ViaPandagon is aneditorial from the WSJ which claims

Democrats are going to have to grow up. The oil-rich areas they want to
leave untouched are accessible with minimal environmental disturbance,
thanks to modern technology. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flattened
terminals across the Gulf of Mexico but didn’t cause a single oil
(my emphasis)

I’m not sure what they are referring tobecause.

More than 500 specialists are working to clean up 44 oil spills ranging
from several hundred gallons to nearly 4 million gallons, the U.S.
Coast Guard said in an assessment that goes far beyond initial reports
of just two significant spills.

The report comes nearly three weeks after
Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and reflects the fact that
the Coast Guard and other agencies are able to only now tackle
environmental problems since the search and rescue effort is winding

The Coast
Guard estimates more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled from
industrial plants, storage depots and other facilities around southeast

Go here for Many photos of oil spills, damaged or dislodged oil tanks and other oil facility damage.

UPDATE: I think WSJ must be referring to off shore rigsin the Gulf but fail to mention the damage incurred on or near land to facilities, “most of them along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans.”

UPDATE: Via comments, Oyster informs us of post he wrote back in May on the misleading talking point of no major oil spills after Katrina. Here is part of that post though I highly recommend reading all of it:

What troubles me is that, with sky high gas prices angering
motorists, I keep hearing echoes of these same hacktacular talking
points. For example, Newsweek‘s Robert Samuelson recentlywrote:

were 4,000 platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico when hurricanes
Katrina and Rita hit. Despite extensive damage, there wereno major spills, says Robbie Diamond of Securing America’s Future Energy, an advocacy group.

This is misleading.Eight million gallons of oil
spilled out from Louisiana facilities after the storm. (The Exxon
Valdez spill totaled 11 million.) And while there weren’t any “major”
oil spills in the Gulf– the Coast Guard defines a major spill as
100,000+ gallons– according tothis summary of the May 2006 offshore damage assessment from the U.S. Minerals Management Service :

platforms were totally destroyed, and – more importantly – 457
pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10″ or larger
diameter. At least 741,000 gallons were spilled from 124 reported

But all we hear now is that there were no “major” oil spills after Katrina.No one mentions that 124 “minor” post-Katrina spills added up to the equivalent of 7 MAJOR spills.


And as Oyster points out in comments below—Here are photos of giant oil slicks in the Gulf after Katrina. (Adding— the narrative at that link discusses oil leaking from offshore platforms)

Last UPDATE:Oyster has a new post up on this which tackles it all far better.Go Read…especially last line

9 thoughts on “Huh?

  1. Interrobang says:

    Well, how…convenient of them not to make clear what they were talking about, don’t you think? This is the new talking point, and anyone who doesn’t get behind the “oil drilling doesn’t damage the environmentanymore” argument is going to be branded unserious, an environmentalist radical, a hippie Luddite, and all kinds of things. Just watch. You heard it here first.


  2. oyster says:

    I wrote about this emerging talking point a while back. Recently they would say that there were no “major” oil spills in the Gulf after Katrina and Rita took down so many oil platforms. This is misleading but narrowly true. There were no “major” spills based on the Coast Guard’s definition of “major”. However, there were so many “minor” and “significant” oil spills, that they added up to the equivalent of seven “major” spills.
    Here are photos of giant oil slicks in the Gulf after Katrina.
    It was one of the worst environmental disasters in recent history.


  3. scout says:

    Many thanks Oyster. I have updated with part of your post.
    What’s interesting is WSJ didn’t even bother to make a distinction between minor and “major” oil spills. They just said “didn’t cause a single oil spill.”


  4. Lex says:

    I eagerly await the correction and apology that surely must be forthcoming from the WSJ.


  5. jame says:

    And that’s leaving Hurricane Rita’s damage out of the stats.


  6. gregp says:

    Hmmmm. Former LA Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown has been pushing that line, too, after getting it from some wingnut welfare recipient named Humberto Fontova.


  7. pansypoo says:

    why are we even STILL using oil?


  8. Interrobang says:

    why are we even STILL using oil?
    Plastic. Gonna be real hard to switch plastic production to non-petroleum hydrocarbons…
    Like I said, watch this morph to “oil production doesn’t hurt the environment (much)anymore” Real Soon Now™. It’s really gross to be able to watch these things happening in real time and not being able to do anything about them — like a train wreck in slow motion.


  9. pansypoo says:

    i hate platic.


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