Monday, March 21, 2011

Fueling the Debate

It’s not without interest that the two biggest stories of the last two weeks have been about energy: the destruction and peril of the nuclear plants in Japan by the earthquake, and the intervention by the U.N. in the revolution in Libya. If Libya didn’t produce oil — and multinational companies weren’t invested there — the rebels in Libya would have gotten as much attention from the rest of the world as the ones in Yemen, who, by the way, were also shot and killed by their government. But compared to Libya, how much oil do we get from Yemen?

It’s all about keeping the lights on. And no, I’m not doing this by candlelight. We’re all in this.

Oh, and speaking of oil

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially massive oil sheen about 20 miles north of the site of last April’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.

A helicopter crew and pollution investigators have been dispatched to Main Pass Block 41 in response to two calls to the National Response Center, the federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills, said Paul Barnard, an operations controller for Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

The first caller, around 11 a.m., described a sheen of about a half-mile long and a half-mile wide, he said.

About two hours later, another caller reported a much larger sheen — about 100 miles long — originating in the same area and spreading west to Cocodrie on Terrebonne Bay, Barnard said.