(7) comments Back to story

Steve Fouga

Just curious, are we moving more product than in the past, or less? Seems like normalizing by the amount moved would produce a more meaningful statistic.

Don Ciaccio

Maybe someone will be inspired to put heavy crude on his tombstone!

George Croix

Just a small sampling of info on Ma Nature's natural spills into the Gulf.
NO man-caused spill is acceptable, but a bit of perspective can at least be instructive, and reduce the demagoguery a bit...maybe...
Nobody can make another person see. They have to open their own eyes to do so...

George Croix

Well, the samples would help...
'Scuse my oldtimers disease......


Miceal O'Laochdha

Memories are short. Only a few decades ago, most of what is now referred to as "oil spills" coming from ships and smaller vessels were not "spills" at all, but just the normal discharges resulting from standard operational practices. Most people will think this means bilge pumping. Try thinking of a 500,000 barrel tanker that loads seawater ballast into the recently emptied crude oil cargo tanks, and then discharges the crude oil / seawater ballast mixture directly overboard before taking the next load of oil cargo? That was standard practice as recently as the 1970's. It was a he!! of a lost of oil in the bays, harbors and rivers of the world. The major changes in laws regulating what can be legally discharged into both close and offshore waters has very dramatically changed the conditions of those waters in a remarkably short period of time. When one is in the business of complying with those laws and sees the changing water pollution conditions of ports throughout the world during the course of those decades, the extraordinary effectiveness of laws like the Clean Water Act, for example is very clear to observe.

Spills resulting from vessel casualties, on the other hand, will always be a risk and regulatory laws have far less impact on the environmental results in these situations, as no one needs the encouragement of fines and imprisonment to try to avoid their vessels crashing into other vessels, docks, bridges, etc.; they are already doing their best to avoid that outcome, for many reasons. Certainly, the recent, local, spill resulting from a ship and barge allision was not helped in the slightest by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990; a law that required the barge to be "double-hulled". That "feel-good" feature of OPA '90 has done little or nothing over the last 24 years to prevent environmental damage; yet the collateral damage to the US shipping industry and US national defense was draconian.

Jake, to answer your question, we are moving more crude, and product, now than in the recent past, but doing it very differently.

Steve Fouga

So the fewer spills and smaller spills quoted in the article are even more impressive than stated.

Good job, petrochemical and shipping industries!

George Croix

When you consider that NOT ONE SINGLE THING we use and/or consume in our daily lives in this country of over 300 million people that has to be made or shipped can do so without hydrocarbon products being involved in some way and at some time, the lack of routine large scale disastrous events involving them is amazingly...amazing...

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