BP Gulf of Mexico oil slick declared a national disaster  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , ,

The Australian has an update on BP's disaster in the GOM - BP Gulf of Mexico oil slick declared a national disaster. More at BP under fire as Gulf of Mexico oil spill costs soar and Obama acts to mop up Lousiana oil spill overflow.

THE giant Gulf of Mexico oil slick has been declared a national disaster, as it nears the Louisiana coast and threatens economic and environmental devastation. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency and called for urgent help to prevent fragile wetlands and vital fishing communities along the coast from pollution on a massive scale.

The wind started to strengthen and blow the 1550 sq km slick directly onto the coast, where a rich variety of wildlife were at risk in the maze of marshes that amounts to 40 per cent of the US wetlands.

“Satellite imagery from this morning indicates the western edge of the oil is 7-8 miles from the (Mississippi) Delta,” the US government's National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said. “Shoreline impacts become increasingly likely later in the day and into Friday with the strengthening onshore winds.”

Despite frantic efforts to stave off an environmental catastrophe many of those dependent on the region's vital fisheries and nature reserves had already given up hope due to strong onshore squalls forecast for several days to come. “It is a question of when, not if, the oil is going to come on shore,” Doug Helton, NOAA's incident operations coordinator, told AFP. ...

With 11 workers dead and an environmental disaster brewing along the shoreline of four US states, dealing with the aftermath of the deadly blast on the Deepwater Horizon rig is likely to be the biggest challenge of his career - and one of the greatest in the 101-year history of Britain's most famous company.

So far it is not going well. Anger is mounting in the US over BP's refusal publicly to acknowledge the true scale of the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

About 10 billion pounds has been wiped off BP's value since the explosion, much of it yesterday, when its shares fell 40.8p, or 6.5 per cent, to 584p as investors took fright at the spill's potentially enormous scale, costs and consequences.

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