More than a week since the chemical spill in Charleston, the state capital, contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people, there has been little solid information about the danger to human health—and little outrage from officials in Washington, who seem to expect West Virginians to take the whole thing in stride.
It looks like the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is officially dead. The procedure to seal the well—or in oil industry terms, to “kill” it—has been pronounced a success, providing an unceremonious end to the spilling of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf.
A chief engineer has testified to a federal panel investigating the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon that, despite his repeated admonishments, alarms and other safety systems aboard the offshore oil rig had been left disabled or unrepaired in the months leading up to the catastrophic April 20 blast.
It’s a doubly bad day for news regarding the oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico: Scientists have doubled their estimate of the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf every day, and BP announced it will not have the leak sealed before August.
In a stern rebuke of the irresponsibility that has defined the actions of those involved in the Gulf oil spill, President Barack Obama has revoked the “cozy relationship” that the U.S. government has had with oil companies and criticized those companies’ finger-pointing as part of a “ridiculous spectacle.”
Resilient and ultimately morally bankrupt, international oil darling Exxon Mobil has managed to take the 2008 medal for most profitable American corporation, despite a 33 percent fall in fourth-quarter earnings.
On Friday, a full two days after a container ship rammed into San Francisco’s Bay Bridge and began spilling oil into the bay, Coast Guard authorities were doing damage control on their own behalf as the slick continued to spread.