True Cost of BP Oil Spill: Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice fined the London-based BP oil company $4.5 billion for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 and also charged two top-level supervisors with manslaughter. In addition, President Obama BP has forced pay out $20 billion for damage claims. It seems like a lot of money, but BP's profits for 2011 were $40 billion and the fine — the largest in US history — must have been smaller than expected, because BP stock rose slightly after the news. Unfortunately, the real cost of the oil spill is much higher. As Juan Cole points out "Not only is the monetary damage, in harm to fishing and tourism, substantial, but the damage to quality of life and to marine life and fisheries is unacceptably high."
Juan lists the top 10 true costs of the spill. Among them, are fish with lesions and oozing sores, eyeless shrimp, a graveyard of corals on the floor of the Gulf, tar balls “teeming” with deadly Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, seriously ill dolphins beaching themselves on shores, damage to plant life on Gulf islands and along the shore. All this and more, not to mention all of the carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere burned from oil-based fuel sources. via Juan Cole