The top kill didn’t work. There are other options, none of them good. British Petroleum can put a new platform on top of the riser and try to get most of the oil into ships. It could build a new blowout preventer on top of the old one. Or it can drill relief wells, which will take until August, at least.
This spill is already much bigger than Exxon Valdez. If the leak isn’t plugged until August, more than 100 million gallons will have gone into the Gulf of Mexico just as hurricane season is beginning.
Check out this article from Associated Press, “After Fix Fail, a Dispiriting Summer of Oil, Anger,” by Ted Anthony and Mary Foster, May 30, 2010
Most likely, the Democrats will pay for this spill in the November election, which is quite unfair, given that 8 years of lax regulation by the Bush administration preceded this event. But in truth, we’re all to blame. I’m to blame for driving a Dodge Dakota that now gets 12 miles to the gallon. The government under both parties is to blame for not policing the oil industry more rigorously.
My only faint hope at this time is that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will have the guts to cancel the exploratory drilling in the Arctic that was just approved by a court (I think the company was Exxon). We have a prayer of cleaning up this spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but in the Arctic, no way.