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Loser: the Gulf of Mexico

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig brought the Gulf's two sources of wealth into uncomfortable proximity: wildlife and oil. For 88 days the broken pipe pumped out about 100,000 barrels of the black stuff into the ocean daily, while BP experimented with different ways of shutting off the flow (pump rubbish into it - nope. Put a lid on it - nope). Some of it drifted ashore to blacken beaches, poison wetlands, and ruin fishing communities; some was removed from the surface with huge quantities of chemicals - only to end up forming vast underwater dead zones. The number of species put at risk by the catastrophe has been estimated at 400. On the bright side, BP's share price was on its way to a healthy recovery by the end of the year.

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