Over the course of the last month, the gas company, Shell, has been responsible for the spillage of over 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This is an extremely concerning event for many reasons, but for the purposes of my article, I will focus on two: the environmental impact, and the circumstances in which is was permitted to occur.
The spill will have no major effect on surface life in the ocean, according to WMNF Radio. However, it is likely to have a major impact on the deep marine life of the Gulf, such as coral, dolphins, whales, and whale sharks. Furthermore, there has yet to be a release of a fully effective clean up mechanism for oil spills. Yes, there are skimmers, but skimmers hardly scratch the surface of spills to this magnitude. So, in summation, what we have in this scenario is a significant oil spill that is damaging deep marine life, with no real method of correction. And the reason why the government has yet to act? Because the oil has not reached the United States shoreline.
Less than two weeks after the initial spill in the Gulf, Shell Oils' pipeline in California yet again leaked over 20,000 gallons of oil. Now, this is a unique series of events. The pipeline transports oil from California's Central Valley to the San Francisco Bay area. The spill occurred not far from San Joaquin County, CA. As of the publication of this piece, Shell has claimed that the pipeline is fixed, and is still assessing the damages it has caused.
The fascinating (or fishy, depending on your outlook) aspect of this situation is that Shell waited three days to announce the pipeline malfunction and spill. The spill occurred on a Friday morning, and Shell did not release a statement until Monday evening. What, then, took so long? Was it embarrassment after having had a spill in the Gulf, then a second problem not even a month later? Or, was it corporate CYA? Either way, Shell has some serious explaining to do.
Another big issue surrounding these events: why is nobody talking about them? It's not trending on Facebook or Twitter. It hasn't been covered as breaking news anywhere. It's just been.... well, ignored. But what are the consequences of ignoring massive environmental disasters such as these?
They don't get fixed. Preventative measures are not taken for the future. Donations are not made to cleaning the affected areas. Families, animals, and ecosystems suffer. Not to mention the sheer cost of losing a collective amount of over 100,000 gallons of oil, a nonrenewable resource. Events involving waste of precious resources, damage of our environment, and potential corporate corruption must be addressed by our government, and ourselves. If we let it go long enough, then soon it will be too late.