It only took five months.
“We can finally announce that the Macondo 252 well is effectively dead,” Adm. Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard officer who leads the federal spill response, said in a statement. The well, he said, “poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico”.
Here’s a list of other things declared dead as a result of the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig and subsequent oil spill (53,000 barrels a day before the well was capped):
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- 11 men.
- 3902 birds (as of August 10), and counting.
- 517 endangered sea turtles.
- 71 marine mammals, mostly dolphins.
- The Gulf’s fishing industry. In May a fisheries disaster was called for the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Initial cost estimates to the fishing industry were $2.5 billion. A fishing ban still covers one third of the Gulf. On August 31, a Boston lab said it found dispersant in a seafood sample taken near Biloxi, Miss., almost a month after BP said it had stopped using the chemical.
- One unidentified reptile.
- The tourism industry. Visitors along the Gulf coast spent in excess of $34 billion in 2008, sustaining 400,000 jobs. According to an Oxford Economics report commissioned by the US Travel Association, current indicators show double-digit declines in plans to travel to the region. (Estimates over a three-year period could exceed $23 billion).
- BP’s reputation. According to a recent Search Engine Watch article, in July BP spent near $1 million a month in spend between Google AdWords and YouTube advertising. BP also contracted for $50 million worth of television advertising and kept up a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and Flickr profile.
But no amount of PR spend can help remove this stain.