C'mon, how big is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, really?

Likely much more oil has gushed out than official reports, and it is rapidly growing worse-

C’mon, how big is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, really? USA Today.






  1. Virginia Avatar

    From the beginning of this spill the information has been slow and rather inaccurate from all parties. Why did they all wait so long to do anything. Pretty hard to bet on BP or DOI from what I have read. Am I being negative or realistic?

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    They have been lucky that the oil slick hasn’t reached a large area of coast despite occupying a lot of ocean.

    A guess is that they hope to get the thing capped and their luck will hold for a “decent interval.”

    If it gets caught in a loop current, however, I think we will hear a lot more of a demand on what is actually going on. Oil soaked beaches in the Florida Keys and Miami will make a difference.

    1. mikarooni Avatar

      Yes, the spill is much larger than is being reported and the problem isn’t just oil soaked beaches. BP’s use of dispersant has driven the oil down below the surface and out of sight; but, it’s down on the bottom and in the grasses that most things live. When that oil down in the water column gets caught in the loop current, it will destroy the coral beds and ruin the Keys and Biscayne Bay National Park. And, who really pays for it? BP may write the checks; but, gasoline prices are already climbing and don’t tell me it’s because of the summer season. It’s the oil industry already passing the cost of this screw-up directly into the pump price.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      A blame game between various oil companies and oil service companies, e.g., Haliburton, did open up today in the first congressional hearing on the blowout.


  3. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    A good piece by Paul Krugman of the New York Times dealing with this and other issues brought up on this blog over the last couple of years. Particularly scathing about the shenanigans that has gone on/continues to go on at Interior:


    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      So I came away with Krugman saying this was mostly the residual effects of the Bush Administration, but that Obama should have been very careful before rubber stamping existing Bush plans, and he should have chosen new people at the Department of Interior who were more of a departure from what we had under Bush. In other words, not Ken Salazar.

    2. matt bullard Avatar
      matt bullard

      Ralph, that was my takeaway as well, though I’m not 100% certain that was his intent. Interesting coming from Krugman…

  4. kt Avatar

    … And a long article for AP summarizing some of the info from the past couple of days:


  5. Virginia Avatar

    And, today, the usual lack of responsibility. It is NO ONE’S fault that this spill happened! Imagine that! Tell that the the wildlife that is being devastated by this disgusting irresponsible devastation!

  6. Virginia Avatar

    Sorry – “tell that TO the wildlife.”

  7. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Actually, even as a strong wildlife advocate, right now, I more worried about the economy that is dying in the gulf…the ramifications of that is going to be far reaching and hard to overcome for a long time to come..I spent a lot of time in NO helping clean up things after Katrina, and this is going to be a real mess..


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan