The mainstream media is finally starting to overtly acknowledge what we have been warning about for some time now - that the undersea oil seeps could be a dangerous indicator of massive damage to the ocean floor and its underground infrastructure. Says the Associated Press:
The federal government Monday allowed BP to keep the cap shut tight on its busted Gulf of Mexico oil well for another day despite a seep in the sea floor after the company promised to watch closely for signs of new leaks underground, settling for the moment a rift between BP and the government.
Late Sunday, [Thad] Allen said a seep had been detected a distance from the busted oil well and demanded in a sharply worded letter that BP step up monitoring of the ocean floor.
White House energy adviser Carol Browner told the CBS "Early Show" the seep was found less than two miles from the well site.
When asked about the seep and the monitoring, BP spokesman Mark Salt would only say that "we continue to work very closely with all government scientists on this."
"Clearly we want this to end. But we don't want to enter into a situation where we have uncontrolled leaks all over the Gulf floor," Browner told ABC.
Scientists still aren't sure whether the pressure readings mean a leak elsewhere in the well bore, possibly deep down in bedrock, which could make the seabed unstable. Oil would have to be released into the water to relieve pressure and allow crews to hook up the ships, BP and Allen have said.
On July 15, MSNBC aired a very candid interview with Matt Simmons (founder of the Ocean Energy Institute) in which he blew the whistle about a "massive hole" spewing oil and methane, miles from the original BP disaster site. "It's a big lie", declared Simmons regarding the official position that there is only one leak and that the cap is working. (Also referenced on MSNBC here.)
If there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor - and there is every indication of it - the implications for the environment are serious. When capping one leak, the extreme pressure of the oil and methane beneath the sea bed will obviously seek another path at whatever weakest point it can find. It's like when your roof leaks and you patch up the affected part of your ceiling with plaster - next time it rains, the water will simply go around it and pop up somewhere else nearby, wherever it can. BP's historically unprecedented deep drilling may have created an ecological problem that cannot easily be fixed.