|Photo from "spill cam" showing oil flow shut off at last on July 15, 2010|
Meanwhile, Congress has yet to pass any new laws governing offshore drilling safety. In fact, they are going backwards by reducing funding for government inspections and oversight -- despite the fact that the oil industry itself requested more funding for BOEMRE, the agency that manages offshore drilling.
Other frustrations? The lack of progress in creating a national oil spill cleanup capability that has a fighting chance against the next major spill; the continued reliance on chemical dispersants as an effective cleanup tool, despite evidence suggesting they may do more harm than good; our serendipitous discovery of a chronic, 7-years-and-counting leak that is continually polluting the Gulf; the regular occurrence of "mystery spills" that never get resolved; the laughable results of a system that naively hopes polluters will accurately report their spills; the lack of consistent fines for polluters, a moral hazard that encourages sloppy operations and risk taking, all but ensuring another major disaster.
Oh yeah, and the 5,100 new oil and other hazardous materials spills in the Gulf region reported to the National Response Center since July 15, 2010. Here are the 3,000 reports that have enough usable location information for us to pinpoint them on a map:
|NRC oil and hazardous materials spill reports, July 15, 2010 - July 15, 2011|