The issues of oil spills – an overview and questions to ponder

Oil rig - offshore drillingRight now, somewhere on this planet, an oil spill is occurring. You may not have heard or read about it (yet) but it’s happening – with oil either gushing or seeping unfettered across some waterway or landscape.

There are a myriad of issues involved with oil spills. Unless you have a strong background in this industry – and perhaps even then – you likely won’t know or comprehend many of them. This thorny subject is the focus of an excellent article published today by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). Its author  Jyllian Kemsley outlines both the broad strokes and daunting specifics that face scientists and the oil industry in dealing effectively with oil spills around the world.

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New report says shrimp in the Gulf are alright and growing?

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster, photo by Keith Ladner

A new scientific report published Wednesday  that looked at the abundance and size of Louisiana white and brown shrimp before and after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, says that the amount of size of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico and its local estuaries were unaffected. It’s authors noted that “shrimp populations have been predicted not to suffer dramatic effects as result of the spill.”

Seriously?

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Judge strikes down law allowing Keystone XL in Nebraska

Keystone XL pipeline

photo by Michael S. Williamson, courtesy of the Washington Post

A Nebraska judge ruled Wednesday that the state violated its constitution when it allowed the governor to approve the route of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a decision that could significantly delay the $5.3 billion project.

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Mapped rising sea levels caused by the impact of climate change

Cities and Ses Level Rise map

It’s one thing to read about the threat of rising sea levels to our coastal areas. It’s definitely another to see the graphic projections of what this means.

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Could Deepwater Horizon be leaking again?

Gulf oil slick Oct. 2010 c

Could this scene from the 2010 Gulf oil spill be beginning again?

As macabre as it may seem, the environmental debacle of BP in the Gulf of Mexico is back in the news, and not in a good way. CBS News reports that BP is engaged on its fifth day of a subsea mission under the supervision of the Coast Guard to look for any new oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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The Gulf Oil Spill – Two Years Later

Large numbers of dolphin strandings are part of the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf oil spill

Two years have passed since Deepwater Horizon, the environmental disaster that coated the Gulf of Mexico in oil. The huge oil slicks are gone, as are the heart-wrenching pictures of dying seabirds and littered wetlands. Commercial and recreational fishing has resumed and beaches look pristine once more.

For a deeper look at how much land is still oiled, the surprising impact on marine and wildlife and a view of coastal recovery, go to http://bit.ly/JjfIfw.

Long stretch of oil seen in Gulf of Mexico

Boat travels through oil spotted in West Bay just west of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River Friday October 22, 2010. photo by Matthew Hinton / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Environmentalists have repeatedly said there’s still oil out there and that the government was too quick to re-open fishing areas of the Gulf. Now there’s proof.

Louisiana fishermen have found a miles long string of floating oil that’s heading towards fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta. According to the Times Picayune “boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up.”

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