Is Legislative Involvement in Oil Spills Beneficial Or Detrimental?

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On April 20th, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig owned by British Petroleum (BP) exploded. The explosion was caused by pressurized methane gas that bubbled up from 18,360 feet below the sea. The explosion killed 11 workers and injured 17 others. Two days after the explosion the oil rig sank and an oil gusher, which is an out of control oil well, at the sea-floor released oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. Over the course of these 87 days the gusher leaked an estimated 205 million gallons of oil and the oil polluted thousands of square miles of ocean water (Kennedy 351, 379). The oil even washed up on Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama shores, which were 50 miles away from the site of the leaking (McNutt 3). This oil spill was also the first to be characterized as a Spill of National Significance (SONS) by the U.S. Government. Though the government was involved in the BP oil spill, 10 days passed before they took any action (Kennedy 379). In this essay I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks to having the United States Legislation involved in the cleanup and prevention of oil spills based on their actions during the 2010 BP Oil Spill. Does legislative involvement really benefit the outcome of oil spills, or is their involvement detrimental to cleanup and preventive plans? Even before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill the government had emergency plans and procedures set up in case a major oil spill occurred in the United States. These emergency plans explain how to react to the oil spills and who is in charge of coordinating these actions. The Flow of Authority to Stop the Flow of Oil, a Tulane Maritime Law Journal by Fredrick J. Kennedy, Jr. and Melissa A. Hamann is a journal that illustrates the government’s actions and... ... middle of paper ... ...r. 2014. . Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling : Report to the President. Washington, D.C.: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, 2011. Print. Kenney Jr., Frederick J., and Melissa A. Hamannt. "The Flow Of Authority To Stop The Flow Of Oil: Clean Water Act Section 311 (C) Removal Authority And The BP/DEEPWATER HORIZON Oil Spill."Tulane Maritime Law Journal 36.2 (2012): 349-395. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. McNutt, Marcia Kemper, Richard Camilli, George Drake Guthrie, P. A. Hsieh, Victor Franklin Labson, Bill Lehr, Don Maclay, Arthur C. Ratzel, and Mark K. Sogge.Assessment of Flow Rate Estimates for the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo Well Oil Spill. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, 2011. Print.

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