An oil leak from an offshore oil platform off the Louisiana coast may be contaminating the Gulf of Mexico for the next century if not fixed.
The leak started a decade ago, when Hurricane Ivan caused an underwater mudslide to destroy the platform, owned by Taylor Energy.
William Pecue, president of the company, fielded questions at a public meeting at a Louisiana State University research center last week. The meeting was part of a court-ordered settlement with environmental advocacy groups in 2012.
After Pecue described the oil spill as an "Act of God," the meeting became contentious. "Act of God" is a legal term, commonly used in insurance policy contracts to avoid liability in the case of unforeseeable natural disasters.
However, the official definition of "Act of God" can be vague and ambiguous, allowing companies to avoid accountability for their negligence.
The lawsuit was brought about when environmental activists started hearing reports about a miles-long oil sheen in the Gulf. The lawsuit was primarily intended to get answers, since neither the company nor the Environmental Protection Agency were forthcoming.
Taylor Energy has spent $480 million over the past decade to clean up the spill, but the problem has not gone away. Pecue stated they cannot do much more, and the problem will persist for around a century.
Industry experts also stated that the sheen is not coming from active oil wells, but remnant oil trapped in mud on the ocean floor. An Associated Press investigation last year revealed that the spill was 20 times worse than what the EPA and the company initially reported.
If you have suffered illness or had property damage as a result of an oil spill, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Louisiana environmental damage lawyers at Simien & Simien today for a free consultation. We will fight for your justice.