Oil in America
America has many problems with it's environment. The facts are clear that most corporations won't take the blame for them. These companies try to find ways out by stating that they are not the ones responsible for these problems. They try to protect themselves from the mistakes they made in the oil industry and the country. The facts are clear that there have been disasters in the oil field industry in the past ten years and they stand out in history.
The article "Myths We Wouldn't Miss", by the Mobil Corporation, states that there hasn't been a major off shore oil disaster in past years. That may be true and it tries to get Mobil out of a jam but the underlying fact is that there have been oil spills and pollutants put into the environment and that cannot be excused. There have been facts which prove that there have been decreases in the fish population and in the aquatic life in the regions where the oil companies have been. The negligence of these companies can be shown in different fields.
There have been many incidents in the oil field industry dating back to January 28 1969, in Santa Barbara. This may have been a long time ago but this was a disaster this country has never seen. On the 28 a well burst on the Santa Barbara Channel. It "raged for ten days and killed 3 crewmen".(Easton,10) There were major problems stopping this rig and no matter what happened there was already enough damage done. On February 23, the well erupted again. The environmental consequences were evident. As the oil spilled down towards the south the numbers were staggering of how much oil actually was pouring out into the ocean. By the month of march 3,000,000 gallons of oil escaped into the ocean.(Easton,251) Here is where the story is corrupted by the oil companies. Union Oil, the company responsible for this stated that their facts "only showed 250,000 gallons".(Easton,256) There were presidential tests and discovered the oil company was wrong. The most damaging evidence to theses oil companies was the discovery that was made when the government sent a diver under the spill to investigate the well. The source showed that more oil leaked than the oil company reported.
The environmental damage was horrible and it was a massacre of much of the marine life in the area. The sea lion and seal population decreased by 881 new sea lion pups.(Easton,256) The bird species in the area suffered the most. 3,686 birds were found dead. The diving birds had the hardest time. Going to the water was a hazard and they starved or was covered in the oiled water. This problem will always be in the minds of the oil companies and those who worked for them.
Another development which hurts the Mobil Companies statement is the Argo Merchant spill in March of 1977. This accident took place on Nantucket Island, Mass. The tanker went aground on a fishing rip and submerged part of the rig.(Grose.iii) According to Grose "the tanker tried to correct itself but it cracked in half and spilled 7,700,000 gallons into the water. This spill is the largest spill in the history of the United States."(Grose,vii) This set off scientific activity which went on for a full year. There were some redeeming factors about this spill. The wind prevented the oil from surfacing on the beaches. The oil that was being transported was low density and did not contaminate the bottom of the ocean.(Grose,356) As well as the spill happened in the winter and the ecological damage was not as big as Santa Barbara or many others. This spill did however, cover more area than most. The oil spread out over large areas and did not cut off anywhere, it just spread and covered the icy and watery surfaces. There was again deaths found in the birds of the area but the mammals survived here. There was also a lower level of blood serum in the shellfish and plankton, this makes for a bad crop and development in the bottom feeders.(Grose,v) There is way out here for the oil companies because there was not as much damage done to the environment. The oil companies can breathe a little easier but the truth here is that there are too many disasters.
There was an Alaskan disaster which the Exxon company chooses now to forget. On a morning in May,1989 the ship The Exxon Valdez was in Prince William Sound and during the transport of the fuel there was a leak along the pipeline. This gigantic strip of water and home to thousands of marine animals was contaminated.(Wheelwright,11) This showed much of the world that the oil industry was just accident prone. The damage caused here was irreversible. There was an incredible cleanup effort it took months and up until now there still has not been a total cleanup. This spill called for extreme cleanup measures using vacuums to try to suck up the spill. But there happened to be too much oil.
The marine life in this case like in every case suffered greatly in this situation. The Sound houses thousand of lower marine life forms which were destroyed because the environment could not give the proper nutrition to these animals.(Wheelwright,23) The biggest loss is the crustacean population. There was a decrease in the larvae that these creatures produce and it lowers their reproduction. This stops our own food chain. These problems are experienced by all of us.
The underlying fact is that there is plenty of evidence that not only do these problems exist but they do cause major ecological disasters. The fuel that was in the Argo which was No.2 fuel is low density. According to sources it causes great amounts of toxicity.(Vaughan,2.1) The gases mix in the water and make it hard for fish to breathe and reproduce. This also is a rapid effect on the environment, it happens right away and doesn't give us a chance to clear it out of the water. It is said to even start a dilution period you need 96 hours after the spill before you can start to clean up the mess.(Vaughan2)But besides the technical terms this problem affects our lives in a practical way. The beaches are unsatisfactory to go on and our kids can't appreciate the beauty of this fine planet.
The Mobil Corporation stated that there wasn't a major off shore drilling incident. That is true. Most people don't look more into the real problem. The problem is not just in the offshore drilling. It is in the entire oil and fuel industry. These companies realize the impact they have on the public and realize they all need the business of the American public. The companies act irresponsibly and do not use the appropriate machinery which is not up to standard. In my own opinion these companies know the consequences of using what they have. There is no excuse for the problems that they have. Human error is not calculated right and there is a disaster. We know the kind of damage that is done in the marine life. Why do we insist on doing this then? Is there any other way to get the oil here and back? Why do the oil companies also try to cover up for the damage that they have done?
The Mobil Corporation states it's facts well. Every company shows that their facts make sense and gets them out of any trouble that they might be in. They have cited sources in research books and in the article mentioned in the beginning. These sources are all well and good and they dug up these facts to protect themselves from the truth. It is not something we can pull out of by excuses, but by facing it head on and making it easier on our planet and those who will be there for years to come.
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