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.

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One might mumble about the oil-man’s paraphrase of the fisherman’s “the one that got away.”

We should capture that seepage rather than let it pollute. And what better way than drilling and taking some of the
pressure off it?


herself on July 15, 2008 at 1:39 AM

No amount of common sense, a phrase coined by Benjamin Franklin, will convince the leftist that mother nature does stink, sometimes.

Kini on July 15, 2008 at 1:45 AM


ut how long can we afford to bribe every single Iraqi?

Not long after the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts…

alphie on July 14, 2008 at 10:31 PM

The reason the casualty figures have fallen is because our military is killing more terrorist.

Johan Klaus on July 15, 2008 at 2:05 AM

Canada and Mexico are America’s biggest oil suppliers.

Their stuff comes to us from pipelines, not tankers.

Nice try.

alphie on July 14, 2008 at 5:53 PM

Mexican oil comes to the US in Tankers from the southern Bay of Campeche, it is not piped. Nice try, Alphie.

Think_b4_speaking on July 15, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Even real science and ‘Mother Nature’ does not appear capable of convincing those on the left that the world will remain in balance, despite the lefts attempts to upset it. The only people that are in peril are the sheepel that listen to them.

MSGTAS on July 15, 2008 at 10:21 AM

We’re so arrogant in this day and age that we actually believe we can destroy the planet.

Esthier on July 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

If anyone hasn’t before decided to do it. Please google (if they don’t block those sites now) Oil Producers, Exploration and Oil Services.

They are ALL vastly different.

Exploration companies have my hats off to them, due to the BS they have to skirt around (permits, leases, unitization, bonds, etc.) as well as the fact if they do or do not have a partner and hit a dry hole, it is sad to watch grown men and women cry.

upinak on July 15, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Oops, I meant to say the 4%, but the 1% slice is still as inflated as the 4% slice. In a story about wrong perceptions, one might think it important to portray things accurately. Inflating the 4% slice looks like them trying to make it look like transport is more of a contributor than it really is.

chriscoolc on July 14, 2008 at 5:41 PM

Don’t go for the nefarious when a benign explanation will do.

It’s very likely that they made both of those bigger simply to point out how small they are. Anyone with half a brain can see what the numbers are, and the Mother Earth slice is freakin’ huge. And the two slices aren’t any bigger, they’re just standing out further in the graph, likely to highlight their small size.

Esthier on July 15, 2008 at 11:21 AM

thuja on July 14, 2008 at 11:05 PM

Somebody please tell me thuja is some sort of reverse-moby.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on July 15, 2008 at 4:36 PM