An estimated 5 million barrels (~200 million gallons!) of oil gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon well. White House advisor on energy and climate change, Carol Browner, announced that "more than three-quarters of the oil is gone". This estimate was called overly optimistic, to say the least, by experts.
Here is how a pelican on the gulf coast reacted to the initial "good news" from the Administration in Washington about the BP oil spill cleanup:
But where did all of the unrecovered oil go?
Bill Lehr, a senior scientist in NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration, later testified before the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in Washington that in reality about three-fourths of the oil is "still in the environment" -- dispersed or dissolved at or below the water surface, and evaporated into the air. Read more here.
Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation and affiliated with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have detected a plume of hydrocarbons at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Read more here.
Questions still remain about the possible long-term environmental effects of the oil that remains in the gulf.
We have only One Environment -- the water, air, land -- there is no backup plan. We have got to end our addiction to oil!
British Petroleum claimed originally that its initials stood for "Beyond Petroleum". According to an Editorial in the journal, Science, "Beyond Petroleum" could be the right slogan for the Policy Changes needed to end the U.S. national addiction to oil. That outcome will require a mix of solutions involving the Congress, the American public, businesses, the Administration, and environmental organizations — all driven by passionate conviction about the need for change. Read more here.