What might the burning look like? NPR phrases it this way:
BP, the oil giant, is responsible for paying for the clean up because the company was leasing the Deepwater Horizon, the oil rig that sank after an explosion on board. The costs could top a billion dollars. That's not a whole bunch for BP, which had a net profit of $5.6 billion this past quarter.Crews turned to a plan to burn some of the oil after failing to stop the leak at the spot where the platform exploded and sank. A 500-foot boom was to be used to corral several thousand gallons of the thickest oil on the surface, which would then be towed to a more remote area, set on fire and allowed to burn for about an hour.
Even with all of the clean up crews and ideas in the Gulf area, if we're really dealing with 5,000 barrels a day entering the ecosystem, it's one heck of a problem. As NPR's Wade Goodwyn put it:
To compare, the Exxon Valdez spilled 257,000 barrels of oil back in 1989. Thanks to James R. for the tip!There's no stopping this from coming ashore everywhere, and if it's going to be weeks of oil spilling out of this well before they can get it stopped, this could turn into quite an impressive mess.
[Source: NPR, Yahoo | Image of California beach: ingridtaylar - C.C. License 2.0]