Are you aware that it costs $82,000 to save one sea animal in an oil spill? Did you know that after capturing, de-oiling, and rehabilitating one bird victimized by an oil spill it costs taxpayers $32,000? The probability of those animals surviving is almost zilch. That’s probably why having an oil spill 21 miles from land, Mississippi specifically, as we speak doesn’t bother politicians; they’d rather play the blame game than be concerned about the environment. The money to save wildlife is considered be spent on preventing these disasters form happening in the future.
But let’s examine what the future holds. Since 2006, the Minerals Management Service had reported 509 fires, resulting in at least two fatalities and 12 serious injuries, on rigs in the Gulf. So, one would presume that the future holds more environmental disasters, more deaths (oil rigs are far more dangerous than coal mines), and more dead wildlife. We will have more economic woes as the fish industry plummets into bankruptcy because there are no fish to catch- what survives will be grossly contaminated!
It is claimed that the recent Gulf of Mexico spill will not reach shore and that burning the oil slick in control burns will eradicate the problem in a couple of weeks. However, a similar spill off the Western Australia coast last year took 10 weeks to bring under control. Our government officials have admitted that they don’t know how to contain it and don’t know what their strategy will be.
According to the CS Monitor, Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell, who is currently working for the Deepwater Horizon Response Joint Information Center, said “we’ve been trying for several days to activate it (plug the valve). Nothing we’ve been doing has been successful in securing the leak so far.” That’s reassuring news.
Jacqueline Savitz, a marine scientist and climate campaign director at Oceana, an environmental group, said Tuesday (April 27th) “oil spills are extremely harmful to marine life when they occur and often for years or even decades later.” She outlined that sea turtles will not be able to come up to the surface of the ocean to breath and will suck in the oil. This will kill them or interfere with their reproduction. She said that sea birds will not be able to see, fly, or reproduce. Animals of all species will suffer a long, horrible death.
The PICTURES of the oil slick off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are heart-wrenching.
The animals that will be the most effected by this latest oil spill are:
*Fish: open-water species, such as tuna, sailfish and Jacks
*Birds: pelagic birds, such as shearwaters and frigate birds
*Mammals: fin whales, sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins
*Turtles: loggerheads and Kemp’s ridleys
Louisiana and Mississippi, hardest hit from the Katrina Hurricane disaster, are now facing devastating environmental and economic woes due to the oil slick reach their coastlines by tomorrow (April 30th).
Incredibly, President Obama has not retracted his plans for further offshore drilling of oil. He still believes that by drilling our own oil, we will be less dependent on foreign countries to supply the much needed oil. My question is, at what cost to our environment and wildlife do we want this coveted oil?
President Obama was quoted today (April 29th) as saying, “the bottom line is this — given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth, and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy.” I am not sure that the gain outweighs the costs!
It is estimated that approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil enter the ocean every year, with over half coming from land drainage and waste disposal; for example, from the improper disposal of used motor oil. So, oil rig spillage is relatively insignificant (2% according to one report). Another report, states that massive mortality to oceanic life is short-term, with the long-term affects being permanent, like food industries not being to recapture lost revenue from sea life that can’t replenish itself to meet the demand due to their reproductive cycles being aborted.
Our weather, climate, and seasonal conditions will be forever altered by this spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Consider this sobering fact: it is estimated that the residue of the Exxon Valdez oil spill that occurred way back in 1989 will be visible on the Alaskan coast for 30 years!
The fish industry earned more than $117 million in Louisiana alone last year. Hopefully the oil spill will not reach the coast. Fishermen have already been halted from catching fish until it has been determined what the oil spill has done and the damage can assess and confirmed.