• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Were There No Oil Spills From Katrina?

NOAA Responder Contains Oil Spill in Gulf Coast

In the comments to my latest post on domestic oil production, in which I continue my skepticism over the benefits to more domestic oil production, a number of claims were made in the comments that raised some interesting issues. So I thought it might be worthwhile if I went ahead and investigated some of these claims and presented the evidence. Some of these claims are going to require more research than others, so I’ll be spreading them out over several posts.

For today, the claim I thought would be the easiest to look up was the continuous repeat of John McCain’s recent claim that there were no significant spills from offshore oil platforms due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Is this true?

Well, the U.S. Minerals Management Service commissioned a study of this very issue, which concluded that:

The impacts from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were typical of this historical experience. While cleanup was required. The volume of oil spilled and impacts to shore from the offshore infrastructure were categorized as minor.

Case closed, right? Well, not exactly. Reading further into the study reveals the total extent of the damage:

As a result of both storms, 124 spills were reported with a total volume of roughly 17,700 barrels of total petroleum products, of which about 13,200 barrels were crude oil and condensate from platforms, rigs and pipelines, and 4,500 barrels were refined products from platforms and rigs. Pipelines were accountable for 72 spills totaling about 7,300 barrels of crude oil and condensate spilled into the [Gulf of Mexico]. Response and recovery efforts kept the impacts to a minimum with no onshore impacts from these spill events.

How can we evaluate whether this amount spilled was truly “minor”? The criteria I think it’s best to focus on are the guidelines are spelled out in the Code of Federal Regulations and used by the EPA and Coast Guard to evaluate oil spills:

(1) Minor discharge means a discharge to the inland waters of less than 1,000 gallons of oil or a discharge to the coastal waters of less than 10,000 gallons of oil.

(2) Medium discharge means a discharge of 1,000 to 10,000 gallons of oil to the inland waters or a discharge of 10,000 to 100,000 gallons of oil to the coastal waters.

(3) Major discharge means a discharge of more than 10,000 gallons of oil to the inland waters or more than 100,000 gallons of oil to the coastal waters.

17,700 barrels of oil corresponds to 743,400 gallons, which is more than sufficient to qualify as a “major discharge” under Federal guidelines. Now, that 743,400 gallons is certainly small potatoes compared to the over 8 million gallons of oil which spilled inland along the Mississippi River and other locations in Louisiana. Still, if it’s over seven times what the EPA considers a “major discharge”, I have to take issue with the MMS’s report characterization of the spill as “minor.” While it appears that no individual leak appears to have been a major discharge, the sum total of oil spilled from oil platforms after Katrina and Rita is more than enough to qualify as one.

Thankfully, the environmental impacts from these spills appear to be minor. But the idea that there were “no significant leaks” from offshore platforms after Katrina and Rita doesn’t appear to be justified by the evidence.

Photo credit: NOAA

Related Posts:

About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp writes about pretty much everything under the sun, including politics, art, religion, philosophy, sports, music, culture, and science.

Comments

  1. James and Giant Pomegranate says:

    What do you think of the claim that oil companies are intentionally not drilling on the untapped land they already own?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. William d'Inger says:

    You are attempting to make a mountain out of a mole hill. You are adding up a bunch of little leaks to make a hairy, scary sounding total in an attempt to claim it was a big deal. What you fail to mention is the fact that it was spread over a vast area. Those hurricanes affected hundreds of oil wells across thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico. Given the magnitude of those storms, by any reasonable sense of proportion, the damage was nil. In my opinion, you should be using your data to prove how safe offshore drilling is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. DL says:

    How about the dilution factor? Billions of gallons of flood waters and rain spread the problem out to apparent insignificance. As in the Persian Gulf and even Valdez the natural world recovers and adapts.

    My shrimp from the gulf taste just fine and the only oil taste is from Italian olives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    William,

    You are attempting to make a mountain out of a mole hill. You are adding up a bunch of little leaks to make a hairy, scary sounding total in an attempt to claim it was a big deal. What you fail to mention is the fact that it was spread over a vast area. Those hurricanes affected hundreds of oil wells across thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico.

