Sometimes, a split second can change everything.
On April 20, 2010, disaster struck in the Gulf of Mexico. The offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, causing one of the worst environmental catastrophes in American history. Every day for months on end, more than a million gallons of oil leaked into the water. As the oil company BP frantically tried to stop the spill, scientists and emergency response crews searched for ways to repair the damage. Experts predict that the Gulf of Mexico's environment, wildlife, and industries will take decades to recover.
But what exactly is oil? Where does it come from and why do we need so much of it? What caused this disaster to happen and how can we stop it from happening again? Learn the answers to these questions and more as you find out about the oil spill, relief efforts, and the future of energy use in the United States.