Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BP oil not breaking down on Gulf floor, despite White House claims to the contrary

Despite repeated reassurances from the White House that oil from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill is all but gone and no longer poses a threat to the surrounding coastal areas, researchers from the University of Auburn, Alabama say this is not the case.

White House officials asserted that the oil had either been captured, burned, skimmed or broken down by bacteria. Not so, say the Auburn scientists:
Researchers say tar balls washed on to Gulf of Mexico beaches by Tropical Storm Lee prove that oil left over from last year's BP spill isn't breaking down as quickly as some assume.

Auburn University said today that its study shows the tar that hit Alabama beaches earlier this month appeared relatively fresh and unchanged from when oil first poured into the Gulf during the spill.

The study concludes that mats of oil are still submerged on the seabed, and it says the material could pose a long-term threat to coastal ecosystems.