Evidence of the Gulf oil spill have been found in Pensacola in the panhandle where about 100 tar balls were found on an area beach Wednesday, May 26. Testing will show if it is from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Meanwhile an Escambia County official told local Channel 4 that more than 1,000 similar tar balls have been found in Florida and tests have shown that none of them were from the oil rig explosion. A News4Jax article reports that they came from chunks of asphalt from roads, pieces of charcoal or oil from ships. In fact, oil washes up on Florida shores hundreds of times a year, but right now they are being watched more closely than ever as the nation waits and watches BP continue to foul the states that border the Gulf.
Estimates are already in that the British Petroleum (BP) spill is worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989 that spilled nearly 11 million gallons when a tanker ran aground.
Florida oil spill lawyers and citizens throughout the state are concerned about the devastating consequences of this spill on not only a financial level in terms of economic loss, but also in terms of the environment and the condition of resources for future generations. Scientists, trying to calculate the spew so far, estimate about 504,000 to one million gallons a day are being excreted into the Gulf waters. If that’s the case, about 18 million gallons have leaked so far or more. Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation says, “BP has unleashed an unstoppable force of appalling proportions.” Previously, BP had said that just over 200,000 gallons a day were spilling. Thursday evening BP resumed pumping something called drilling mud into the gushing well in an effort to stop its flow. It could be weeks before we know if it has worked.
Then comes the needed part of attributing blame to where it belongs – BP- for failing to have a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism that was never required by BP! For about $500,000 BP could have installed an acoustic trigger that uses sound waves to close the catastrophic failure valve on the seabed floor. Instead of spending that amount, BP is spending $6 million a day and has caused billions in destruction to four or five states.