Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Exxon Valdez...it may never be done! This emphasizes the potentially disasterous results of offshore drilling.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Exxon Valdez...it may never be done! This emphasizes the potentially disasterous results of offshore drilling.

(The Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council received the attached photo and following text from David Janka.)

"The photo was taken on July 1, 2008 at Smith Island in Prince William Sound. Residual 1989 Exxon Valdez oil in subsurface sediments.It doesn't look done to me."--DJanka

Thanks to Kodiak Konfidential:
Somebody suggested to me recently that anyone who finds any residual oil - and there is reportedly some still here on Kodiak - that they box it up and send it to Exxon Mobil World Domination Headquarters in Houston, Texas.

I really, really want to wear a t-shirt featuring an Alaskan artists interpretation of the spill's effect on wildlife on the front and really big letters on the back saying "Exxon Sucks...the life out of Alaska."

Those Fox News cameras at the Convention would eat it up.

In the aftermath of the SCOTUS Exxon decision and the mathematical proof (and admission by the McCain Campaign) that new drilling will NOT provide relief for high gas prices, this story floored me:

Top Democrat may back new offshore drilling

A top U.S. Democratic senator said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday that he would consider supporting opening up new areas for offshore oil and gas drilling.

"I'm open to drilling and responsible production," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin told The Wall Street Journal, adding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could also support the move.

I worked in Prudhoe Bay and have seen that safety and environmental regulations in Alaska do their job. I also know that a land-spill stays pretty contained and while not a desirable event, doesn't pose the danger to wildlife that some would claim. While I believe the scientists and mathematicians have proven that drilling in ANWR is a waste of time and resources, I am not against drilling in ANWR based on any environmental impact reasons.

However, the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill should be the "period...end of sentence" as to why offshore drilling in the Bering Sea (or anywhere else) should NEVER BE CONSIDERED. There is NO SUCH THING as "RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION" of offshore assets, especially in Alaska.

- They want to drill in the world's most productive, lucrative fishery in the Bering Sea.

- There has there been NO SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT in oil spill technology since 1989.

- It is well documented that the Bering Sea is "one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world" with "rogue waves" common between 40-60 feet and as high as 100 feet.

From the series "Deadliest Catch":

Rogue waves are FAR FROM LIMITED to Alaska. A 91 ft wave was documented in the Gulf of Mexico.

- While they tried to downplay it, we know that the damage done by Hurricane Katrina was actually formidable:
...the U.S. Minerals Management Service published their offshore damage assessment: 113 platforms totally destroyed, and - more importantly - 457 pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10" or larger diameter. At least 741,000 gallons were spilled from 124 reported sources (the Coast Guard calls anything over 100,000 gallons a "major" spill).

Wells and platforms were shut down before the storm, so leakage from those facilities was minimal. Pipelines were shut down too. But what the officials failed to mention is they don't require industry to "purge" pipelines before a severe storm - so they were probably still loaded with oil, gas or liquid gas condensate. Any section of pipeline that was breached leaked all of that product into the Gulf within hours of the storm. That's what we think accounts for the widespread slicks seen on the imagery from September 1 and 2, covering hundreds of square miles and obviously emanating from many points of origin.

- There has so far been NO END to the damage done by the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

- Most importantly, the SCOTUS decision ensures that oil companies can avoid punishment for negligence.

The Democratic Party must not make a decision that could destroy commercial fishing, sport fishing and most importantly, those communities who depend upon the subsistence fishing lifestyle. Per Alaska Real, hat tip to Yahoo:
"It also was about the end of Alaska Native traditions and a subsistence lifestyle for several villages in the region. Because of the spill, many Alaska Natives were forced to stop harvesting seal, salmon and herring roe and move to urban areas, never to return, said Lange, who is part Aleut and Tlingit.

'A cultural link was definitely broken,' she said."

Haven't we let the energy companies do enough damage in the name of progress?

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