Monday, February 20, 2012

Oil, Oil, Oil: The Fuel of International Strife

It is now almost 23 years since the oil tanker  --  Exxon Valdez  --  ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The middling-size oil spill of the Exxon Valdez accident continues to wreak havoc with the ecosystem in Prince William Sound. Now, the oil industry wishes to build a new pipeline to a seaport in the United States or Canada. Over the jump, you can read more about these oil goings-on.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Canada is planning to build a pipeline to carry oil from the Canadian tar sands to a port on its west coast.  It appears this new pipeline proposal is in response to the United States' rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

A fascinating aspect of the LA Times story is the reported final destination for the oil extracted from the Canadian tar sands. The oil, whether it goes to a seaport in western Canada or the southern United States, will be processed to fulfill not the oil requirements of the United States as Republican politicians tell us, but the needs of China.

In addition to the oil pipeline story, Mother Jones has an article that updates us about the lasting effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill of almost 23 years ago. 

Links to stories:

Murphy, Kim. "Canada revs up for fight over second tar sands oil pipeline." Los Angeles Times 19 February, 2012: online edition.

Whitty, Julia. "Exxon Valdez Oil Walloping Mom and Pup Sea Otters." Mother Jones 16 February, 2012: online edition. 

Related information:

Cutler Cleveland (Lead Author);NOAA (Content Source);Peter Saundry (Topic Editor) "Exxon Valdez oil spill". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth June 9, 2010; Last revised Date December 20, 2010; Retrieved February 20, 2012 <>.

"Oil Tanker Spill Statistics: 2007[PDF]." The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. This report gives us some statistics on oil tanker spills during the years 1970 - 2007.

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