The Oil Spill, the Cap, and the Impact

Finally stopping the oil. We look at the engineering challenge, and the environmental impact in the Gulf of Mexico.

A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. (AP)

A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana. (AP)

Last week, a sigh of relief around the country as the cap went on and the oil stopped gushing in the Gulf of Mexico.  This week, more hope. But also apprehension and uncertainty. 

There’s talk of “seepage” away from the well — of “undetermined anomalies” at the wellhead. 

Today, we’ll get a top petroleum engineer’s perspective on what’s going on down there. And we’ll step back to look at the biological damage already done in the Gulf, what can come back, and what – maybe – cannot. 

This Hour, On Point: the drama of days, and years, in the Gulf of Mexico – for the oil, for the sea.


Darryl Bourgoyne, director of Louisiana State University’s petroleum engineering laboratory in Baton Rouge.

Larry McKinney, director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

Larry Crowder, marine biologist at Duke University’s marine lab in Beaufort, North Carolina.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »