Thursday, August 24, 2006

My first editorial.....

Last year when Dad was in the hospital after his aneurysm I wrote more than I had ever written in any one week. A few people suggested I write more, and a few thought I should try writing editorials. Today I submitted my first editorial. Here is what I wanted to submit:
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On 8/24 The ADN reported on BP's recent compressor shutdown which dropped Prudhoe Bay's output by 90,000 Barrels a day, in that same article (as with most articles written recently) they also included the details of the oil spill that BP had in March. It seems that all topics get back to the enormous March oil spill. Here is what ADN reported:
Its troubles began in early March when a leaky pipeline released an estimated 201,000 gallons of oil onto the frozen tundra. It was the largest North Slope oil spill in nearly three decades of production there, and the event attracted scrutiny from federal pipeline regulators, members of Congress and criminal investigators.
I am particularly disturbed that when the media reports on the oil industry they always quote production in Barrels, however when there is a leak or a spill it is always quoted in Gallons. For those who don't know there are 42 gallons in each barrel of oil.
In March when BP had a pipeline leak that made national news, however I did not see a single article that reported 4785 Barrels of oil spilled onto the frozen tundra. I am also very bothered by the fact that after all the national attention BP has received since their March spill; I did not hear or read a single article about CITGO's recent spill in Louisiana. What spill you say?
The Lake Charles American Press reports (07/05/2006), 71,000 barrels (2.9 million gallons) of slop oil containing hazardous chemicals that leaked from the Citgo Refinery waste oil tank on the Calcasieu River may well be the largest oil spill and the largest hazardous liquid spill in Southwest Louisiana. The spill happened June 19 after a violent rainstorm.
An estimated 25,000 Barrels of that was released into Calcasieu River. Let me do the math for you, that equals 1,050,000 GALLONS of slop oil. I did not see this in any paper or on any major media channel, nor did I hear about any federal regulators or criminal investigators on the news.
The bottom line here is that since the lower 48 is not trying to develop new oilfields in environmentally sensitive areas the US media doesn't seem to care what happens to the environment. In my book it is much easier to clean up 201,000 Gallons of oil off of the frozen tundra than it would be to clean up 1,050,000 Gallons out of a river.
I am more than disappointed in our media and how they report the news.
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Since they only allow 225 words here is what I was limited to. Oh, I used every one of the 225 words allowed.
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On 8/24 ADN quoted this about BP:
"Its troubles began in early March when a leaky pipeline released an estimated 201,000 gallons of oil onto the frozen tundra."
I'm disturbed that when the media reports on the oil industry they always quote production in Barrels, when there's a spill it's always quoted in Gallons. I didn't see a single article that reported 4785 Barrels of oil spilled onto the frozen tundra in March. I'm bothered by the fact that after all the national attention BP received since that I didn't see a single article about CITGO's recent spill in Louisiana. What spill?
The Lake Charles American Press reports (07/05/2006), 71,000 barrels (2.9 million gallons) of slop oil containing hazardous chemicals that leaked from the Citgo Refinery waste oil tank on the Calcasieu River may well be the largest oil spill and the largest hazardous liquid spill in Southwest Louisiana. The spill happened June 19 after a violent rainstorm.
An estimated 25,000BBLs was released into Calcasieu River. That equals 1,050,000 GALLONS. I didn't see this incident on national news.
Since the lower 48 isn't trying to develop new oilfields in environmentally sensitive areas the media doesn't care what happens to the environment. Alaska's Oil Industry is held to a higher standard than any other I know of, yet gets scrutinized more than anyone else when things don't go right.
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I don't know if they will print it but it was worth a shot.

Although I work for a major oil company I am very concerned about environmental issues and protection. Without environmentalists I have no doubt that the North Slope would be just as polluted as the rest of the country has been by industry. I am perplexed however that our society is more concerned with the conservation of the small section of ANWR that the oil companies wants to explore and develop than they are about the pollution of the Gulf Coast by industry. Think about how many people visit and live on the Gulf Coast versus how many people in this country will ever see ANWR.

Now think about how many people are upset by the increase in oil prices, yet how many of us are really conserving fuel or investing in alternative energy sources? Until our society as a whole changes it's daily fuel consumption and dependence on fossil fuels we all need to think really hard about how critical we are of the companies that bring these products to market.

OK I'm done ranting.

1 comment:

mom said...

I think you should send this to ADN. With all the news I hear, the Louisiana one is new to me. Perhaps you missed your calling and should have been a writer.