Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Essay

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In the wake of one of the worst oil spills since the Exxon-Valdez disaster, a massive inquiry into the underlying cause of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has begun. Many people are wondering if this was a case of poor engineering, corporate greed, negligence, or even simple operator failure. Regardless of the cause, the crude oil is beginning to reach the United States coastline, and a guaranteed fix for the leak is nowhere in sight. In today's technologically advanced world, when a disaster like this occurs it is the responsibility of those involved to do what is ethically right, and to immediately take action with all available resources without "pointing fingers". The Yale University sociologist Charles Perrow believes that some …show more content…
19, 20). While it is feasible that some unforeseen circumstances may be to blame, which is consistent with Perrow's theories, the clean-up effort has not prevented the oil spill from reaching land. When the contract was granted to BP, they accepted responsibility for the cleanup of a spill fifty times larger than the one currently plaguing the Gulf of Mexico, yet they still have not shown any firm, pre-meditated plans for the cleanup of the coastal waters. So when Mr. McKay testified that the Transocean blowout preventer "failed to stop the leak", one must wonder how this is in any way significant to the situation at hand (Clayton, 2010, p. 1 par. 3). Rather than shifting the blame to a contractor in charge of the oil rig, it is BP's responsibility to fix the mess now. The environmental impact of an oil spill can last for decades. In 1969, an oil tanker ran aground in Buzzard's Bay Massachusetts, spilling 175,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the marine ecosystem. According to Dr. Judy McDowell and Christopher Reddy, two scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, it took about a decade for the normal inhabitants of the bay to return. What's more troubling, is that even 40 years later, soil samples still reek of diesel fuel (Guarino & Spotts, 2010, p. 2). This kind of damage can have an irreparable effect on the gulf states' economies. If it takes 10
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