April 30,2010 -The massive oil spill triggered by the massive Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig explosion, fire and sinking into the sea , now threatens the Louisiana coastline. It has been declared as a National Emergency. Large booms are in place near the coastline to arrest the oil spill and prevent it from being washed ashore. Gov. Bobby Jindal has requistioned the services of the National Guard, to help cope with the situation. This is probably the worst disaster to have affected the state since Hurrican Katrina and the oil spill threatens to now be as big as the infamous Exxon Valdez spill.
Meanwhile, reports say that some Shrimp farmers are planning to sue BP to recover damages to their livelihood. The US Fish and Wildlife service have also been pressed into action to rescue and protect the various fish and bird species that live in the area. About 900 pelicans near Breton are thought to be in danger. There are a total estimated 1.5 million waterfowl that migrates into the area during this season, who may be at risk.
Oil gets into the feathers of birds, making them unable to fly or forage for food, leading to mass starvation. The oil also gets into their system, adversely affecting their health. Additionally, oil slicks also prevent Oxygen from dissolving in the water, that chokes fish and other marine life that depends on dissolved oxygen to “breathe”.
This has been a worse disaster for BP than the infamous Texas City refinery accident and should lead to top management focus (in all oil companies, not just BP) on good engineering, safety and environmental risk management, rather than just the financial numbers that they are normally obssessed with.