Another Oil Rig Explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

Guest Blog | September 2, 2010 | Energy Policy, Offshore Drilling

This blog was co-authored with Jennifer Rennicks

While Gulf communities are busy picking up the pieces that remain of their coastal heritage and natural resources following the BP oil disaster, we learned today that another oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has exploded.

At 10:30 EST this morning, an explosion occurred at a shallow-water drilling rig owned by Mariner Energy approximately 90 miles off Louisiana’s coast and 200 miles west of the BP Deepwater Horizon site.

Although all 13 workers on-board have been rescued from the water, a one mile long and one hundred foot wide oil sheen is already visible on the water surrounding the damaged rig.

First Photo of Latest Rig Explosion

While exact details of this latest rig fire and subsequent explosion are uncertain at this time, what is certain is that our nation’s addiction to oil is deadly, dangerous, dirty and unsustainable.  The National Wildlife Federation’s recent report, “Assault on America: A Decade of Petroleum Company Disaster, Pollution, and Profit,” documents the thousands of oil and gas industry accidents in the last decade, with the BP Deepwater Horizon (nearly 200,000,000 gallons of oil) and the Kalamazoo River pipeline rupture (840,000 gallons) as the merely latest in a long line of fossil fuel disasters.

What will it take for our nation to kick this dangerous and deadly habit?  We already have the technology to begin to move away from our dependence on oil from the Gulf of Mexico and the Persian Gulf; what is lacking is the political will of our elected leaders and enough citizen voices calling for this change. You have to wonder just how many deadly and destructive accidents it will take to drag the US towards a clean energy economy?

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