Scientists warn of unseen deepwater oil disaster
By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer – Mon May 31, 5:11 pm ET
NEW ORLEANS – Independent scientists and government officials say there’s a disaster we can’t see in the Gulf of Mexico’s mysterious depths, the ruin of a world inhabited by enormous sperm whales and tiny, invisible plankton.
Researchers have said they have found at least two massive underwater plumes of what appears to be oil, each hundreds of feet deep and stretching for miles. Yet the chief executive of BP PLC – which has for weeks downplayed everything from the amount of oilspewing into the Gulf to the environmental impact – said there is “no evidence” that huge amounts of oil are suspended undersea.
BP CEO Tony Hayward said the oil naturally gravitates to the surface – and any oil below was just making its way up. However, researchers say the disaster in waters where light doesn’t shine through could ripple across the food chain.