Oil spill not nearly as bad as thought

Another report that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already largely dispersed and has caused little damage. How is this possible? The Exxon Valdez disaster was much smaller than the BP disaster, and it disrupted the fishing industry of southern Alaska for years.

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Scottie writes:

Alaska oil is very high in sulfur and very heavy, almost tar-like. The oil in the Gulf is very light and probably sweet and far more dispersible. Also, the Gulf water is warm, whereas, Alaska waters, in varying degrees, of course, tend to stay cold year round.

LA replies:

That’s great news. But isn’t it odd that this is the first time that I, who have read a reasonable number of articles about the spill, am learning this? For several months into the disaster, I didn’t see a single news story saying that the number of barrels of oil spilt did not provide an accurate metric for comparison with the Exxon Valdez spill, because the Gulf oil is so much thinner than the Alaska oil.

T. Craig writes:

Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, was on Fox News Sunday in early June. He wasn’t that concerned about the oil spill, and reiterated the fact that the Gulf area has always had natural oil seepage and tar balls.

I graduated from high school in Texas in 1982, and can remember going to the beaches in Corpus Christi and on San Padre island. Tar balls were so common then that the baby oil that we used for tanning (!) was also used to remove the sticky tarry oil from our feet.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 31, 2010 11:32 AM | Send

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