News / USA

Victims and Damage from BP Oil Spill Remembered One Year Later

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at a news conference on the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Grand Isle, La., April 20, 2011
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at a news conference on the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Grand Isle, La., April 20, 2011
Greg Flakus

There were commemorations all along the U.S. coast along the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday to observe the first anniversary of the accident on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform that killed 11 people and led to the biggest oil spill in history.  The debate continues over how to carry out underwater oil drilling operations safely and how to restore the damaged areas.

Appearing with local and state officials at a marina in Grand Isle, Louisiana, the state's governor, Bobby Jindal, spoke of the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon and the pain it caused many families in the area.

"A year ago today in this tragedy, 11 men lost their lives," said Jindal. "Nothing can bring those men back.  We need to keep not only those men, but their families, in our prayers.  We are talking about husbands, sons; we are talking about loved ones that will never come back.  And I know that today is a very difficult day for these families."

The Deepwater Horizon was operated by BP, one of the world's largest oil companies, headquartered in London.  The company sold off some of its assets last year to help pay $20 billion to a U.S. government-administered trust fund to compensate fishing and seafood boat owners, workers and others affected by the spill.

The environmental effects of the spill continue to plague some areas along the Gulf coast.  Before the leaking well was capped, 87 days after the accident, officials estimate it poured nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf.  Hundreds of kilometers of delicate wetlands were soaked in oil and many areas have yet to recover.  Tar balls continue to wash up on beaches, and animal rescue teams still treat oil-soaked dolphins, turtles and other creatures.

Governor Jindal says BP needs to do more to fulfill its promise to Louisiana and other states along the coast that it will pay for the restoration of damaged areas.

Jindal said Wednesday that BP has not started on projects aimed at restoring oyster beds and reefs, even though the company has spent millions of dollars on television commercials that tout its commitment to the Gulf's restoration.

"We continue to call on BP to fulfill the promises of their ads," he said. "We continue to call on BP to truly make it right."

But for many people in coastal Louisiana, the biggest impact from last year's disaster was the moratorium on deep-water oil drilling imposed by the Obama administration as part of an effort to prevent any further offshore drilling accidents.  The moratorium was lifted in October, but very few permits have been issued since then.  Oil and gas companies say they are prevented from moving quickly to ramp up production by new rules and regulations.

Thousands of people in Louisiana have found good-paying jobs in energy production since offshore operations expanded along the Gulf coast a few decades ago.   In addition, many local companies rely on contracts from oil and gas companies to continue their operations.

But some Louisiana residents argue that the environmental costs associated with the oil and gas industry are too high and that the state should diversify its economy away from energy.  Environmental groups are chiding the government for not going far enough to impose new safety measures on the petroleum industry.  Obama administration officials say new rules being prepared will do more to ensure offshore drilling safety and allow operations in the Gulf to continue.  The Gulf of Mexico accounts for about 30 percent of U.S. domestic oil production.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid