In same area as the BP spill! – The huge BP oil spill off the coast of Florida has focused our minds on problems with offshore drilling, but it turns out that oil leaks into the Gulf regularly from other sources. Satellite images reveal that there are TWO other offshore drilling rigs that are leaking oil in that vicinity.

John Amos, of an organization called SkyTruth, checks satellite images of the Earth regularly in order to find environmental problems, and he found a small oil slick about 11 miles off the coast of Louisiana and about 40 miles from the BP spill. According to the government agency MMS, this one is owned by the Taylor Energy Company. Taylor Energy has confirmed that their rig has had a slow leak for 6 years, ever since it was damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2004.

On the Mother Jones website, Kate Sheppard quotes Amos as saying,”We’re not routinely using satellites to monitor regions where offshore drilling is occurring. If we were, what would we learn? Would we learn that small spills like this are uncommon, or would we learn that there’s a day to day, background nature to spills?

“I don’t want to speculate on frequency or regularity. Maybe this is a rare occurrence and this was incredibly fortuitous that we happened to stumble across it. I don’t know. I do know we have the tools to answer these questions, but we’re not using them.”

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