Secret Oil Spill Has Been Poisoning The Gulf For 7 Years

The BP oil spill happened suddenly, and its devastation was palpable: quickly spreading sheens of toxic oil that poisoned birds, fish and marine mammals, and trashed Gulf Coast beaches.

But the BP spill wasn’t the first major oil spill to poison the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, a slower but no less deadly spill started years earlier and is still flowing today, according to an ongoing investigation by Waterkeeper Alliance.

Aided by satellite imagery and research conducted by SkyTruth and aerial observation by SouthWings, the Waterkeeper Alliance and its local Waterkeeper organizations learned that an offshore platform and 28 wells belonging to Taylor Energy Company LLC have been quietly leaking oil into the Gulf for years.

Waterkeeper Alliance and several Gulf Coast Waterkeeper organizations filed suit against Taylor Energy under the citizen suit provisions of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation Recovery Act in Federal Court on Thursday.

“The plaintiffs filed suit to stop the spill and lift the veil of secrecy surrounding Taylor Oil’s seven-year long response and recovery operation,” explained Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Neither the government nor Taylor will answer basic questions related to the spill response, citing privacy concerns.”

The spill, located approximately 11 miles off the coast of Louisiana, started after an undersea landslide during the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Waterkeeper estimates that hundreds of gallons of oil have leaked from the site each day for the last seven years.

“The Taylor Oil spill is emblematic of a broken system, where oil production is prioritized over concerns for human health and the environment,” said Justin Bloom, Eastern Regional Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Nearly two years after the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill, none of the comprehensive reforms recommended by the National Oil Spill Commission have been enacted and Congress has yet to pass a single law to better protect workers, the environment or coastal communities.”

Uncovering the ongoing Taylor Energy spill illuminates the danger of President Obama’s recent call for increased offshore drilling on 38 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Arctic. The Taylor spill is in relatively shallow and accessible waters compared to the deepwater environments on which Big Oil has set its sights, yet it’s continued unchecked for years.

Waterkeeper and its allies allege that oil exploration and extraction technology has dramatically outpaced the development of safety and recovery technology and it appears that the current regulatory regime is incapable of protecting us from a runaway industry.

Related Reading:

BP Oil Spills Into The Gulf Of Mexico. Again.

The Sneakiest Anti-Environment Moves By House Republicans

Gulf Coast Residents Still Sick From BP Oil Spill

Image: Cover photo from the Gulf Monitoring Consortium Report

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Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

Michael C.
Michael C.3 years ago

Colum N. Breaking up BP will serve no true purpose, breaking up Exxon would be serving justice, at least BP is paying for their stupidity. Exxon ran like hell and their still running away from their responsibilities.

Sherron I.
Sherron I.3 years ago

Our insatiable nedd for oil will be the death of the planet

Colum N.
Colum N.3 years ago

On top of this they have been using some sort of GM bacteria to try and eat the oil which is killing everything else...

Colum N.
Colum N.3 years ago

BP should be broken up and sold as scrap.

Their record of pollution is staggering putting it mildly.
Yet they are still being given billions by government and making billions off of our planets destruction.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

"Hundreds of gallons of oil have leaked from the site each day for the last seven years."

This has been going on for 7 years and we are just hearing about it now?

More important question - are they going to do anything about it in the near future?

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta3 years ago

Disgraceful :-(

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim3 years ago

Thanks for spreading the info.

Isabel Ramirez
Isabel Ramirez3 years ago

Why aren't being informed about this by the press?:/

Richard B.
Richard B.3 years ago

I guess somebody got deprived of their toys when they were young... The Koch brothers are back at their adult toys with a vengeance. What the Koch brothers need is a sandbox in the backyard where they will be left alone... And a good shrink. And a spanking. And jail time. And...