Black and Smith agree that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico belongs on the list of the nation’s worst man-made environmental disasters. Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig April 20, millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the gulf, threatening marine and wildlife species. Roughly 2,000 dead animals have been collected from affected areas.
Rig owner BP has been held accountable for the spill, including the cost of the cleanup and damage -- about $2 billion by its own reckoning. Some of the government's efforts in response to the disaster have included an attempted moratorium on deepwater drilling in certain areas and initiatives to take care of the wildlife.