Oil Spill After 36 Days and 17 Million Gallons

When I first posted about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, I knew that the cleanup from the disaster would be ongoing – for years, but I never thought that the spill would continue for over a month.  But as I type, oil has been gushing into the sustaining waters of creation for 36 days, and there is no guarantee that the latest attempt at ending the spill will work.

As we wait to see if the “top kill” method of shooting mud, and later concrete, into the ruptured well will succeed and end the spill, President Obama has announced a six month moratorium on permits for deep water oil wells.  This news comes on the day the US Geological Survey (USGS) has issued a revised figure for the rate at which oil is spilling into the gulf.  USGS cautions that the estimate is preliminary, but they have concluded that the well is leaking between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil a day.  BP had set this estimate at 5,000 barrels a day. 

This new figure means that the oil spill has surpassed the Exxon-Valdez spill as the worst in US history.  Using the low side of the USGS estimate, this means that over 17 million gallons of oil have spilled.  The Exxon-Valdez spill measured 11 million gallons.

As we learn more about the enormity of this spill, let us pray for all people and creation affected by this disaster. 

The South Mississippi VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) will be hosting an Oil Spill Summit on June 30 in Long Beach, MS.  The Summit will focus on addressing the potential long term impacts on the environment, economy and emotional stability of MS Gulf Coast citizens.  For more information visit the South Mississippi VOAD website.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance continues to update its website with information and resources on the oil spill, including worship resources.

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