Oil Spills are Not Rare But Constant Negligence
|May 10, 2014||Posted by Staff under Environmental|
This 2014 excerpt of National Public Radio, Apr 20, is by Bob Marshall.
More than 54,000 wells were planted in and off the Louisiana coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They’re connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.
And leak they do. Louisiana admits to at least 300,000 barrels spilled on its land and in its waters each year, 20 percent of the nation’s total. But those figures come from a system that depends largely on oil companies to self-report.
Under the Clean Water Act, when a company spills any amount of oil in the water, it must file a report with the National Response Center run by the Coast Guard. But many smaller spills were not making that list.
Gulf Restoration Network has personnel who can spot spills from the air and file complete reports. SouthWings, a group of volunteer pilots, helps get those spotters aloft. SkyTruth finds the spills on satellite photographs, then applies a formula used by spill experts to translate the size of the oil sheen into gallons of oil in the water; its estimates typically are 10 times larger than what had been reported.
In an average year, the NRC receives 10,000 reports of spills in the Gulf. That is a continuous, business-as-usual practice.
Ed. Notes: Polluters know what will stop them even if we don’t and that’s repeal of free, government-granted liability limits. Get rid of that freebie, make management buy insurance plus put their own butts on the line, and you’d see them become good neighbors. Of course, if oil companies had to pay the “rental” value of oil rather than keep it — close to what Norway does — and pay to the community, that would show who is really boss and help keep business in line. Further, you could use the raised revenue to cut counter-productive taxes, such as those on wages, sales, and homes. Most voters would love that, and thus love this system of stewardship all the more. More at progress.org.