Above is a NASA image of the rapidly growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The image was taken late yesterday. Imagine it as happening in Bristol Bay. More importantly, imagine it as happening this time of year in the Chukchi Sea. You wouldn't see the oil. It would be under feet of ice. Dealing with this sill in the Gulf of Mexico, with hundreds of support vessels and perhaps a thousand skilled responders is proving pretty challenging, to say the least.
Yesterday I checked with the offices of both Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Mark Begich, on public statements about this spill. Sen. Begich has not yet made a statement. Sen. Murkowski, who, along with Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (DINO), pushed hard in 2009 for the expansion of nearshore and offshore drilling that is now occurring nationwide, made a brief statement last week. Here's Sen. Murkowski's statement from April 22nd:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement after learning that the Deepwater Horizon rig has sunk into the Gulf of Mexico:
I was dismayed to learn that the Deepwater Horizon rig has now sunk into 6000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. We do not yet know how this development will affect the marine environment, but I understand all emergency spill response units in the Gulf have been mobilized.
My thoughts and prayers remain with the missing rig workers and their loved ones. They are our first priority.
My staff and I are receiving regular briefings from the Coast Guard, the Minerals Management Service and BP. I will continue to closely monitor this situation and I have offered the full resources of my office to aide all of those affected by this tragedy.
I'd like to see a statement from Shell Oil Company, on how they would deal with something like this in the Chukchi.
I'd like to see our Alaska press, or the Dispatch, which has some big bucks behind them, put some pressure on Shell regarding a similar scenario in the Chukchi.