Scientists: Gulf Spill Now Far Bigger Than Exxon Valdez

Scientists say the Gulf of Mexico spill has now leaked far more oil than the Exxon Valdez disaster -- maybe even three-and-a-half times as much.

That makes the Gulf spill by far the worst in U.S. history.

U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt said Thursday that a government task force estimates that anywhere from 500,000 gallons to a million gallons a day has been leaking. BP and the Coast Guard had put the flow at about 210,000 gallons per day.

The new government estimate means at least 19 million gallons and maybe as much as 39 million gallons have leaked in the five weeks since an oil rig exploded and sank. Exxon Valdez spilled about 11 million gallons.

BP is trying to plug the leak and says it has siphoned off about 924,000 gallons.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on May 28, 2010 at 04:56 AM
    Regardless, this shouldn't have taken 5 weeks to stop it and the president, who was responsible, did nothing but point fingers. Even Jindal requested help as he knew it would destroy their economy once more. This is Obama Katrina....he just put the nails in his coffin in 2012 elections.
  • by Anonymous on May 27, 2010 at 05:48 PM
    Obama Snake Oil Co it dont smell it festers with the bog of eternal stench.If they ever get this siphoning effect stopped I hope investigators(who ever they are)are allowed to investigate the ocean floor.Somebody knows EXACTTLY what happens.There is always someone that knows.On a different note I just thought of something about the oil leak.Just curios,why dont they just pull the pipe out of the ocean floor and let the sand fill in the hole with the weight of the water to seal it.I would exspect that is alot heavier than any mud or flowable fill they could pump in it.
  • by Zeek Location: ENC on May 27, 2010 at 05:34 PM
    Break out my hip boots Ethel.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on May 27, 2010 at 04:30 PM
    Anonymous on May 27, 2010 at 07:08 PM, what really happened, we will never know. I would not be surprised that it was North Korea, however, the people on the platform are silent. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong at a time we celebrated Earth day...hmmm. Lets see, almost 4000 oil rigs out there and this one has a major catstrophe...happens at night...kills 11 people, right when Cap and Trade come up and Obama says he will allow drilling...hmmm. Does this smell?
  • by Anonymous on May 27, 2010 at 04:08 PM
    jerry, do you realize that BP is running a business?Do you really think any business wants a bad rap?Do you know that the Obonga administration just gave BP a Safety Award before this happened?Do you know that several other countries have volunteered to help stop this leak and Obonga opposed it?Do you know there are several other oil platforms from other countries out in the gulf and Obonga has not said one word about them?Sid is right!This was a suicide mission.But from the information I have read it boils down to North Korea with maybe even Al-Queda involved.Heck they flew the planes on 9/11 Why not a N. Korean/Alqueda Suicide Sub mission?
  • by tug Location: New Bern on May 27, 2010 at 02:43 PM
    There's a little more to it than just crimping the pipe. The pressure of the leak is tremendous, its a good chance the damaged pipe will bust somewhere else, creating another leak. As for siphoning off, its usually easier to control the flow and direct it than just stopping it. Next time you are in a pool, try to stop the return line with your hand, now how are you going to install a valve? Then take a pool noodle and direct the flow into a container. You will see how much easier that is. And a valve can be installed a lot easier. That was the concept of the first two tries. Of course at depths of a mile, water pressure effects everything.
  • by Sid Location: NC on May 27, 2010 at 02:21 PM
    This is no accident. I see it as a terriost attack, and I bet you it is. The people who put these pipes in and did the work know how to fix this, but are not, or not allowed to. Its all a bunch of bull.
  • by The flood Location: Winterville on May 27, 2010 at 01:57 PM
    Do any of the people here trashing BP realize that the leak is 1 MILE under the surface? Do you realize it is the Obama administration dragging their feet while authorizing/allowing actions that would stop the leak that have held up BP from performing those actions? Do you realize the Obama administration won't allow Louisana to build sand berms that would slow or stop the oil reaching shore? Do you realize that we already pay taxes specifically for the government to be prepared to react to an emergency like this? Do you realize that BP doesn't even own the rig that blew up causing this? Finally do you really think BP wants to lose millions of barrels of oil into the gulf?
  • by Chris on May 27, 2010 at 01:29 PM
    Jeremy, I've said the same thing.... If you even just pinched the pipe a lil bit it would slow down the oil coming out. These people aren't so bright. Farmers have found that hay can absorb oil and it would be easy to clean up as it washed ashore... and they are still pouring untested chemical disspersants into the ocean.
  • by Jeremy Location: Washington on May 27, 2010 at 11:36 AM
    Can you really compare a tanker spill to a pipeline crack? Tankers carry oil that has already been pumped out of the ground to refineries. Oil pipes carry oil from underground to the refinery. Thats like comparing me spilling my 20 oz water bottle on the floor to leaving my water hose running for a month. Speaking of a water hose, when you don't have a nozzle you just kink the hose. Why not kink the pipe or at least try blocking the pipe BEFORE the cracks and not at the crack. With their logic any of us could be scientist.
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