Tuesday, June 15, 2010

By the Numbers OR We're Number 2!

How about that pesky oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?  At first,  BP said its runaway oil well  was only spewing out 1,000 barrels a day.  That doesn't sound like anything to get all worked up about to me.  I'll bet we lose that much oil just from the stuff that dribbles out of the pump nozzles at gas stations.

  But now, some experts claim the worst case scenario could be 100,000 barrels a day.  That comes to 4.2 million gallons of texas tea every 24 hours.  So class, how much is 4.2 million gallons of crude? According to the Associated Press it's enough to fill 102 school gymnasiums to the ceiling with oil.  I sure hope those are small gyms.  That much oil could also fill about 16 and one half olympic-sized pools.

The Live Science web site puts it this way- it takes 570 gallons of paint to paint The White House each year. So 4.2 million gallons would be enough to repaint the President's home annually for the next 7,368 years. 

Now, considering the vast size of the Gulf of Mexico, 4.2 million gallons is just a tiny drop in the bucket.  But still, it appears the Gulf is getting to be a pretty dirty bucket.  Judging from the video I've seen of the beaches it looks like BP has got us by the tar balls.  And there's no end in sight.

This oil leak might not get plugged for months- or even longer.  But BP claims a lot of the escaping oil is now getting vacuumed up into container ships hovering over the fractured well head.  So that's something we can all feel good about.  But the best feel good moment is coming from Exxon corporate HQ.  The Exxon guys are celebrating because the Exxon Valdez spill isn't the worst oil disaster in US history.  Not anymore.

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