One of the reasons that I really like Rachel Maddow is because she is so thoughtful. She did her homework. She found an oil spill in 1979 in the Gulf of Mexico. The similarities are remarkable. The main question that I have is if we’re going to drill these wells should we have more than a theory on how to fix the problem when problems arise?

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From USA Today:

Here on Mexico’s Gulf Coast, the Deepwater Horizon disaster has revived memories of the world’s worst accidental oil spill, a 1979 blowout that spewed oil for nine months, devastated marine life and covered the Texas and Mexican coasts with gobs of crude.
Now, people here are worried they may be in for a repeat of that disaster as ocean currents begin to catch oil from the Deepwater Horizon well and the Atlantic hurricane season gets underway June 1.

There are strong parallels between the two spills. Like the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Ixtoc 1 spill on June 3, 1979, involved the failure of a blowout preventer device, a kind of emergency shutoff valve. In both cases, metal domes put over the well failed to stop the leaks.

And in both cases, crews turned to something called relief wells dug horizontally through the seafloor to stop the spills, a technique that can take months. (more…)