Basket stars, crinoids, anemone, and crab (NOAA Deepwater Coral Expedition, Gulf of Mexico, 2009)
This is the unseen world imperiled by the uncapped oil well a mile below the surface of the gulf. The millions of gallons of crude, and the introduction of chemicals to disperse it, have thrown this underwater ecosystem into chaos, and scientists have no answer to the question of how this unintended and uncontrolled experiment in marine biology and chemistry will ultimately play out.
Some of the press may be wondering why we are announcing offshore drilling in a hangar at Andrews Air Force Base. Well, if there’s any doubt about the leadership that our military is showing, you just need to look at this F-18 fighter and the light-armored vehicle behind me. The Army and Marine Corps have been testing this vehicle on a mixture of biofuels. And this Navy fighter jet — appropriately called the Green Hornet — will be flown for the first time in just a few days, on Earth Day.