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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

One of 2010's Darker Stories Began with a Tragedy on Board the Deepwater Horizon


The explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 people and set off one of the worst environmental disasters in history.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Fire boats battle flames after an the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010.

U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images

Without a doubt one of the biggest stories of 2010 was the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisian on April 21, 2010.. Americans were transfixed by the disaster, which went on for three months as 4.9 million barrels of crude oil were pumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the more interesting angles on the disaster was its political ramifications for President Barack Obama. Obama came under fire almost immediately for not taking a more prominent role in the cleanup effort. The criticisms became more pronounced as he continued to follow his golf and vacation schedules without seeming to offer much concern for the growing disaster.

Many Americans perceived Obama's calm exterior as apathy, and on June 15, 2010, the president made a speech to the American people from the Oval Office.

Sixty percent of the American public rated the federal government's response to the spill as "poor" or "very poor."

The oil leak was finally capped on July 15, 2010, but it likely will be years before the effects of the disaster finally begin to subside. For now, we'll rate it as one of the top stories of 2010.

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