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

    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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.