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Katrina Spilled 7.2+ Million Gallons of Oil

One of the 44 spills

In its rampage through Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina caused some 44 currently known oil spills that dumped more than 7.2 million gallons of oil onto land and into water, primarily the Mississippi River, according to reports from the US Coast Guard.

That amount is equivalent to approximately 65% of the spill from the Exxon Valdez.

Of the 7.2 million gallons, some 2 million gallons have been recovered, and approximately 3.4 million gallons are contained.

Because the spills are dispersed over 44 sites (5 major, 4 medium and 35 minor) clean-up is going to be a slow process.

Major and Medium Oil Spills Resulting from Katrina
Bass Enterprises Cox Bay, La 3,780,000
Shell Pilot Town, La. 1,051,000
Chevron Empire, La. 991,000
Murphy Oil Meraux, La. 819,000
Bass Enterprises Point a la Hache, La. 461,000
Chevron Port Fourchon, La. 53,000
Venice Energy Services Venice, La. 25,000
Sundown Energy West Potash, La. 13,000
Shell Nairn, La. 13,000
Total 7,206,000

Separately, as of today 56% of Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil production is still shut-in. Cumulative shut-in production since August 26 is 22,215,726 barrels, equivalent to 4.058% of the yearly production of oil in the GOM (approximately 547.5 million barrels). (MMS)



It's amazing, here we have 65% of the Exxon Valdez and nobody's even noticed. Plus, NO's sending untreated, raw sewage into the Mississippi River every day and everyone's fine with that. And of course those utterly toxic floodwaters are being pumped out of the city into Lake Pontchartrain and nobody says boo. Not to mention that the city is going to be left as a polluted mess that will make Love Canal look like the Garden of Eden, but people will live there anyway.

Can you imagine what would have happened if a private company had done one one-thousandth as much? They would be in so much trouble, people would be calling for blood. Yet here is something orders of magnitude worse, and it's lost in the noise.

My father was one of the managers in charge of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. This was considered the worst environmental disaster in modern history, until the Exxon Valdez surpassed it. It led to the first Earth Day and is often considered the milestone that formed the birth of the environmental movement. The Union Oil company was vilified as one of the most evil and heartless companies in the world. Pictures of dead birds and oil coated seals with tears dripping from their eyes appeared in newspapers all over the world.

The spill was 3 million gallons, less than half of what has gone unnoticed these past few weeks.

I think the lesson is that people need to get a sense of perspective. Raising enormous red flags over relatively small industrial accidents doesn't make sense in a world where a single natural disaster can do so much worse without even being noticed. It is like the old saying about being penny-wise and pound-foolish. People should put their energies into stopping the really big disasters, the Katrinas which produce so much environmental and human destruction that we don't even notice half an Exxon Valdez. Minimizing even one such mega-catastrophe will do far more good than stopping hundreds of small scale industrial accidents.


I think I am feeling ill from this whole thing.
People are still overwhelmed and in shick, they are simply not thinking straight.

Hal, all spills and incidents are important and need to be recognized. The more minor accidents a plant has is a warning sign of the possibility of a more severe issue happening.


All the more reason to make the sacrafice and buy and electric car....why support an industry that will take this as a tax write-off and a government that will run to bail out these companies.

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