Who Gets the Blame for This Oil Spill?
Who could forget the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, that leaked 10.8 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s pristine coastal waters? That mistake cost Exxon a billion dollars in damages for the ecological disaster it caused and sparked one of the biggest cleanup operations in history. Imagine 80 times as much. That’s how much oil scientists at UC Santa Barbara and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute say is being leaked naturally along southern California coastlines by oil seeps. Science Daily and Live Science echoed a press release from UC Santa Barbara about this “spectacular finding”.
Judging from samples, the scientists estimated that 8 to 80 times as much oil as was spilled by Exxon Valdez has leaked into the ocean in vast plumes from the California coastal shelf near Santa Barbara. The team, led by an undergraduate chemistry student, wanted to know what happens to the oil. Mariners notice oil slicks, sometimes 20 miles long, on the surface. Locals know that some of it shows up as tar balls along the beaches. Much of it – but not all – is eventually degraded by bacteria. The rest of it sinks back to the bottom and is deposited in coastal sediments.
Quick; we need to drill this oil to save Santa Barbara from an ecological disaster, then sue Mother Nature Big Oil for damages. Where do you think all this oil came from? Now that we know the oil is coming out anyway, do you want to get something out of it, like power for your car, or do you want it all to go to waste, buried in sediments? And why should bacteria get all the energy from it?