Somewhere far below the debt ceiling, the end of the shuttle program, the Casey Anthony trial, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Rupert Murdoch’s British imbroglio is the long-forgotten Gulf Oil Spill, now almost 15 months behind us — the anniversary of the actual capping of the Macondo well was this past Friday — and so far off the mainstream media’s radar it nary merits a mention.
But fans of comedian Stephen Colbert haven’t forgotten, and a recent post by one of them in the story suggestion section of the ColbertNation.com website has been far and away the most read and commented on of recent posts, generating more than 3,600 views and 80 comments. (A typical story suggestion gets a couple of comments and roughly 25 views.)
The post by Colbert fan Fritzi Presley is titled “MAN!! WE’VE GOTTA GET THE WORD OUT...THE GULF’S STILL BROKEN...” It unleashed a barrage of comments about the lingering health impact for Gulf Coast residents, a topic that, according to a Google news search, is rarely reported these days. Stories on where the oil went, lessons learned from the spill, ongoing litigation against BP and other topics related to the spill do, however, make the news cycle.
An article by Bloomberg posted Friday, “BP Oil Still Ashore One Year After End of Gulf Spill,” reports that as of July 9 — the most recent tally by field inspectors — 491 miles of shoreline from Louisiana to Florida are contaminated with oil from the April 20, 2010 disaster. Even using BP’s more conservative estimate for the amount of oil leaked in the spill — 4 million barrels, which is about 20 percent less than the federal estimate of 4.9 million barrels — only an estimated 850,000 barrels were captured, skimmed or burned off the water. That leaves an additional 3.15 million barrels of oil, by BP’s self-interested estimate, lurking somewhere out there in the Gulf.
Read the Bloomberg here.