If you kept up with the news in the summer of last year you might have seen the atrocious oil spill that occurred off the coast of Mauritius. The spill was right next to two environmentally protected marine ecosystems and a biodiversity hotspot.
5 Facts About Oil Spills
The average oil spill typically dumps out a little more than 40 million gallons of oil in one go into the ocean. When compared to the largest oil spill in history, the BP spill, which dumped out a shocking 200 million gallons a day for 87 days.
During the Gulf War forces in Iraq intentionally released over 250 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf. They anticipated an invasion from the sea so as well as releasing a terrible amount of oil into the ocean they also dug long trenches down the coastline and filled them with oil.
The BP spill in 2010 killed more than 8,000 animals within. the first 6 months. They had to use approximately 1.4 million gallons of chemical dispersants to break down the oil.
Over 30,000 people went to the Gulf to help respond to the emergency, they worked to contain and remove the spill, help the wildlife that was affected and did their best to clean the area afflicted. Many of the volunteers reported side effects from the clean up efforts such as eye, nose, and throat problems, seizures, vomiting, respiratory issues, skin problems, liver and kidney problems, and other health problems.
One method of cleaning up the oil that has been used since the 1960s is by placing floating barriers around the oil, then setting fire to it. Which clears the oil but creates a devastating amount of pollution.
The Problem with Drilling
Drilling for oil is an incredibly disruptive process, especially to the environment around where the drilling occurs. Destroying natural habitats, displacing wildlife from their home when they have to put in pipes and roads to transport the oil.
One example is the potential effect of drilling in Alaska on the polar bear population. If drilling were to start there then the currently stable population could see decreases and a higher threat of extinction.
Add Your Name To Protect the Arctic
In the final days of the Trump administration, more oil leases were sold off in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). These oil leases covered a total, 440,000 acres of previously protected coastal plains, meaning that it would have allowed drilling to start.
In January, once President Joe Biden was sworn in, the sale and potential drilling were put on a temporary hold and put under review. We need to keep pressure on the new US government to completely put an end to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! Legislation will be introduced in the Senate & House to grant permanent protection to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Make your voice and opinion heard and sign the petition today!
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