Time for a Little Perspective on Oil Spills

The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed eleven men, and a large amount of oil has been released into the Gulf of Mexico, some of the most important fishing grounds in the U.S. But to claim that it spells the end of a way of life to many Gulf residents is questionable at best. Surely, the Gulf coast economic outlook is not good for the near future, especially with the current recession. But oil spill disasters of equal or greater magnitude have occurred over the past century with little or no long-term consequences.This spill began on April 20. According to the most recent flow-rate estimates of the gusher, it exceeded the Exxon-Valdez spill, which released 259,000 barrels of oil, within the first week. It is interesting to note that Hurricane Katrina caused the release of approximately 167,000 barrels of oil from broken pipelines, storage tanks, and industrial plants, according to the Coast Guard. There was not much environmental damage reported from these leaks, which presumably would...(Read Full Article)