SEL Exhibit – Oil: Deep Challenge

Oil: Deep Challenge

Upon reading about an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico having an explosion on April 20, 2010 – I thought “headlines for news outlets”.   Reading that 11 men were killed as a result, sympathy and compassion for their families was my next reaction after learning their remains were not found.  (Reminiscences of 9/11). 

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig sunk on April 22, beginning an oil spill.   And the oil kept spilling, and spilling, and spilling, wasting, and wasting, and wasting.  And the oil   encroached closer, and closer, and closer to coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  Was Texas next?    The oil spill was not only an industrial disaster, but was on its way to becoming an ecological and economic disaster (not just for the off-shore drilling oil industry, but for everyday folks living along the Gulf Coast).  I did not who to feel more compassion for – the birds and coastal animals or the people.

Working in an engineering environment, I kept thinking – why can’t these engineers “do something”?   Why can’t they stop the flow of the oil?   Why can’t they collect the oil that was escaping – why can’t they collect it somehow?  It is going to cause our gas prices to go up, even more!   The other thing I was thinking … how much oil is “down there” – it seemed to be without end.  I suppose that was my main thought.  But what was I thinking?  5000 feet down in water, is deep!  Well, at last, finally, the engineers were successful with a temporary measure which stopped the flow of oil on July 15.

Now we, the affected states’ government officials, BP, and the U.S. government, wait and see what the future holds.

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Librarian University of Texas-Arlington Science & Engineering Library Nedderman Hall, B 03

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