Thirty-one years ago, in
June 1979, an oil well called the Ixtoc blew out in the Gulf of Mexico.
It started spewing thousands of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf every
day. And it's not just the disaster itself that should sound familiar
to you, it's also the techniques that they were using at the time to try
to contain the spill.
Relief wells. Nine agonizingly long months after the Ixtoc well
exploded, a pair of relief wells finally allowed the engineers to cap
the leaking well. That was 31 years ago. I am 37 years old, and this
happened when I was 6. Those hair cuts are back in fashion. And the
stuff that did not work back then is the same stuff that hasn`t worked
now. Same busted blowout preventer, same ineffective berm, same
underwater plumes, same toxic dispersants, same failed containment
domes, same junk shot, same top kill -- it's all the same technology.
The Ixtoc well, which couldn`t be plugged for nine months, was in
roughly 200 feet of water. Now, in 2010, we're using the same exact
techniques to try to plug a well that is leaking in 5,000 feet of water.
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