Everyone is talking about oil. The Gulf Coast spill is already three times bigger than Exxon Valdez. An estimated 20 to 40 million gallons of oil have already spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, while the Exxon spill was only 11 million gallons. And oil is even said to reach Virginia and the Carolinas
Strangely, this is not the first time an oil spill of these proportions has happened in the Gulf. An eerily similar spill happened around this time of year in 1979. The world's largest oil spill was caused by the Mexican-run Pemex. The blowout of the underground well Ixtoc I in 1979 caused 138 million gallons of oil to leak over nine months.
Pemex tried and failed in 1979 many of the "solutions" that BP is now attempting. They finally drilled relief wells to slow the pressure and capped Ixtoc I with cement. Check out Rachel Maddow
's report below on the oil spill precedence.
Oil companies seem to have learned nothing from their mistakes. Nor does it seem like they've invested in any new technology to make oil drilling safer since 1979.
In another example, a similar blowout happened in 2009 and washed millions of gallons of oil onto Australia's coasts. The ecological damages
of the Montara spill, off the northern coast of Western Australia, were tremendous. It took 10 weeks and multiple attempts drilling relief wells to stop the leak. The BP blowout is much deeper and leaking at a faster rate than either of these disasters.
None of these spills compare to the oil spills in the Niger delta
. A pipeline burst just a few years ago and nothing was done for six months. Another pipeline accident killed 100 people. Oil companies in Niger, such as Shell, don't even make an attempt to clean up their spills. Nigerians are furious that the world virtually ignores these disasters, while the Gulf Coast spill makes international news.
In Virginia, Obama has delayed allowing offshore drilling
off our coasts, after lifting a ban in March that has protected our shore for decades. However, Gov. Bob McDonnell has stated that he would like to resume drilling in the next couple of years. We must act immediately to ensure that our shores are protected and the health of Virginia communities is preserved. We cannot allow such dangerous forms of energy on our Virginia coasts. Nor can we wait for another environmental disaster before we act to move past dirty fossil fuels and invest in clean energy technology.
Sign the ban
on offshore-drilling and tell President Obama and Governor McDonnell this is your "crude awakening."