    They weren’t that spread out. You can actually see the spill on satellite images taken shortly after Katrina:

    http://blog.skytruth.org/2007/12/hurricane-katrina-gulf-of-mexico-oil.html

    Given the magnitude of those storms, by any reasonable sense of proportion, the damage was nil.

    It still required millions of dollars worth of spending for a massive cleanup effort on the part of the NOAA, Coast Guard, and EPA. The environmental impact was nil in part because of the cleanup efforts. It’s also worth mentioning that this much oil spilled even though the platforms had been shut off in anticipation of the storms.

    Still, with all that, the greater damage to the Gulf was definitely from the destruction of on-land storage tanks. I’ll give you that.

    DL,

    How about the dilution factor? Billions of gallons of flood waters and rain spread the problem out to apparent insignificance.

    Dilution would be a factor if oil and water mixed. Last time I checked, they don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. William d'Inger says:

    It still required millions of dollars worth of spending for a massive cleanup effort on the part of …

    Alex,

    I don’t disagree with your facts, but I strongly disagree with your interpretation.

    Katrina/Rita was a trillion dollar disaster. In such an event, millions of dollars constitute an insignificant drop in the bucket. Plus, your so called massive cleanup effort was a laughably tiny effort all things considered.

    You using the ol’ big number trick, i.e., throwing out words like “millions” to make something sound impressive when in fact it is hardly a bump on a pimple on a gnat’s ass.

    You are also “one-siding” the issue, i.e., talking up the bad while completely ignoring the good. You give the cost of the spill(s) without mentioning the value of the benefits derived from the vastly greater quantity of oil which didn’t spill.

    I’m sorry, but you aren’t very convincing to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Bithead says:

    What do you think of the claim that oil companies are intentionally not drilling on the untapped land they already own?

    I regard it as proof that the government has no idea where oil is and is not. Despite the insistance of the government atht the oil companies are well provided for, the fact is that where the oil companies have been limited to, doesn’t have much in the way of oil in it. They are on that basis alone, much less the rest of it, bad managers for our energy future.

    And Alex, I have to tell you that I too am far from convinced. Given the number of well involved, and given the force of the storms, a series of small leaks doesn’t amount to more than a blip, sorry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    William and Bit,

    Don’t get me wrong–I think it’s great that more oil wasn’t spilled. I hope that there are lessons learned from Katrina that cause even less oil to be spilled in the future.

    But I’m not evalutating how bad the spills from Katrina were–I’m evaluating John McCain’s claim that there were “no significant leaks” from offshore platforms after Katrina. It’s pretty indisputable that the sum total of oil spilled from offshore facilities into the Gulf was seven times what the Coast Guard considers a major spill, and the satellite imagery clearly shows that the leaks were close enough together to produce major oil slicks. Additionally, the money and manpower spent on cleaning may have been a drop in the bucket, but that was still money and manpower that couldn’t be spent helping out other people affected by the disaster.

    Saying that this isn’t significant because it’s only a “bunch of small leaks put together” is akin to saying that Social Security isn’t a problem because the total entitlement spending is solely composed of “a bunch of small payments put together.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Eric says:

    I suppose one can argue that maybe Alex slightly inflated his case, but I don’t see how he is obligated to shout at the top of the mountain how great oil is. Sometimes, things are undesireable in absolute terms. I doubt that many people would agree with you, William, that the Katrina oil spills are OK because, after all, we all get to drive big cars because of oil.

    Sure, perspective is important. But how much oil didn’t spill isn’t the only perspective. What about from the perspective of the environment? What about from the perspective of individuals whose property was fouled by the spills? So, yes, what didn’t spill is important, but should we ok with just that?

    I wonder how convinced you’d be of how beneficial that oil was if that “minor” spill was in your backyard and neighborhood? Would you then be be saying, “Well, the value of the benefits derived from that oil is such that I’m not bothered at all about this here oil spill in my yard.” Would you be so cocksure and cavalier then? Three-quarters of a million gallons might be a “pimple on a gnat’s ass” to you, but what if that was your ass?

    I’d be willing to wager, William, that if that oil spill was in your backyard, you’d be pissed as hell and wondering when the government/Big Oil was going to cut you a big fat check for its negligence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Eric says:

    By the way, Alex, I actually don’t disagree with your numbers. I disagree with the conservative penchant for minimizing problems and overinflating successes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. M1EK says:

    People who argue that foreclosing drilling opportunities can’t hurt our energy situation simply amaze me.

    As long as you define “our” as “the entire world energy market”, we agree. The problem is that you right-wing know-nothings think that if we increase US production by, say, 25%, that the price we pay for oil in the US goes down 25%. Not even close, my friend. The world market scoffs at an increase that small; and oil is priced on the world market no matter where it is produced or consumed, at least until fungibility breaks down, at which point we’ll wish we hadn’t drilled all our own oil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. davod says:

    Humberto Fontova’s Monday June 2, 2008 Town hall article is on point: “The Environmental Benefits of Offshore Drilling”.

    “Louisiana produces almost 30 per cent of America’s commercial fisheries. Only Alaska (ten times the size of the Bayou state) produces slightly more. So obviously, Louisiana’s coastal waters are immensely rich and prolific in seafood.

    These same coastal waters contain 3,200 of the roughly 3,700 offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. From these, Louisiana also produces 25 per cent of America’s domestic oil, and no major oil spill has ever soiled its coast. So for those interested in evidence over hysterics, by simply looking bayou-ward, a lesson in the “environmental perils” of offshore oil drilling presents itself very clearly.

    Fashionable Florida, on the other hand, which zealously prohibits offshore oil drilling, had its gorgeous “Emerald Coast” panhandle beaches soiled by an ugly oil spill in 1976. This spill, as almost all oil spills, resulted from the transportation of oil — not from the extraction of oil. Assuming such as Hugo Chavez deign to keep selling us oil, we’ll need increasingly more and we’ll need to keep transporting it stateside —typically to refineries in Louisiana and Texas.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Alex Knapp says:

    These same coastal waters contain 3,200 of the roughly 3,700 offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. From these, Louisiana also produces 25 per cent of America’s domestic oil, and no major oil spill has ever soiled its coast.

    That would be easier to believe if I hadn’t attached a picture to this post of a worker from the NOAA cleaning up oil from a spill off the coast of Louisiana…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Steve Plunk says:

    Common sense tells us this was indeed minor. Sure Alex can go back and look at some bureaucratic manual to reach a different conclusion but he’s playing numbers games.

    The fact is offshore drilling is environmentally sound and especially compared to transporting by tanker. This is weak effort to discredit the idea of expanded drilling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. William d'Inger says:

    Ok we’re down to arguing to-MAY-to versus to-MAH-to. Some think McCain is right, some think McCain is wrong. Well, we each have one vote in November’s election (presuming we don’t count the dead people who are sure to vote in Chicago).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. William d'Inger says:

    Oh, and may I be allowed one more observation, Alex? The funny thing about oil on water is that it doesn’t create a sheen until it gets down to about two molecules thick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. PD Shaw says:

    “Louisiana’s coastal waters are immensely rich and prolific in seafood.”

    It’s coastal and wetlands waters are prolific. Unfortunately the oil industry dug over 10,000 miles of canals through the Lousiana wetlands for transportation convenience and pipelines and the wetlands are receding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. William d'Inger says:

    Unfortunately the oil industry dug over 10,000 miles of canals through the Lousiana wetlands for transportation convenience and pipelines and the wetlands are receding.

    I’ll grant you a half-truth on that one, but the major cause of wetland loss is natural subsidence without replenishment. For that you have to blame the Mississippi river levees built after the great flood of 1929. For 70 years, the annual floods which used to renew the wetlands have been diverted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. M1EK says:

    The beaches in Louisiana and Texas are, frankly, crap compared to Florida. Their possible economic loss from tourism is miniscule in comparison.

    South Padre, being the nicest large tourist beach area in Texas, would pretty much be the ugliest beach I’ve ever been to in Florida. And it shows in the accomodation mix – Texas is where you go when you are too far away or can’t afford to go somewhere better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Bithead says:

    The beaches in Louisiana and Texas are, frankly, crap compared to Florida.

    And having nice beachs in Florida doesn’t MEAN crap, unless people can get there.

    Drill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Michael says:

    Saying that this isn’t significant because it’s only a “bunch of small leaks put together” is akin to saying that Social Security isn’t a problem because the total entitlement spending is solely composed of “a bunch of small payments put together.”

    A better analogy would be if McCain said that nobody is getting rich of Social Security, and then you pointed out the massive amount of money SS paid out last year. You said yourself that there was no individual leak that would be categorized as major, so there were no major leaks. The total amount leaked was significant, but McCain’s statement doesn’t run contrary to that.

    And having nice beachs in Florida doesn’t MEAN crap, unless people can get there.

    Drill.

    Um, people don’t get to beaches by drilling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. William d'Inger says:

    Um, people don’t get to beaches by drilling.

    Um, do they walk from, say, Michigan and Missouri? Oh sure, the people in DC and NYC can hitch rides on the back of whales, but what about the rest of us?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. brainy435 says:

    On the flipside, granting for the sake of srgument that drilling won’t produce dramatic decreases in oil prices means that we are passing up 130 million dollars A DAY from the conventional estimate of 1 million barrels a day from ANWR alone.

    Shouldn’t the people moaning about the “horrible economy” want to keep that much money at home instead of sending it abroad? After all, if outsourcing is bad, why are oil industry jobs somehow different?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Michael says:

    Um, do they walk from, say, Michigan and Missouri? Oh sure, the people in DC and NYC can hitch rides on the back of whales, but what about the rest of us?

    My point was that just because we currently rely heavily on oil-based transportation doesn’t mean that it is the only solution to transportation.

    Drilling won’t get you from Michigan to Florida, it will only get oil out of the ground. A car powered by ethanol, hydrogen, solar or battery could get you there as surely as a gasoline powered car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. anjin-san says:

    And having nice beachs in Florida doesn’t MEAN crap, unless people can get there

    I would argue that all of God’s creation, including beaches nice and not so nice, have great intrinsic worth regardless of whether someone like Bit happens to be squatting on them.

    But, this is typical Bit thinking. Things only have value if they have value to him…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. M1EK says:

    On the flipside, granting for the sake of srgument that drilling won’t produce dramatic decreases in oil prices means that we are passing up 130 million dollars A DAY from the conventional estimate of 1 million barrels a day from ANWR alone.

    “We” won’t get that money. The share-holders of a few oil companies will. Some of whom are US citizens; some of whom are not. The government gets a trivial amount in leases; Alaskans get a much bigger chunk of change in their slush fund; but “we” get nothing. Unless, and here’s where it gets funny, we nationalize the oil companies!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Alex,

    I have to take issue with your reading of the CFR when describing the spills as major. If you look again at the page you linked, it gives further criteria for a determination of the class of the spill:

    The final determination of the appropriate classification of a release will be made by the OSC based on consideration of the particular release (e.g., size, location,
    impact, etc.):

    (1) Minor release means a release of a quantity of hazardous
    substance(s), pollutant(s), or contaminant(s) that poses minimal threat to public health or welfare of the United States or the environment.

    (2) Medium release means a release not meeting the criteria for classification as a minor or major release.

    (3) Major release means a release of any quantity of hazardous
    substance(s), pollutant(s), or contaminant(s) that poses a substantial threat to public health or welfare of the United States or the environment or results in significant public concern.

    While your criteria are listed, they are not the final determinant. The spills you listed don’t seem major to me based on the final criteria.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Alex Knapp says:

    Robert,

    I thought about your point, but I think it’s difficult to judge because there was so much discharge from the on-land oil storages that spilled into the Mississippi, and finally the Gulf. I tried to find of the EPA, Coast Guard, or NOAA made a determination, since they were all involved in the cleanup of the offshore portion of the spill, but I couldn’t find anything. Accordingly, I’m relying on the total amount discharged and the fact that it was judged to be serious enough to warrant federal agencies to go and clean it up quickly. It may well be that your interpretation is correct, but I just don’t have enough facts to make that determination, so I’m going with my initial judgment–though am willing to be corrected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. brainy435 says:

    I never said anything about government getting the money, that must have been a typical liberal assumption.

    Although the government will get a pretty hefty chunk in taxes, both from the revenue generated and the payroll taxes from the new jobs created to drill, store, refine and transport the oil… not to mention the businesses that will crop up to support those jobs.

    By “we” of course I meant the investment class, which includes everyone wise enough to take advantage of 401k plans, or even e-Trade for that matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. PD Shaw says:

    I don’t think the criteria listed by Robert apply to oil. The terms “hazardous substance” and “polutant or contaminant” exempt petroleum or crude oil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. Bithead says:

    My point was that just because we currently rely heavily on oil-based transportation doesn’t mean that it is the only solution to transportation.

    It does out here in the real world.

    Now, taking the Bill Clinton approach, I could say don’t bother with any of these vaunted and yet non-existant alternatives because they’re all about ten years at least away from producing anything of use to us. I would be right to do so.

    But I take the middle ground. You think you have a workable alternative? Fine. Produce it.

    But until you DO that, leave ours alone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Michael says:

    It does out here in the real world.

    No, it’s just the easiest solution, not the only one and certainly not the best one in the long run.

    But I take the middle ground. You think you have a workable alternative? Fine. Produce it.

    But until you DO that, leave ours alone.

    I’m not touching your oil, I’m just saying you don’t need more of it. Morphine is good in the short term, when you really need it, but at some point you need to get off it. Saying “I hurt, up the dosage” doesn’t solve your problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. PD,

    It applies to oil. Earlier in the CFR they mentioned it as a hazardous substance. Those are the follow-on criteria to the ones Alex used in the original post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    It does out here in the real world.

    I continue to be amazed that the right’s position is “19th century technology is the best American can do”.

    You think you have a workable alternative? Fine. Produce it.

    Honda now has hydrogen cars available for lease (granted only movie stars seem able to get them at this point.) Pretty good chance history will repeat itself. Everyone will bail on SUVs and buy a Prius or a hydrogen car. If GM is bankrupt in 5 years it will be no surprise.

    But the NY Sun says hydrogen cars won’t work, so that is just about the same as hearing it from a burning bush to some folks…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Michael says:

    Honda now has hydrogen cars available for lease (granted only movie stars seem able to get them at this point.)

    That because Hollywood is about the only place that has Hydrogen fueling stations. The infrastructure needs to exist before anybody will buy the cars.

    But the NY Sun says hydrogen cars won’t work, so that is just about the same as hearing it from a burning bush to some folks…

    Gaseous hydrogen most likely won’t work, its significantly more expensive in terms of infrastructure than gasoline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    The infrastructure needs to exist before anybody will buy the cars.

    The same situation existed at the dawn of the automobile era.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. PD Shaw says:

    Well I’ll try to show my work:

    Alex used the quantitative measurements specific to oil in the definition section which starts out: “Size classes of discharges refers to the following size classes of oil discharges . . .” The term “discharge” expressly includes oil.

    Robert used the quantitative measurements in the section that starts out: “Size classes of releases refers to the following size classifications . . .” The classifications which follow are for either “hazardous substances” or “pollutants or contaminants.” The definitions of “hazardous substances” and “pollutants or contaminants” both state: “The term does not include petroleum . . .”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Michael says:

    The same situation existed at the dawn of the automobile era.

    Yes, but as I said in the second half of that post, the infrastructure for H2 gas is significantly more difficult and expensive than it was for liquid petroleum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. Bithead says:

    I continue to be amazed that the right’s position is “19th century technology is the best American can do”.

    You keep using that phrase…”19th century technology “. You know what? Electric cars predate the intenal combustion engine by several years.

    Wanna try again?

    But the NY Sun says hydrogen cars won’t work, so that is just about the same as hearing it from a burning bush to some folks…

    As I say, you tink it’s good? Fine You get it working and then we’ll talk.
    Not before then. And yes, that means the infrastructure, as well.

    The same situation existed at the dawn of the automobile era.

    yep. But the gasoline infrastrcuture wasn’t mandated by the government. It was allowd to grow on it’s own, without taxing the snot out of what was already working.

    I’m not touching your oil, I’m just saying you don’t need more of it.

    The irony meter just melted.

    I’m not touching your oil, I’m just saying you don’t need more of it. Morphine is good in the short term, when you really need it, but at some point you need to get off it. Saying “I hurt, up the dosage” doesn’t solve your problems.

    The alternative to the drug addict is nothing. Funny thing, so far that’s what the ‘we need to get off oil’ crowd has been offering, as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. anjin-san says:

    Electric cars predate the intenal combustion engine by several years.

    I don’t think a purely electric car is viable. Last time I checked, our country’s electric grid was in poor shape. Was the type of hybrid technology a Prius used around in the 19th century? I think not.

    But thanks for playing.

    You get it working and then we’ll talk.
    Not before then. And yes, that means the infrastructure, as well.

    I guess you are just too busy camping to try and grapple with the problem of how to make our economy viable over the next century.

    If we cling too hard to the past, we will become part of it. Its an enduring lesson of history. The Egyptians, the Romans, the British Empire, they all thought their day in the sun would last forever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Michael says:

    The alternative to the drug addict is nothing. Funny thing, so far that’s what the ‘we need to get off oil’ crowd has been offering, as well.

    There are alternatives to many addictive drugs to help transition people away. Eventually the drugs are replaced by something like emotional stability, not nothing.

    Biofuels are the Methadone to our Petroleum addiction. Eventually we’ll have to move away from that to something like nuclear. But in the near-future, biofuels are better for us than petroleum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Michael says:

    I don’t think a purely electric car is viable. Last time I checked, our country’s electric grid was in poor shape. Was the type of hybrid technology a Prius used around in the 19th century? I think not.

    There were all-electric battery powered electric vehicles before the auto industry moved entirely to internal combustion. However, they didn’t (as Bit mistakenly claimed) exist prior to the internal combustion engine itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Michael says:

    Was the type of hybrid technology a Prius used around in the 19th century? I think not.

    The earliest example I could find of a gas-electric hybrid was from 1901, which I would call close enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. anjin-san says:

    from 1901, which I would call close enough

    Dammit Michael, you are one toke over the line…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Michael says:

    Dammit Michael, you are one toke over the line…

    No I’m…wait what does that mean?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Duck! says:

    18,000 bbls, more or less? Piffle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. PD,

    I stand corrected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. anjin-san says:

    Michael,

    Just an Old song, it’s my birthday and I am afraid my age is showing…

    It does kind of tie in with the 1901 thing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. davod says:

    “We” won’t get that money. The share-holders of a few oil companies will. Some of whom are US citizens; some of whom are not.”

    Exxon’s tax bill in 2007 was $30 billion which was about 40 percent of taxable earnings..

    Most of Exxon’s earnings come from overseas.

    I do not know how many of Exxon’s shareholders are based in the US, but I would hazard a guess that lots of retirement benefits are tied up in the oil industry. Why? because it is profitable.

    “The government gets a trivial amount in leases; Alaskans get a much bigger chunk of change in their slush fund; but “we” get nothing. Unless, and here’s where it gets funny, we nationalize the oil companies!”

    You have something against the states getting a share of the money. They are still part of the USA.

    Nationalize the oil industry – Certainly worked well for Venezuela, and is working real well for Mexico (Pun).

