Not sure why, but the Reduct Box
provides former Ins. Commish Jim Brown with another "platform"
(pun intended) to express his views on the benefits of offshore oil drilling, and the low risk of spills. (Update:
Brown's essay also appeared on Bayou Buzz
, Daily Kingfish
, Jim Brown's blog
, Louisiana Conservative
, and Central LA Politics
. Again, I don't know why.)Suspect Device ably corrects the record
, and notes that Brown's piece "lifts great unattributed swaths from... a low-level right-wing hack".
What troubles me is that, with sky high gas prices angering motorists, I keep hearing echoes of these same hacktacular talking points. For example, Newsweek
's Robert Samuelson recently wrote:
There were 4,000 platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. Despite extensive damage, there were no major spills, says Robbie Diamond of Securing America's Future Energy, an advocacy group.
This is misleading. Eight million gallons of oil
spilled out from Louisiana facilities after the storm. (The Exxon Valdez spill totaled 11 million.) And while there weren't any "major" oil spills in the Gulf-- the Coast Guard defines a major spill as 100,000+ gallons-- according to this summary
of the May 2006 offshore damage assessment from the U.S. Minerals Management Service :
113 platforms were totally destroyed, and - more importantly - 457 pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10" or larger diameter. At least 741,000 gallons were spilled from 124 reported sources...
But all we hear now is that there were no "major" oil spills after Katrina. No one mentions that 124 "minor" post-Katrina spills added up to the equivalent of 7 MAJOR spills.
Ignoring the risks and hazards of oil drilling to further a political argument about energy is not doing Louisiana any favors. We suffered an environmental catastrophe after Katrina and Rita, due in part to the oil spills that occurred during the storms. The "Gret Stet" has accepted the environmental risks associated with oil drilling, and its eroding coast is paying the price. As our state funnels much of our oil tax "windfall" back into repairing our coast, we do a disservice to ourselves if we gloss over the environmental risks associated with oil drilling, transport and processing.Skytruth has extensive satellite images
of massive 100+ mile oil slicks emanating from Gulf oil platforms after Katrina. Nothing "major", though.
Labels: coastal loss, Cons, oil
Good point. The problem is that the pundits are mixing up their information. When they talk about no major spills, they are quoting the MMS who only is responsible for the federal offshore waters. And your assessment of the total of these spills is correct. The 8 million gallons were spilled on state land and waters and therefore not discussed by the MMS.
At times I've wondered about the environment damage from the storms and flood. There were some initial reports, particularly regarding oil spills in Plaquemines and St. Bernard...and I think a story or two about the dangers of a not all that thoroughly capped 9th Ward landfill that subsequently became a residential neighborhood and presumably flooded.
But there's been very little follow up...
Micheal beat me to it. I would really like to know more about the contamination of residential neighborhoods in St Bernard due to the Murphy Oil spill.
The other thing that they're not factoring is there's no guarantee that any oil exists there.
There actually has been a handful of exploration wells drilled off Florida and elsewhere along the east coast. The most infamous one was Destin Dome, a salt dome off the coast. It was considered a "sure thing" and there was considerable bidding for the exploration block. Chevron won and drilled a hole and all they found was a big pocket of natural gas. Bone dry gas, too. No oil mixed in the gas (relatively rare). Because of gas prices at the time, the hole was a complete bust. I've heard that there's a project underway to go after the gas, now that prices are up, but it's a relatively small affair.
Here's a nice little history of Destin Dome.
Just because the western half of the GoM is covered in oil platforms, don't expect that to be the case in the eastern half...
Somebody tell me why, again, that we can't just crack into our own little salt domes and refine that "emergency" supply???!?!
WTF do they define as an "emergency"? When Dick Cheney dislocates his shoulder when he's neck-deep up King Abdullah's ass?