On Thursday morning, there was another oil rig explosion in the Gulf. By Thursday afternoon, Mariner (who operates the production platform) confirmed all 13 workers were safe and accounted for. By Friday morning, the Coast Guard reported to CNBC that a mile long oil sheen was seen near the Mariner explosion, but they were unclear if the oil was coming for the recent blast or the Deep Horizon spill from April.
The world breathed a sigh of relief when no major spill occurred, yet at the same time, environmentalists and local Gulf residents were disturbed that another explosion has happened. According to a recent Washington Post article, rig fires, worker deaths/injuries and blowouts occur more frequently than the media reports. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management confirmed each year 650-850 serious “incidents” are reported in the Gulf.
Clearly the recent explosion is another wake up call that we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. Not only are fossil fuels perpetuating climate change, but the industry itself is risky, dangerous and dirty. One way to begin that process is for President Obama and Congress to permanently ban new offshore oil drilling. The Surfrider Foundation has maintained this position long before the “season of spills” in the Gulf.
Grist Magazine published a great article after the Marine spill last Thursday. It’s an interesting global perspective.