Oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico from a well 5,000 feet below the surface of the sea at an estimated rate of 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) a day. The off-shore drilling rig from which the well was drilled exploded, burned and sank last week. Eleven of its crew are missing and presumed dead.
The drilling company, British Petroleum, is doing all it can to stop the flow and clean up the mess. Yesterday, experts said private oil companies don’t have the expertise and equipment to do the job and hoped the U.S. military would be able to cap the flow.
This ongoing disaster comes with the news still fresh in mind that the government will allow drilling off the eastern U.S. coast where drilling previously had been banned.
The oil industry believes much more oil can be found and recovered through more offshore drilling.
A majority of the nation’s business and industrial community agrees. Perhaps a majority of American citizens would vote with them — unless that hole in the floor of the Gulf defies plugging and keeps on pumping oil into the sea and out onto the shores of Louisiana and goodness knows how many other Gulf states, ruins the shrimp and fishing industry, puts a damper on tourism and, in short, makes a very powerful argument against more deep offshore drilling until technology is developed to deal with these kinds of failures before they turn into catastrophies.
— Emerson Lynn, jr.