You remember the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, don’t you? Back in 2010, when BP’s oil rig exploded, it released more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf’s waters. The accident killed 11 people, injured others and devastated the ecosystem. Four years have passed since then, and while we’ve lobbied against BP, demanded they clean up their act and requested they pay for environmental damage research, I feel we’re still neglecting to own our role.
Yes … us. You … and I. We played a role in this too. As consumers, we lobbied for domestic oil drilling. Our demands have led to offshore drilling in domestic areas. But, on top of this pressure to drill near American coastlines, we don’t realize how much we contribute to oil pollution on a daily basis, just by driving our cars.
On the heels of the latest oil spill in Galveston, TX last month, National Geographic published an article outlining three little known causes of oil pollution in our waters. In the article, Christine Dell’Amore and Christina Nunez state:
“Obvious oil spills, like the 168,000 gallons (635,000 liters) of oil that leaked into Galveston Bay on Saturday [March 22, 2014], usually make national news, accompanied by pictures of oil-blackened wildlife. But such publicized events account for only a small part of the total amount of oil pollution in the oceans – and many of the other sources, such as automobile oil, go largely unnoticed.”
Dell’Amore and Nunez declare human activity subsidizes tens of millions of gallons of oil to the North American Ocean, but only 8 percent comes from the huge accidents and occurrences that have made the news.
Emerald, you mean to tell me …