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Could BP’s “Cure” be Killing Any Hope of a Gulf Coast Comeback?

June 24th, 2010 by Webmaster

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Workers using Corexit in the Exxon Valdez Spill - Photo Credit : The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

Workers using Corexit in the Exxon Valdez Spill. Photo Credit : The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

It’s been over a month since President Obama and the EPA gave BP 24 hours to stop dumping the toxic oil dispersant Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico. The decision was first reported in the Washington Post immediately after Congress heard testimony from BP’s own executives and scientists confirming our worst fears. Not only is this highly toxic chemical relatively ineffective against this type of crude oil, but it was now adding more pollutants to the already poisoned waters.

Numerous independent scientists have come forward to say that Corexit is really only good for public relations. This carcinogenic, mutagenic, and highly toxic chemical does break up the oil into small somewhat transparent ripples and droplets that are more visually acceptable than images of giant black tides drowning wildlife and covering beaches. What the cameras don’t see is the long term damage to delicate ecosystems that are now struggling to escape toxic tides of chemicals. According to environmental engineer Joe Taylor the sulfur and sulfuric acid based dispersant will also deplete oxygen levels under the water, killing plankton and everything above plankton in the food chain. This is not new information. Corexit has been banned for years in the UK because of the long and short-term damage to wildlife and ecosystems. The world was first introduced to Corexit in 1989 when it was used in the Exxon Valdez spill. Images of the workers during that spill spraying the chemical in hazmat suits should have been our first clue something wasn’t quit right with this chemical.

So – why at the time of this decision had BP already sprayed over 600,000 gallons of Corexit on the surface of the Gulf with another 55,000 injected directly into the oil pouring out of the ocean floor? And why, one month later, have they been allowed to dump even more? It is estimated that more than 1.4 million gallons have already been used.

With more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as Bio-Save available, one has to wonder why the EPA has delayed enforcement of their announcement in May and decided to continue testing Corexit. We’re following this issue closely and encourage you to do the same.

Please act today to remind President Obama that this disaster could have been prevented and that he needs to restore the moratorium on all-offshore drilling in the U.S.