Gulf Spill to Continue Until August
The White House describes the spill as the worst environmental disaster in the history of the US. So far, the government estimates 29.5 million gallons of oil have leaked into the ocean (other sources claim the figure is anywhere in between 10 and 40 million gallons), nearly three times more than in the Exxon Valdez disaster, considered until now the most devastating human-caused disaster in history.
What's worse is that, after the last attempt failed, BP estimates the drilling of the two relief wells, expected to solve the problem, will not be over until two months from now, in August, Until then, BP is planning to use a containment cap, a method which, according to Carol Browner, President Barack Obama's adviser for environment and energy, could have the exact opposite effect and increase the oil leak by a fifth.
“What our experts are saying is that when you cut the riser, the kink may be holding some of the oil in, and so we could see an increase,” Browner told CBS.
Scientists from several universities believe not all the oil which has escaped following the Deepwater Horizon disaster has reached the surface. The Louisiana State University reported a plume 50 miles from the spill site, while the University of South Florida found one 22 miles long, six miles wide and more than a thousand feet deep. The plumes are even more dangerous than the oil on the surface, as they can poison the underwater food chain.
BP's Tony Hayward, the same man which two weeks ago said the oil spill is tiny compared to the size of the ocean, says the company found no evidence of plumes in the Gulf.
"The oil is on the surface,” Hayward said according to heraldnet.com. “There aren’t any plumes.”
Meanwhile, environmental activists and members of the communities affected by the spill are rallying in protests against the company they call "British Polluters" or "Bad People". Some call for the boycott of BP gas stations, while others have begun setting up so called Oil Spill Claim Centers, where those affected by the disaster can get legal help to sue BP.