Monday, June 21, 2010

Oil Nuggets

Cleaning off oil-soaked birds is better PR for BP than it is for the birds. 99% of cleaned birds will die quickly, usually within seven days, usually from kidney or liver damage. Dying after being cleaned, however, would remove BP from any liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which would fine the corporation up to $500,000 for the death of a brown pelican.

How much oil has spilled into the gulf? Less than regularly spills into the ocean near Nigeria every year. 40% of American oil importation is from this region, and the environmental effects have reduced the life expectancy of its rural communities to 40 years. Needless to say, our price at the pump has not internalized that cost. Perhaps we as Americans would internalize it more if there were media coverage of events like this, but I'm not that optimistic.

Why else should gas cost more? Because it reduces drunk driving crashes.

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