Oil Spills

11.23.2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

 

Gulf Oil Spill

Offshore oil drilling is a necessary evil for this time and age, as the world is heavily dependent on oil. This four trillion dollar industry provides energy for the majority of America, as well as creating more than 242,000 jobs. Unfortunately, thirty percent of the country’s oil comes from the Gulf of Mexico, which is very damaging to the ocean and the animals that inhabit it, especially in the case of accidents.

Since there are little to no regulations and/or supervision on oil rigs, the companies can do whatever they want. A typical oil rig will dump more than 90,000 metric tons of drilling fluid and toxic metal cuttings into the ocean. The ingestion of these metal cuttings contribute to the increased levels of mercury in fish, especially in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil spills have happened all throughout the history of offshore drilling, and yet effective cleanup methods are still a mystery. Booms, skimmers, chemical dispersants, and burning the oil are usually the typical methods used to remove the oil from the ocean, though this is typically a lost cause. Thousands of animals are affected by the oil. Birds and sea pups die of hypothermia when coming into contact with the oil. When ingested, animals suffer from ulcers and stomach bleeding.

On April 22, 2010, a BP oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, spewing over 206 million gallons of oil into the ocean. Damaging 4,200 miles of coastline, this oil spill affected marshes, wetlands, and hundreds of ecosystems. Over 600 sea turtles were killed. To disperse the oil, over two million gallons of chemicals were dumped into the ocean. However, the long term side effects of these chemical dispersants are unknown, as there was not enough testing on the dispersants before they were used. Although many organizations are trying to enforce stricter regulations for the oil industry, these catastrophic oil spills will continue to happen unless the world can become less dependent on oil.

– Hayley Bibaud

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Source: http://bpoilspillcrisisinthegulf.webs.com/bpoilspill.htm

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