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It is the worst oil disaster in American history. An oil and gas monster lurking deep below the ocean kills eleven men and destroys a multimillion-dollar rig, the Deepwater Horizon, before launching a deadly rampage across the Gulf of Mexico and onto the shores and beaches of four states. The heads of the world's mightiest corporations and most powerful governments sit impotent for three long months in the face of the monster's attack. Blasted by chemicals, a toxic oily stew remains floating in underwater plumes, waiting on the bottom of the ocean for the next big storm to strike and penetrating deep into the food chain. And it could all happen again. But even if you followed it in the media, you have yet to get the whole story. To truly understand the causes and the impact of this disaster, you must know the people behind it and those forever changed by it.
In Black Tide, award-winning author and oil industry watchdog Antonia Juhasz, whose previous book The Tyranny of Oil warned that all this could happen, offers an in-depth investigation behind the scenes and beyond the sludge-smeared beaches to meet the people whose mistakes, and possible crimes, resulted in the most devastating oil spill in American history and those who must continue to bear its costs.
From the families who paid the ultimate price, you will hear heart-pounding accounts of the last fateful hours aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the struggle to prevent the largest deepwater blowoutin history unfold. You will follow "plume hunters" tracking the oil across the ocean and workers who clean up the toxic mess. Dedicated scientists expose the harms of dispersants while shrimpers, crabbers, and fishers take you onto their boats to share a way of life that may never recover. You will see Native American families fight for survival as environmentalists mount a defense from the beaches of Florida to the halls of Congress.
Oil industry workers, engineers, and executives will take you inside the dangerous and politically volatile world of offshore oil production, revealing why this is not just a story of one accident or a single oil company. The king and queen of the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival showcase the deeply intertwined world of seafood and oil in the Gulf, even as the fierce jousting by BP CEO Tony Hayward, oil lobbyist Jack Gerard, Governor Bobby Jindal, and President Barack Obama exposes the political-corporate straitjacket confining us to a world governed by our deadly addiction to oil.
It was a disaster that should never have happened, and one that has every possibility of occurring again if those who are fighting for lasting change are not successful. Often in their own words, here is the story of the people of the BP Gulf oil spill, a story you have not yet been told. Part whodunit, part political thriller, and part epic tale of a true-life disaster, Black Tide is the definitive account of the unforgettable event whose full impact, both on the Gulf Coast and throughout the world, will be with us all for years to come.