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Counting the costs of the Deepwater Horizon disaster

Further reason to leave oil under the seabed

Further reason to leave oil under the seabed

Why the costs of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are beyond the $61.6bn bill, and the importance of keeping fossil fuel divestment in plain view

In July, BP reported that the total bill of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster would be $61.6 billion, which includes numerous messy legal expenses and meticulous clean-up costs. 11 workers died and almost five million barrels of oil have been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

To put that into perspective, it’s enough to pay for the London 2012 Olympics four times over.

Some see the Deepwater Horizon disaster as a waste of resource, as investors sigh a collective groan as share prices dip and fluctuate. Much of the news coverage has been billed as a financial disaster rather than as an environmental one. Last year, chief executive Bob Dudley described the rig fire and its aftermath as “a near death experience” for the firm.

But how can we measure thBP Deepwater Horizon - we want our beach back e real cost of the oil spill? The damaged eco-systems which may never repair, the toxicity in the oceans, the people who died working at Deepwater Horizon?

And when evaluating its impact; we also need to revert our attention back to the damage fossil fuels create when they’re not leaked in the first place – when they’re burned. Which of these factors is most important when calculating the damage, and preventing further problems?

Fossil fuel divestment would make sure it never happened in the first place, and be the only guarantee that it won’t happen again.

The movement to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is already growing faster than any previous divestment campaign, as Colour of Money has previously reported.

Maybe when we talk about the cost, this should be a firm reminder that continued investment in fossil fuels carry a flashing blood-red warning flag – and that’s before we even begin to count the financially precarious nature of investing in fossil fuels.


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