Hi 71 / Lo 46
|Volume 68, Issue 62,
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Ed De La Garza
Josh Gajewski Nikie Johnson
Dump oil — just not in the ocean
The Prestige, an oil tanker from Liberia, lost its namesake when it and more than 65,000 tons of oil sank to the ocean floor Tuesday, a Reuters News Service report said.
With all that crude oil spewing uncontrollably on its coastline, Spain is dirrrty.
The Prestige initially began leaking oil last Wednesday, when it deposited more than 5,000 tons of oil in the harbor. The Spanish government ordered the tanker to leave Spanish waters, but it was already too late.
The tanker, which capsized into two sections and sank by Galicia in northwest Spain, is expected to double the damage of the Exxon Valdez.
It kind of puts new meaning into the popular phrase "Double It." The ship was reportedly an antiquated "single-hull" tanker, which were outlawed and were scheduled to be phased out over another 13 years.
After being cut in half, looks like itis about 13 years too late.
The coast, which had garnered worldwide acclaim as a haven for shellfish, is now a watery grave for the aquatic wildlife. Shellfish arenit the only things dying from this disaster.
The occupations of more than 1,000 fishermen are deceased for the time being.
Experts are estimating the damage will not be totally repaired for a decade, perhaps longer. And although there have been bigger accidents, this one is incalculably more dangerous because of its cargo — viscous fuel oil is more potent and toxic than unrefined oil.
This catastrophe is just another wake-up call that the world needs to end its dependence on oil. Animals die from exposure to toxic waters, not to mention from the production and consumption of fossil fuels. This is not mentioning the fact that thousands of people have died in wars fought over the "precious" resource.
On the bright side, European officials are now putting shipping legislation on the front burner. But this issue has been cooking for some time now. The biggest accidents, in 1978 and ‘79, dumped more than half a ton of unrefined oil (the safer kind) into the water.
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