Today marks the one year anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill, when an offshore drilling rig owned by Transocean and commissioned by British Petroleum called the Deepwater Horizon exploded killing 11 people and causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Since the damaged well head was repaired in September, some 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico negatively affecting residents, businesses, and the ecosystem of the coastline of five states. The incident has severely diminished the earning capacity of everyone living in the region, from fishermen to casino workers and babysitters. BP promised to do what it could to “make rightâ€ the situation and created a $20 billion spill response fund to be distributed by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. But one year later, many of the affected have yet to receive restitution from BP, according to several organizations, including the Mississippi Center for Justice. First hand accounts collected in a recent NAACP report also suggest that BP is trying to evade some of its responsibility. Following are some of the issues that continue to plague Gulf Coast residents and businesses as they strive to rebuild and some of the progress the communities have made.Â
(Images: BP America;Eric Vance; File; Pete Souza; ThinkStock)
by Derek T. Dingle
by Sequoia Blodgett