revenue at their busiest time of the year. Their is to much posterioring by BP, federal government and Coast Guard. The main isssue is that no one is taking charge just like Katrina. What we need is to have someone take the lead just like General Honore' did when he rolled in to help the people at the Superdome. We as a country want to discuss and debate instead of reacting and making an immediate difference. Like I said the other day, if no one wants to take charge then move out of the way and let our state government handle it because we do have a good number of people in this state who know how to handle a disaster. Thanks Peace Out

    May 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  47. Evelyn, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Completely soul destroying.....also, I am wondering of someone can answer this question: what will happen to all the plastic bags of oil that are being gathered up? Will they be buried and eventually add to our land contamination and contaminate groundwater supplies? Will they be burned and contribute to our air pollution?

    May 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  48. R Wheat

    Unfortunately it often takes desperation or disaster to change human behavior. Rarely have I seen as desperate a situation as this senseless mess.

    Hopefully this will be a wake up call for us all. How sad for our planet and our children – not to mention all creatures on earth.

    We're all connected. Perhaps instead of blaming BP/Transocean, etc. can we now see how our own consumption has contributed to this issue? Are any of us without blame?

    Will we ever learn? Time to wake up, before it's too late.

    My heart aches.

    May 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  49. Kirsten Verdi, San Antonio, TX

    The thought of the pelicans, dolphins and seaturtles and other affected wildlife just makes me cry because my family experienced the most relaxing and serene moments at various gulf beaches. It went from paradise to hell on earth in the blink of an eye.

    May 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  50. Lillian Holloway

    Why is so little being said in England? This spill has a very good chance of working it's way to the British coast. Are the British public waiting fo this to affect them before they address BP? After all, it is British Petroleum!

    May 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
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