Author: Edward

Why we should make oil cleanup a priority

Why we should make oil cleanup a priority

Editorial: Port pollution is a crisis. It’s going to take more than a $20 container fee to fix it

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last summer, and the continuing effort to clean it up, is now a national story. In the past, our government has ducked this issue, and the media has let us down. Now we should heed the lessons of history and make it a priority.

First, there is too much oil to be stored without the world seeing it. The BP disaster was an accident that only required some cleanup, not a disaster so big that we needed to close down the entire Gulf Coast. But the leak that eventually was not so much an accident, but a crime against nature, was not cleaned up after the BP disaster so easily. When it blew, we had less than 100,000 barrels of oil in the Gulf, and we have not had a full recovery. So now we have over 500,000 barrels floating at sea. Not only can we not store them all, but not until we’ve cleaned up one of the worst spills in American history. We should go to the Senate and House appropriations committees to put more storage capacity on our coastlines. That’s a very simple solution too. Get rid of the current law that allows oil to be stored in landfills. There won’t be any more storage capacity or oil spills.

Why isn’t this a priority? Because of the money. I’m always glad when Congress makes a priority of the environment. But the House and Senate appropriations committees would have to make the funding issue a priority. It’s hard to find any energy bill that includes $20 million for clean up in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s why we don’t need to pass a national energy bill just to secure clean up funding in the House and Senate. The House and Senate appropriations committees should get this done right away.

How do we handle oil leaking on land? For the past five years, we’ve had in place the Resource Recovery Act of 1992 that allows underground storage of oil. In fact, this law has been renewed and reauthorized every two years. As one example, the Interior Department has been reauthorized three times just to increase the oil storage capacity. But that funding has always been taken out of other budgets. Now we have no money for oil cleanup. That’s why the House and Senate appropriations committees would have to do a clean up funding bill immediately.

Do we need more regulation of

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