Scientists now say the blown-out well could have been spewing as much as 2 million gallons of crude a day before a cut-and-cap maneuver started capturing some of the flow, meaning more than 100 million gallons may have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since the start of the disaster in April. That is more than nine times the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, previously the worst oil spill in U.S. history. (emphasis added)
Hmmm. I guess it's the worst spill in history if you don't know history.
The Lakeview Gusher started in 1910 in Kern County, California. According to Wikipedia, over 18 months it blew 9 million BARRELS - that's about 380 million gallons - all over the countryside. I'd say that's a "spill" and over 4 times the high-end estimates of the current Gulf spill.
I was in the area of the Lakeview Gusher 60 years later, and the only evidence I could find of the gusher was a bronze plaque placed by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans). All other environmental impacts had disappeared. Imagine that.
The Gulf spill caused by British Petroleum will have to continue unabated for the rest of the year (very likely) to become the "worst" spill in U.S. history.
The BP spill is a mess now but, like the Lakeview Gusher, we can expect it to have no long-term effect on the environment.
But pointing that out doesn't help the profit-mongering news companies sell their stories.
(Not that I'm against profit-mongering; but the Associated Press and New York Times are no more noble than British Petroleum)