Taylor Energy’s 14 year oil spill could overtake BP’s as the worst offshore environmental disaster in the U.S.
A 14 year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could spell the largest offshore enivornmental disaster in American history.
In 2004, the Taylor Energy owned oil-drilling rig sank during Hurricane Ivan. The Washington Post reports that “between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day” has been spilling from the Louisiana Coast ever since.
The Oil Pollution Act requires companies to report all spills to the NRC. Taylor Energy has tried to keep the spill a secret to protect its production and operation. It was revealed via environmental watchdog organizations, who were supervising a nearby oil spill.
Cynthia Sarthou, executive director of the Gulf Restoration Network, said, “We were flying to monitor the BP disaster and we kept seeing these slicks, but they were nowhere near the BP spill.”
While the company argued no wells were leaking substantially, a seperate analysis writted by Oscar Garcia-Pineda, a geoscience consultant, from the Justice Department confirmed that the spill far exceeded the one to 55 barrels per day noted by the U.S. Coast Gaurd National Response Center (NRC).
Garcia-Pineda writes, “There is abundant evidence that supports the fact that these reports from NRC are incorrect. My conclusion is that NRC reports are not reliable.”
Since most of the oil platform’s wells have not been closed and a possible fix is still far, federal officials estimate the “spill could continue through this century.”
Despite the disastoruous oil spill, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is looking to lease most of the outer continental coast to offshore oil drilling. Many worry that since the Atlantic coast is prone to hurricanes, oil spills like this may become a regularity. For the most part, lawmakers, environmental groups, and attorney generals on the east coast are against offshore oil development.