    The Russians are in the process of taking back all foreign interests in the energy sector. Funny thing though, in all those years before the fall of the USSR, they could never manage to get their act together enough to produce much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. mrbill says:

    These are little baby burps and not worth spending the time to pick up. I worked offshore and for a major for 30 years. A real “spill” is when it is a blow out.

    Some of those offshore platforms you see are putting out 100,000 bbls per day. Now if you let that loos then you can have a real spill. But the technology today cuts it off down at the ocean floor if a blow out happens. Not much spills during normal opoeration. Simply not allowed. Has to be a catastrophic situation.

    Plus most of the crude will EVAPORATE before you can even get the clean up crew loaded in a boat. Unless it is really low gravity crude on the order of road tar. Most of these crudes that are good high quality are on the order of the consistency of Sprite or Coke. Very light. Has a lot of volatiles in it and makes a lot of gasoline and easy to refine.

    Also evaporates rapidly…especially in the moving water with waves chopping it up.

    Usually that stuff you see in the TV is WHAT IS LEFT after the light stuff goes away. Its the same stuff left over after we refine it. The asphaltenes and fuel oil type stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. mrbill says:

    Alaska gets the money from a “depletion tax”. When you “deplete” a natural resource you pay a tax. Most states with natural resources have such. TX does, OK does etc. Timber cut is like that I believe. Wyoming does for Coal and IM sure other coal state do, or something like it.

    Where are these “obscene” profits Exxon made. They had sales of 400 billion, made 40 billion. My little TI calculator says that is 10%.

    About where does Obscene start?

    The profit does not come from the refining or the gasoline side. That has made 9% for the last 40 years. The ups and downs of the oil business come from the EXPLORATION side and getting crude out. The costs of getting a bbl out is about 8-10 dollars now. When it sell on the OPEN market for 135 , guess what…you make a lot of money in that ONE section of your business. Where was the concern over the oil business as it is with the housing business, when about 10 years ago crude went from 20 to 8 dollars….Did congress set up a bail out….like the 300 billion one they passed yesterday for the Mortgage banks that gave Chris Dodd (D) his cheap loan…

    Intel makes 20 plus…how much did the Apple geeks make…

    So where do the Dems start the confiscation level. What if your little bakery makes 30%. Will they be after you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Bithead says:

    The earliest example I could find of a gas-electric hybrid was from 1901, which I would call close enough.

    So, he’s pushing century old technology. As I said. In short, he knows little of history and so falls for the same crap they did back then. They figured out that the best way to deal with the problem was oil. Perhaps he’ll come up to the present day, but I doubt it.

    Just an Old song, it’s my birthday and I am afraid my age is showing..

    Off the top of my head, it’s an LA band calling themselves Brewer and Shipley. They had been around since 1962 or so… took ’em ten years for a failing Kama Sutra records to sign them and release a couple singles… One toke being their first, and biggest. Other singles, again, off the top of my head, “Tarkio Road”. (Off the same album, I think) A passible band, but no great shakes. Really popular with the Berkeley and Cabridge crowds though, mostly for their leftist politics. I’ll leave it to your imagination why anjin remembers them so fondly.

    BTW… They’ve not had a hit since 1972. Last I heard, both of them were living around Branson somewhere, though I haven’t heard of them working there, as such, though I hear one of them is working as a professor at the state school, there. Not sure in what field.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    They figured out that the best way to deal with the problem was oil.

    And you are willing to accept the conclusions that engineers made 110 years ago as the best way of dealing with the problems of the 21st century. Yep, you are a Bushie all right.

    In short, he knows little of history

    The fact that you can Google things and cobble together arguments is not all that impressive Bit. Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard.

    In my family, if you could not tell the difference between the Punic & Peloponnesian War(s) by the time you were 10, you were kind of slow. So I will stand by the history I know.

    There is a saying about history that you Bushies just don’t seem to get. “Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. Bithead says:

    I guess you are just too busy camping to try and grapple with the problem of how to make our economy viable over the next century.

    It’s already been done.
    The answer: Drill refine, repeat as needed.
    Even by currently known deposits, and leaving aside finds between now and then, that puts us at least 100 years out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Bithead says:

    And you are willing to accept the conclusions that engineers made 110 years ago as the best way of dealing with the problems of the 21st century.

