Gulf Disaster

‘An Exxon Valdez Every Five Days’

The good news is that the oil cap is collecting more oil than expected—about 15,000 barrels a day. The bad news is that this means much more oil is spilling from the leaking geyser than has been estimated. How much exactly? A new Rolling Stone article has some scary numbers: According to the magazine, the official estimate of 12,000 to 25,000 represents just the “minimum estimate.” The scientist Timothy Crone, who consulted with the government, said it could be as much as “100,000 barrels a day.” The median for the scientist’s calculating is 55,000 barrels a day—“the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez every five days.” “That’s what the plume team’s numbers show too,” says Crone, and Rolling stone notes that “the industry privately agrees with such estimates.”