Thursday, April 29, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Preventing Oil Spills

By Jonathan Madden

Dear Editor:

According to the National Ocean Service, the United States alone uses about 700 million gallons of oil everyday; similarly the world uses nearly 3 billion gallons each day. This has to be transported somehow. Most often than not, oil is exported by tankers across the ocean to their destinations.

Most of the biggest oil spills into our oceans are the results of tankers carrying large amounts of oil, such as the spill caused by the Exxon Valdez. In 1989 the Valdez spilt approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil covering 1,100 miles of Alaska's pristine souther coast. This oil spill, recorded as the fourth largest spill of petroleum globally, took its toll on the environment with a casualty list of 900 bald eagles, 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, and 300 harbor seals according to

Since so much is at stake when dealing with the oceans surrounding us, I feel as if it is time to do something to reduce the risk of petroleum polluting our waters and hurting the environment. Though our country does heavily depend upon oil, we should find ways of limiting our oil intake so we do not put our environment further at risk of being polluted by such a harmful substance. Perhaps we could also work on developing new methods of transportation that wouldn't be as risky as attempting to carry it across our oceans.

Examples of how harmful petroleum can be if released into the environment has already been seen and has taken its toll. How much more must we sacrifice to address this potential problem and work on developing new ways to further limit it's risk?

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