Spill, baby, spill

Move over, Exxon Valdez.  In what’s quickly becoming the worst oil spill in the world’s history, the massive oil slick off the coast of Louisiana is… well, no longer off the coast of Louisiana.

Despite efforts to contain it (hey, they even lit it on fire – don’t try this at home, kids), the oil spill reached land early Friday morning, posed to ruin a variety of fragile ecosystems: marshland, avian habitats, shrimp and oyster breeding groups, mink, otter and already-endangered sea turtles will all be affected, in addition to whales, dolphins and other marine and marsh life.  As of last week it was thought that the downed rig wasn’t going to leak any oil, and speculation of it’s potentially catastrophic environmental effects were merely that.  Unfortunately, at this point the oil slick is so huge it can be seen from space – it’s about the size of Jamaica, and growing.

Unlike the Exxon Valdez incident wherein the oil spill was from a finite source (the boat), this disaster continues because the oil is coming from an active well.  The “Deepwater Horizon” (which might be more accurately re-christened “The Greasewater Horizon”), the collapsed rig still diligently doing its job no matter that it’s already exploded and sunk, is still pumping somwhere around 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of crude oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico.  BP officials have deployed underwater robots to try to stanch the leaks, but have somewhat reluctantly admitted that it may take months to completely seal off the 2 leaks that continue to pollute the Gulf.

The drill has enraged a variety of folks; the President’s reaction, however, is somewhat muddled.  Just a few weeks back Obama announced that offshore drilling was going to be permitted off the Atlantic coast, but is now avoiding the specifics of that plan while speaking in macro-level vagaries to note that he will continue to support offshore drilling as part of a larger energy package, but that no drilling will be authorized in the near future.  Speaking specifically about this oil spill, the President puts the blame on BP.

Sarah Palin, she of the “Drill Here, Drill Now” catch-phrase that so enamored T-shirt makers and oil-drillin’ fans alike, withheld public comment until Friday, at which point she seemed to hold a position similar to the President’s.  Noting her concern for the downed oil workers and the potential for an ecological nightmare, Palin also made sure to point out that all responsibility for safety procedures lies with the parent company, and further noted that she still supports offshore drilling.

And so we award a Fantasy T-Wearer Award today to both Sarah Palin and Barack Obama, with the “Spill Baby Spill” T-shirt, above.

  1. On the plus side it was a marvellous well this rig drilled; it’s currently gushing ten times more oil than most landlocked wells can pump!

    And we now have a chance to learn if spreading oil really does “calm the waters” as noted in scripture. It is believed that a thin sheen of oil would reduce the force of any tropical storm or hurricane that crossed over it, but so far nobody’s ever been able to afford to spread this much oil on subtropical seas to test the idea before. what an unparalleled scientific opportunity!

  2. This is a terrible tragedy not just for the enviroment but for the men who died and for their families, friend’s and co-worker’s please remember this is as much about those who lost their lives as it is about politic’s

  3. It’s a tragic issue… as well as complicated… for example… many people… regardless of politics… feel that as a result of this accident we should abandon future off-shore oil drilling.

    But it seems as if none of these people understand that off shore oil platforms have a much better safety record than oil tankers. Can you name the last off shore oil disaster?

    So if we stop off shore oil drilling we’ll have to increase the amount of tankers that bring oil to our country… we’re trading the safer for the less safe… not to mention the geopolitical implications involved with keeping our oil supplies flowing in the middle east.

    The answer is not to shut down domestic drilling. The answer is to reduce dramatically the dependence on foreign oil which includes the thousands of tankers that travel in and out of our country each month.

  4. Frank has it all wrong, we don’t need to drill offshore simply because it’s not as terrible as using more tankers. Instead, just use a little less oil! Drive a bit less and drive vehicles with a little better gas mileage, use less plastic…it would take very little to offset the need for additional offshore wells. I live at the gulf beach…believe me, we can tell you what to do with ‘Drill Baby Drill’ bumper stickers…Palin doesn’t have a clue but she sure knew about domestic OPEC. It’s called Alaska.

  5. Pingback: Your haircut can help with the oil spill

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