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6 year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Posted: April 20, 2016 at 8:00 am by , in Featured, Morning Magazine

“Obviously the fishing economy and sea food economy was devastated by the oil spill which lead a lot of people to either leave the gulf or turn to the oil industry and now the oil industry is itself in extreme recession because of over production and over supply.”

April 20th 2010 saw an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and lead to a major environmental disaster that has repercussions to today.  Antonia Juhasz has followed the impact on the local community in her book The Tyranny of Oil.  She writes about the human cost that is still unfolding in an article being published today at RollingStone.com.  “Obviously the fishing economy and sea food economy was devastated by the oil spill which lead a lot of people to either leave the gulf or turn to the oil industry and now the oil industry is itself in extreme recession because of over production and over supply. So the entire Gulf Coast got a double whammy…of not being able to live off the ocean because of the oil spill turning to the oil industry for jobs and not being able to live now off of oil jobs because the oil industry has reaped what it has sewn, it produced way too much oil and it essentially killed itself off.”

Juhasz says the Deepwater Horizon disaster has prompted a movement around the world to leave fossil fuels in the ground. In 2015 Senator Bernie Sanders expressed his support for  legislation that would ban all new fossil fuel development on public lands and public waters.  The “Keep It In The Ground Act,” would also ban offshore drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic and the Atlantic and would stop new leases for offshore drilling in the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico.

“What had been seen originally as a very localized problem has since emerged over the last 6 years as a really key turning point moment to bring much greater national attention and international attention to the dangers of oil production and certainly the way modern oil production is taking place in much riskier areas using new more harmful technologies, and has helped given rise to what is now an international movement targeted at the goal of keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”

Under President Obama, offshore oil drilling has expanded in the Gulf of Mexico and new drilling in the Arctic is being proposed.  The problem Juhasz says is that the new drilling is happening at 1,000 to nearly 5,000 feet deeper than BP was drilling at the Deepwater Horizon rig.

 

Juhasz is participating in a teach-in on fracking at CU Boulder on Saturday April 22nd.  Other presenters include Andrew Nikiforuk author of  Slickwater: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry and Professor Tony Ingraffea of Cornell University.