From “Gulf oil spill was abated by bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons, report says” (Washington Post):
No, but the vast majority of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is already gone, according to a final government report released last month. That report, along with several experts contacted by the Lantern, provides a detailed picture of the oil spill and its aftermath.
Trying to remove all oil from the gulf would be a Sisyphean task. Every year, oil tankers, drilling platforms and boats spill more than 310,000 gallons of oil into the gulf. But even if we halted human activity in the gulf, natural seeps from the sea floor would still send 42 million gallons of oil into gulf waters each year.
These seeps actually prevented the BP spill from being an even worse disaster. The gulf has more natural seeps than any other body of water in or around North America. Because of this constant supply of hydrocarbons, there is always a healthy population of bacteria floating around the gulf looking for more food. When BP’s well blew out, these tiny creatures went into a feeding frenzy. (The lack of natural seeps, and oil-eating bacteria, is one of the reasons that Alaska’s Prince William Sound has been slow to bounce back from the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989.)
BP Oil Spill: Private Property is the Solution
How a Capitalist Government Would Handle the BP Oil Spill
Environmentalists Kill and Maim Dozens in Texas: How Environmental Regulations Reduce Safety and Productivity in the Energy Industry
A steadily-declining number of refineries, coupled with an ever-growing demand for the products of refineries, means companies must push their plants to the limit; many today operate at 95% of capacity, well above the norm for industry in general. That leaves little time for the maintenance, repair or upgrade of existing plants. This necessarily leads, in turn, to less-safe equipment and less-safe operations. Obviously, more regulation and more fines cannot possibly solve this problem.