By: NANCY SMITH | Posted: June 7, 2014 3:55 AM
Four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, BP still hasn't finished paying for the damage it did to the Gulf region ecosystem.
The issue at this moment is dead birds.
How many birds and how much money should be paid depends on who you ask. And that's the crux of the delay.
Responders searched an area of nearly 40,000 square miles during and after the 2010 spill and they counted fewer than 3,000 dead birds. But a study to be released this summer by the Marine Ecology Progress Series indicates that the true toll may be far higher: on an order as high as 800,000. It's a number that far exceeds any previous estimate.
This new estimate for bird deaths in the Gulf is unprecedented for an oil disaster. Consider that the estimate of dead birds following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill was around 300,000.