When a drilling rig leased by BP exploded 40 miles off the Louisiana coastline, eleven workers lost their lives and pipes deep under the surface of seafloor ruptured. Oil gushed for three months into the Gulf of Mexico, and millions of barrels of oil polluted thousands of miles of marine ecosystems, devastating local communities.
Equinor has vowed it won’t go ahead with drilling in the Great Australian Bight unless it can be done safely — but its own documents show that safe drilling in the Bight is a myth. The waters of the Bight are wild and stormy, and the proposed drill site is twice as far underwater as the Deepwater Horizon well — all factors that make oil drilling in the Bight extra risky.
A more than two year legal battle by Greenpeace Australia Pacific has revealed details of how dangerous and risky drilling by any oil company would be in the Great Australian Bight and how difficult it would be to respond in the event of an accident.
A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a young couple to dive in Thailand on one of my favorite reefs. Weather conditions were perfect, with mild currents and excellent visibility of the stunning topography and bright, vivid corals. Even through the regulator, I could see the smiles on my students’ faces.