As a 14 year oil spill continues to release close to 700 barrels or 29,400 gallons of oil per day at a former production site, the United States Coast Guard orders Taylor Energy Co to clean up the ongoing oil pollution in the Gulf’s waters or face a daily $40,000 dollar fine. The ongoing oil spill, which was first detected by the Gulf Restoration Network and the watchdog group SkyTruth from the sky, is the largest offshore disaster in the U.S.
The U.S. Coast Guard ordered Taylor to “institute a … system to capture, contain, or remove oil” just days after the story broke in The Washington Post.
“The time to clean this up was 14 years ago,” Dustin Renaud, communications director for the Gulf Restoration Network, said. “Taylor Energy has shown nothing but negligence all this time.”
BREAKING: Coast Guard ordered Taylor Energy to create and deploy an oil containment device over their 14 year old oil spill. The order came one day after Gulf Restoration Network broke the story on the front page of the Washington Post: https://t.co/PEX9z3doy4 #CleanItUpTaylor pic.twitter.com/WbW5S25RzE
— Gulf Restor. Network (@HealthyGulf) November 20, 2018
While many environmentalists believe the government’s order was long overdue, the Taylor-owned production platform could continue to leak “for another 100 years or more until the oil in the underground reservoir is depleted,” a government agency concluded, Common Dreams reported.
But a spokesperson for Taylor, which ceased to exist as a company, disagrees with the government’s order saying that “The inflated volumes are completely inconsistent with the scientific record built over a decade by the world’s leading scientists, including those regularly relied upon by the government.”
The U.S. Coast Guard responded to Taylor by saying, “the worst-case estimate of the daily volume of release far exceeds previous estimates and is in the order of hundreds of barrels per day.”
To date, the production platform, located 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana, has leaked anywhere for 1.5 million barrels to 3.5 million barrels as estimated.