It’s now 46 days since the oil spill in the Timor Sea, caused by offshore oil drilling operations there, began, and the oil is still spewing out, uncontrolled. Estimates of the amount of oil spilled so far range into the millions of gallons.
The latest development in the spill is not good news. The first attempt to plug the spill took place only within the last week, and it has failed.
News of other oil spills comes from elsewhere around the world. In Lagos, Nigeria, the Minister of the Environment reported that there had been 2,122 oil spills in that nation over the last four years. About one third of those spills had been caused by violent insurgent groups.
Oil that is thought to be leaking from a sunken Mongolian tanker in the Bay of Bengal is now blackening the beaches near the port of Paradip in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. The spill has made landfall along one and a half kilometers, close to where endangered olive ridley sea turtles come ashore to nest.
The claim that’s often made by Big Oil that drilling for oil and shipping it over water is now safe, thanks to new technology, doesn’t seem to hold water. Oil spills continue to happen frequently, even when the latest drilling and shipping technology is used. The oil drilling platform that’s been spewing oil into the water in the Timor Sea is a new one, and was constructed using the very same technologies that the fossil fuel industry has been claiming would prevent big spills.
As politicians continue to push for expanded offshore drilling in the waters of the United States of America, we need to look at the disasters that are taking place elsewhere in the world, and ask ourselves whether we want to see the same news coming from our own beaches. Drill Baby Drill = Spill Baby Spill