Bird’s-Eye View: Photos Of Oil Geyser In Jefferson Parish

According to authorities, and reports on WWL, the busted well head in Jefferson Parish has been capped. Also according to authorities, only a “small amount” of oil had been leaking from the abandoned oil well on Bayou St. Denis and into nearby Mud Lake. Small amount compared to what, the BP drilling disaster? Tell that to the eggs and larvae in the marsh that were undoubtedly impacted by this leak and every other oil leak that occurs on our fragile coast. Based on what I am hearing from the Coast Guard about this leak and what I have witnessed first-hand, there are at least a couple of things that do not add up.First, if the authorities admit that they have no estimate of the total leak, then how can they make the claim that it was only a small amount? What does the Coast Guard consider to be a “small amount” ? If I seem skeptical, recall that BP initially claimed that the Deepwater Horizon source was only leaking 1000 barrels of oil a day, then 5000, then 15,000, then 60,000. I’m no expert but if this geyser began gushing oil and gas 100 ft. into the air at sunrise on July 27th, and they just capped it sometime on the afternoon of August 1st, to me that seems like a whole heck of a lot of gas and oil has breached our fragile marshland in that area. Or, in keeping with the lingo and accuracy of our authorities on leaks, I should say, “large amount”.Secondly, when I flew over this leak, I did not see any skimming going on at all. I did see that boom had been placed around the area and that the oil had, as usual, lapped over the boom and into adjacent marshland. In fact, not only was there no skimming taking place, there was not a single vessel anywhere near the actual well-head. So my question is, why? Why was there no skimming taking place on July 31st between 11:30 AM and 12:15 PM? When I flew over at that time and shot these photos, the geyser was gushing and there was plenty of oil to be skimmed. Now, there may be an answer or an excuse by the Coast Guard to these questions, but what they cannot deny is the photographic evidence. The pictures clearly show that this busted well-head was spewing large amounts of oil and gas into fragile Louisiana wetlands, fresh water, and our atmosphere. The photos show heavy oil in the marsh and heavy sheen on the surface. The pictures also clearly show that there were no skimmers working to collect the alleged “small amount” of oil anywhere within or outside of the 2-mile safety perimeter. Finally, whether the number of barrels of oil leaking into Bayou St. Denis was a “small amount” as described by the Coast Guard or was a “large amount” as described by me, 1 barrel of oil leaking is 1 barrel too many.Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for GRN

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