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The BP well is dead. Long live lessons from the Gulf oil spill.

The BP oil well has been officially pronounced dead. But this is by no means the end -- either of this case or of the work needed to prepare for any future spill.

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Remember the news earlier this month that an oil and gas platform had caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, forcing its 13 workers to jump into the water?

Fortunately, no one died. No oil spilled. But until reports confirmed that all was well, the news caused an intake of breath amid worries of “Oh no, not another Deepwater Horizon.”

On Sunday, the BP well that fed the largest offshore oil spill in America’s history was officially pronounced “dead,” with no chance of further leaks. The well was provisionally capped in mid-July.

But this is by no means the end – either of this case or of the work needed to prepare for any future spill. As long as the United States continues to depend on oil and gas, there will be offshore drilling.

In the towns of the Gulf Coast, anxiety, economic disruption, and frustration over unpaid claims continue. About 40,000 square miles of the Gulf remain closed to fishing, and demand and prices for the area’s seafood have plummeted.

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