Hope in the Gulf

If you breathed a sigh of relief over events in the Gulf of Mexico last week, but you’re still keeping your fingers crossed, join the club.

Nearly three months after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 people and caused millions of gallons of oil to begin spewing into the Gulf waters, BP was able to successfully cap the well and halt the flow of oil last Thursday.

But BP officials warned that, even though the cap was holding, pressure built up in the well could cause oil and gas to begin leaking out of other weak spots in the well.

As of this writing, that hadn’t occurred, and everyone was hopeful the solution had been found.

President Barack Obama said Friday that the video from the Gulf floor near the well, showing relatively clear water was a welcome change from the months of bad news.  However, as he pointed out, much remains to be done, both to ensure the flow of oil into the Gulf waters is permanently halted and to clean up what has already poured into the Gulf.

Additionally, although BP says it has paid some $200 million to help residents of the Gulf area — especially fishermen and shrimpers — deal with the impacts of the spill, much more money will be required to alleviate the worst effects of the oil.

Still, the preliminary success of BP’s latest effort to cap the well and stem the flow of oil is great news for the devastated Gulf Coast. Here’s hoping it holds.


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