Florida coast threatened by oil gusher; BP may now do nothing for months

The Florida Independent reports in its daily oil-spill round-up that the Gulf side panhandle is now threatened directly by the British Petroleum oil gusher, which the company failed to plug over the Memorial Day weekend.

Yet Bloomberg reports that BP has given up for now on stopping the gusher, relying on completion of the relief wells its drilling that will reportedly not be finished until sometime in August.

Bloomberg:

BP Plc has decided not to attach a second blowout preventer on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts to end the flow are over until the relief wells are finished, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Thad Allen, who spoke at a press conference today.

David Dayen writes at Firedoglake:

Fishing has been closed in over a quarter of the Gulf, and doubling or tripling the amount of oil in the water will likely double or triple the no-fishing zone. But we’re going to wait two months to stop the leak.

Under the Clean Water Act, it will cost BP $4,300 per barrel spilled into the Gulf, separate from any criminal charges or civil suits with individuals over economic damage. That’s an additional $4-$30 billion dollars, depending on what spill rate you believe the most accurate. But despite this clear financial incentive to do whatever can be done, we’re going to wait two months to stop the leak.

Also from FDL: Goodbye oysters. Goodbye oyster business. Goodbye food from the sea.

Raleigh Lasseigne, a former fisherman, shrimper, crabber and oysterman from Grand Isle, Louisiana, told his story to FDL’s Michael Whitney.

[Mural Pic from Grand Isle by Mac McClelland via Twitpic]
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