The U.S. Coast Guard was searching Friday for two workers missing after a fire erupted on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, sending an ominous black plume of smoke into the air reminiscent of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that transformed the oil industry and life along the coast.Only two workers missing and four badly burned this time, which is a heavy price to pay for our voracious appetites for oil and gas. During the campaign, Republicans mocked President Obama for investing in clean energy.
The fire, begun while workers were using a torch to cut an oil line, critically injured at least four workers who had burns over much of their bodies.
The images were eerily similar to the massive oil leak that killed 11 workers and took months to bring under control. It came a day after BP agreed to plead guilty to a raft of charges in the 2010 spill and pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties.
Still, the accident was a vivid reminder of the dangerous business of offshore drilling and the risk it poses to the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem and shoreline.We can only hope the drilling disaster will not worsen and pray the missing will be found safe and the injured will heal. The platform, which is 25 miles SE of Grand Isle, LA, is owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy. We shall see.
A sheen of oil about a half-mile long and 200 yards wide was reported on the Gulf surface, but officials believe it came from residual oil on the platform.
“It’s not going to be an uncontrolled discharge from everything we’re getting right now,” Coast Guard Capt. Ed Cubanski said.
The mocking Republicans remain in denial about climate change which will result in further violent weather, extreme weather, and rising ocean levels. Even now, a bi-partisan group of senators urge Obama to proceed with the Keystone XL pipeline. When will we ever learn?
UPDATE: The US Coast Guard has called off the search for the missing; one body has been found.