we still haven’t learned to limit oil drilling
By Frances Beinecke
(Washington Post) – Twenty-five years ago this month, the Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water. The public was shocked by photos of oil-soaked otters and reports that coastal residents had lost their livelihoods. The cleanup effort was so vast it required 11,000 people, some of whom scooped up oil with buckets. People were outraged.
Two decades later, the Macondo well beneath the Deepwater Horizon blew out, killing 11 and sending 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and I saw firsthand the oil-drenched beaches and the anxiety of coastal residents. It was hauntingly familiar. Many lessons from the Exxon Valdez spill had not been applied, and the country was once again struggling with an industry ill-prepared to respond.
Flash forward four years, and oil spills continue to endanger our waters. A week ago , a barge and ship collided and spilled about 168,000 gallons of thick, viscous oil into Galveston Bay near a vibrant bird sanctuary.
An even greater potential disaster looms. Shell Oil plans to drill in Alaska’s next frontier — the Arctic Ocean, a region even more pristine and remote than Prince William Sound. The company’s initial attempts were plagued by failed emergency equipment, a 32-mile-long ice floe and a grounded drill rig. If this last unspoiled ocean isn’t put off-limits in a hurry, we could witness a spill of far greater proportions.
Our country can learn from experience. Preserving marine riches for generations to come makes more sense than trying to bring...
Do you think we face a massive complex conundrum? Let's see no oil means no energy, means no economy, means no food, means starvation, means no social order, means...? What a picture! On the other hand, more oil means more energy, more economic activity, more food, more people, more CO2, more climate chaos, more...?
Wait a second! More climate chaos, means no energy, means no economy, means no food, means starvation, means...
Cripes! OK so how the frack can we win?
Dr Peter G Kinesa
April 3, 2014