Five years ago on Monday, the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the oil industry wrought havoc on the Gulf of Mexico when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank at a British Petroleum prospect, allowing oil to gush into the Gulf for eighty-seven days. Journalist Andrew Stelzer recently interviewed oil and energy analyst Antonio Juhasz, author of The Bush Agenda, The Tyranny of Oil, and The Black Tide, for a recent episode of Making Contact; she discussed the fallout of the disaster and the Gulf's long journey to recovery.
"There is a really historic change that happened which was that BP was forced to agree to a human health benefit settlement which acknowledged that exposure to oil and exposure to the dispersants does have human health consequences," Juhasz explains.
"200,000 people were eligible for that settlement but BP has fought very aggressively against that settlement after signing it. So, 200,000 people were eligible. Only 10,000 people have even put in an application. Of that, 148 have received payment, which is shocking. After the amount of time that I've spent in the Gulf witnessing the extreme human health consequences, and years after reporting on extreme human health consequences, to see that nobody is benefiting, essentially, from that really historic agreement to reach a settlement is shocking."