Emily Grubert, a friend and fellow graduate student at UT wrote a piece for the Daily Texas that was published this week. Here’s a short excerpt:
“How is the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico going to affect Texas?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a while now, and I’m still not sure. Texas is unlikely to see much oil contamination on the shore, and coastal Texas fishing and tourism industries could actually benefit as people look for alternatives to Louisiana and Florida, according to The Brownsville Herald. Longer-term restrictions on offshore drilling could affect Texas and Texan companies, as could more stringent oversight.
But I think the real question evokes an inspirational JFK quote, or a bad Soviet Russia joke (depending on your mood): How are Texans affecting oil spills? More specifically, how are consumers affecting oil spills?”
Check out the rest of the article here.
The oil slick that has rolled onto the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama does not care about politics. It does not care that Congressmen in Washington are working on an energy and climate bill. It does not care about the press conferences or the evening news reel. The rate at which this slick grows is not impacted by politics – the tradeoffs don’t change because of a great speech by our President or BP officials. As one Boston.Com reader put it, we need to ”stop blaming the Republicans or the Democrats!…It’s time for ALL of us to care! Politics has nothing to do with this mess.”
Our oil consumption has tradeoffs and this oil slick is a perfect example of the risks we’ve accepted when we drive our cars, eat fruit driven to us from California, or buy water bottles made from petroleum-based plastics.. We drive our cars, which requires oil that comes from reserves in sensitive regions all over the world. Oil spills happen, even when we are careful. This time the disaster is something not just seen on the news, but felt by Americans. Maybe the silver lining in all of this is that our representatives in Washington will use the momentum created by this disaster (I would say catastrophe) to find intelligent technological and political solutions to our unsustainable energy economy.
Some incredible pictures of wildlife caught in the oil slick can be found here.
BP started it’s ‘top kill’ procedure today as its latest efforts to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosionlast month. This procedure uses mud to slow the flow of oil into the ocean from the oil well and then pumps concrete unto the well, sealing-off the oil’s exit. BP says that they will know in the next few days if the procedure has worked.
Check out a video explaining the ‘top kill’ procedure here.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, below is a video taken by the US Coast Guard of the post-explosion fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.