Greenpeace team shows what’s really happening on the Gulf Coast


May 19, 2010

Since oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico nearly a month ago, BP has been doing everything it can — to protect its profits, image, and reputation. Even as their oil is destroying the Gulf of Mexico’s unique ecosystems and the marine animals and local economies that depend on them, BP has launched a public relations campaign to try and minimize the fallout of this disaster to their bottom line.  But no matter its efforts to rebrand itself or downplay the significance of this disaster, BP, can’t hide from this.

BP is certainly trying though. The company withheld video evidence that revealed that much more oil was pumping into the Gulf than the official estimates – perhaps 10 times as much or even more.  And it’s executives have been trying to deflect the blame onto someone else at congressional hearings.

They’ve been injecting thousands of gallons of toxic dispersants to keep the oil from reaching the surface, even though no one knows what the effects of this massive experiment will be on fish and other organisms. Independent scientists and Louisiana fisherman understand why — it’s not about cleaning up the oil, it’s about hiding it from public view on the surface, even though spreading it throughout the Gulf could just be exacerbating the damage. Indeed, independent scientists have found that the use of dispersants may be causing the oil to form massive underwater plumes, which could harm sperm whales, bluefin tuna, and other creatures that live in the open ocean.

But don’t bother BP’s CEO Tony Hayward with that news, who recently said: “Everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest.”

That’s not what we’re seeing.

We’re pretty skeptical of claims by the oil industry and the government officials who still seem to be doing more to protect polluters than to hold them accountable for the devastation they are causing. That’s why Greenpeace’s team on the Gulf Coast has been bearing witness to the disaster and conducting an independent assessment of the impacts. On board the Greenpeace boat “Billy Greene,” we’ve sought to bring oil spill experts and media to see what is really happening to the Gulf and the Mississippi Delta, no matter what the latest spin from BP.

This is the cost of our reliance on dirty and dangerous energy.


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