Mother Nature, the biggest oil polluter on Earth
posted at 5:15 pm on July 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Senator Jim DeMint has joined the effort to bring a little rationality to American energy policy. His office has clipped this video from Fox News that talks about the issues of increasing domestic production — and exposes the greatest oil-spill polluter on Earth. It’s a real mother:
DeMint’s office provided this handy chart, showing the 63% that nature itself puts in the water as oil seeps from natural vents.
Now, some can say that the percentage due to spills from drilling and extraction remains low because we restrict that activity — but we don’t restrict it everywhere, and drilling spills have become very rare. On the other hand, we keep buying more of our oil from abroad, which means we have to bring more of it by big tanker across a much longer voyage, and that brings more risk. Already it accounts for four times as much as drilling and extraction spillage, and it could get worse:
Considering that U.S. oil consumption and oil imports have steadily increased, the trend of declining spill incidents and volume in past years is noteworthy. Yet, recent annual data indicate that the overall decline of annual spill events may have stopped. Both consumption and imports are projected to maintain upward movement, and the United States is expected to increase the proportion of its imported oil. More oil-carrying vessels will be entering U.S. waters, and a higher percentage of transported oil will likely travel by vessel. The threat of oil spills may increase if more oil is being transported into and around the nation.
Enhancing domestic production would reduce opportunity for environmental damage. Further, opening up oil shale and other land-based oil reserves would eliminate risk for shore spills altogether. More importantly, it would put the US on a path to greater energy independence, create jobs, and slow down the massive transfers of wealth from America to nations of questionable friendship with us, or worse.