We've come a long way, baby...
The Macondo well may be sealed and "dead," but the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is going to be felt for some time to come. We're spending the whole hour wrestling with some of the unanswered questions and lingering issues that the BP oil spill has left in its wake. To help us navigate these dirty waters, Robert Hernan, author of "This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from the Fifteen Worst Environmental Disasters Around the World" joins us for the hour.
Also, check out our timeline of the entire disaster, spanning from the Deepwater Horizon's construction in 1998 through when it was declared "dead" on Sunday.
So now that the Macondo well is officially "dead," where did all of that oil go? And what will be the lasting environmental impacts on the Gulf? Toxicologist LuAnn White, director of the Tulane Center for Applied Environmental Public Health joins us with her insight.
Over the last five months we spoke to a number of Gulf residents. Now we check in with some of them again. Eddie Spence owns 10 restaurants and employs over 300 people in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Also in Alabama, we're joined by Johnny Greene, a fisherman, and Tim Kant, mayor of Fairhope. In Mississippi, we hear from Captain Kathy Wilkinson, a "boat captain and master naturalist," who operates an eco-tourism business. And in Louisiana, we speak with Captain Danny Wray, the owner and operator of Calmwater Charters in Grand Isle.
Despite the closing of the Deepwater Horizon well, there's still a lot at stake for BP says Lisa Margonelli, author of "Oil On the Brain: Petroleum's Long Strange Trip to Your Tank" and fellow at the New America Foundation. She explains what's at risk for the company.
How do we make the Gulf marketable again? For some ideas, we turn to Mike Foster, vice president of marketing for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism. We also get the perspective of a Gulf Coast mayor. Mayor Gayle Oberst of Panama City Beach, Florida says her city was hit hard by the oil spill but has also benefited from BP grants.
What are the lessons to be learned from this disaster for the oil and drilling industry? Peter Bommer, a petroleum engineer at Abraxas Petroleum Corporation, has a few ideas. And Robert Hernan answers some of your questions.