The Significance of One Email: How Prepared Are We for the Next Major Oil Spill?

April 20, 2015 9:22 PM

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The Significance of One Email: How Prepared Are We for the Next Major Oil Spill?

In September 2010, I was a scientist working at the Unified Command in New Orleans, the official operating center responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With the fifth anniversary of the spill today, everyone is asking me: Are we more prepared for the next spill? Perhaps the best answer to that question arrived a few weeks ago in a single email.

The email was from one of the lead federal officials responsible for responding to oil spills after an inquiry from one of my academic colleagues. It was sent the day after the April 1st explosion of a Mexican oil-processing rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed four people and created a slick, info...

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