    Are you willing to admit you’ve not come up with anything better, yet? Are you willing to admit that cutting off what we have is utter stupidity?

    And aren’t you the one pushing hybrid technology invented in 1901? Oh, yeah, you forgot, I guess.

    The fact that you can Google things and cobble together arguments is not all that impressive Bit. Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard.

    Actually, I usually don’t. The Brewer and Shipley thing, for example, is all off the top of my head; I was in the radio biz at the time. And the electric hyrbid car was already known to me as well, (but not the specifics… I’m glad someone else picked that one up) because I grew up in a mechanic’s household, and made cars my chilhood hobby. I knew that stuff had already been done, and have been found wanting.

    It still is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. Bithead says:

    However, they didn’t (as Bit mistakenly claimed) exist prior to the internal combustion engine itself.

    Well, I wasn’t suggesting they had any really substantial production numbers… (grin)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. anjin-san says:

    waiting for the train to come home sweet Mary, hopin’ that the train is on time. Sittin’ downtown in a railway station, One toke over the line.

    no google required, that song came out before I started smoking dope. Some of the 70s stuff is a bit fuzzier…

    I knew that stuff had already been done, and have been found wanting.

    It still is.

    That would explain why Toyota has trouble keeping up with the demand for the Prius…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Bithead says:

    The Prius:
    Disco for today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. anjin-san says:

    Disco for today.

    Funny thing about disco, a lot of people have talked smack about it, but every night, people in clubs all over the world go out dancing to it and have a great time. It has value, and it has stood the test of time…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  59. Michael says:

    In my family, if you could not tell the difference between the Punic & Peloponnesian War(s) by the time you were 10, you were kind of slow. So I will stand by the history I know.

    Nobody’s impressed by your childhood, stop relying on ego to boost your argument. Either you can support yourself with facts, or you can’t support yourself at all. There’s no shame in being wrong (God knows I’ve been wrong plenty of times around here), as long as you learn from it.

    Well, I wasn’t suggesting they had any really substantial production numbers… (grin)

    I was pointing out the difference between the internal combustion engine itself, which proceeded electric vehicles, and it’s use in an automobile, which happened at roughly the same time as the use of electric.

    The Prius:
    Disco for today.

    The Prius itself maybe, but hybrids, all electric and alternative fuel vehicles will only get more popular in the future. Even if we have 100 years worth of oil, it’ll take 25 years to determine which technology will be able to sustain us after than, and at least 50 years to build up an infrastructure comparable to what we have now for oil/gasoline. That only leaves us about 25 years of wiggle-room, we shouldn’t be wasting our time now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  60. Bithead says:

    Fine. You’d better get going, then.

    In the meanwhile, don’t saddle the rest of us with the increased costs and the lack of functionality currently associated with the alternatives currently being ‘offered’ (Read that, crammed down our thorats) and stop trying to starve off the current modes of transport.

    I’m addicted to air. I CRAVE air. I gotta have it. Is cutting off my current supply while I search for another, altogether wise, do you think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  61. Michael says:

    I’m addicted to air. I CRAVE air. I gotta have it. Is cutting off my current supply while I search for another, altogether wise, do you think?

    It’s more like water. When you have a drought, you don’t say that we should be diverting water from other areas so that you can continue to water your lawn.

    Nobody is taking away oil sources you currently have, all they’re doing is stopping you from consuming sources you don’t currently have, just so that you won’t have to change your habits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  62. Bithead says:

    all they’re doing is stopping you from consuming sources you don’t currently have

    Ah, but you see, we DO have it. It’s just that government stands in our way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. rpk says:

    Your definitions applied to an incident, not a collection of incidents. There were thousands of incidents that made up the total. The damage occurred over a thousand miles and thousands of facilities. Some of the facilities encountered 150 MPH winds and 50 to 70 foot waves and all you get was minuscule oil discharges. Get real!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0