Monday, April 26, 2010

Another ecological disaster thanks to our Big Oil friends

After the explosion that claimed 11 lives, the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon sunk some 36 hours later. Since then, it has been spewing 42,000 gallons of crude oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico some 40 miles off the shores of  Louisiana. The visible spill is now roughly 1,300 square miles and rapidly growing.

Often when I read various online blogs and there are discussions over electric vehicles verses internal combustion engine cars, inevitably the discussion turns to the fact that much of the electricity in this country and around the world is produced by burning coal which itself is bad for the environment. This is true, burning coal (or burning just about anything for that matter) to produce energy is not environmentally friendly and we do need to develop more clean, renewable sources of electricity generation. However that doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination that oil is better, it just means that the current electricity generation methods aren't perfect, but it's still a better fuel than oil.

One only needs to look at the scope of disasters like what we currently have off the coast of Louisiana to see the disastrous results of oil spills. If a train carrying coal to a power plant derails and spills, we can simply pick the train back up, scoop up the coal and the incident is over. When a tanker like the Exxon Valdez dumps 11 million gallons of oil into the water or a oil rig like the Deepwater Horizon sinks they create an epic ecological disaster that lasts for decades, costs hundreds of millions of dollars and kills uncountable amounts of wildlife.

I charge my electric car on electricity generated by my solar electric system at my home, but even if I was using electricity generated from a coal burning power plant I know it is still a much better energy solution than drilling for oil is.

2 comments:

  1. So true. I hope they get thing capped and contained soon

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  2. That's disgusting. A terrible tragedy for everyone involved. I wonder if the slick will make it to the shores of Louisiana

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