Experts Say Gulf Gusher Is 'Ten Times Worse' Than First Believed

The more we find out, the worse it gets: According to a scientific analysis of footage from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, National Public Radio

The more we find out, the worse it gets:

According to a scientific analysis of footage from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, National Public Radio is claiming the growing ecological disaster is actually ten times worse than previously estimated, saying the rushing torrent of oil pouring into the ocean is equivalent to one Exxon-Valdez spill every four days.

That's more than 70,000 barrels a day -- when the U.S. Coast Guard had placed the figure at a seemingly modest 5,000 barrels a day.

Until this point in human history, the Exxon-Valdez disaster was just one of the worst oil spills ever, with nearly 11 million gallons of crude lost to the murky depths.

The Deepwater Horizon well has been jetting oil unabated for just short of one month at time of this writing. Already, the pollution exceeds a scale which most individual humans can fully grasp.

While government agencies continue to examine what led to the oil rig explosion that killed 11 people, environmental legal experts are already predicting that there will be criminal charges ahead for at least one of the companies involved in the oil spill.

A House energy panel looking into what might have caused the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico found yesterday that a vital piece of equipment intended to prevent such disasters had significant problems.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday outlined issues with the blowout preventer, a tool that BP claimed was 'fail safe,' that may have prevented it from engaging. The blowout preventer, reports the Washington Post, "Had a dead battery in its control pod, leaks in its hydraulic system, a "useless" test version of a key component and a cutting tool that wasn't strong enough to shear through steel joints in the well pipe and stop the flow of oil."

It was also revealed during the hearing that BP knew "hours" ahead of the deadly explosion that there were problems with the oil well.

(h/t Southern Studies.)

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