Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Feature story - September 14, 2005

Satellite imagery, which captured evidence of several large oil slicks left in the wake of hurricane Katrina now - thankfully - shows only two smaller slicks. The Gulf of Mexico is riddled with oil rigs and thousands of miles of pipelines, which were in the direct path of Katrina.

Despite accounts of oil rigs being knocked off platforms during the storm, little information has been revealed about the status of the rigs and we still have almost no information about the status of the pipelines.

Early images of the gulf clearly showed oil slicks emanating from multiple platforms.

Meanwhile, members of Congress and the oil industry are using the Katrina catastrophe as an excuse to expand offshore drilling. Last week, more than 100 companies sent a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and other Republican leaders, asking Congress to open up coastal areas in other parts of the country for offshore oil and gas exploration.

The oil industry has clearly demonstrated that it cannot safely operate offshore drilling operations, and the last thing Congress should be considering is exposing the rest of the nation to these risks.

If any lesson is to be learned from hurricane Katrina, it is that the nation must move to renewable sources of energy, which will cut down on global warming and reduce dependence on unstable and dangerous forms of energy like oil and gas.