If An Oil Spill Happens In Icy Arctic Waters, We Have No Way To Really Clean It Up (Video)

Apropos of last week's frank (and frankly disturbing) revelation from the head of the US Coast Guard, that they have zero capacity to deal with an oil spill in the Arctic: After submitting Freedom of Information Act requests to the State of Alaska and two Federal agencies, Oceana found out that the most recent public Arctic oil spill clean up tests were done in 2000 and, as the video above shows, were categorically a failure. In passing the video around, United for America's Arctic, a coalition of about 24 environmental groups states bluntly:

Neither the State of Alaska nor federal government has any documents showing that a company has demonstrated in the Chukchi or Beaufort Seas that it can respond effectively to an oil spill. Even in the relatively benign conditions of the Gulf, only 10% of spilled oil was recovered after the Deepwater Horizon spill, and these technologies have changed little since the Exxon Valdez spill, after which only 8% of the oil spilled was recovered. Similarly, response to the spill in the Yellowstone River has been ineffective, and other response options, including burning and dispersants, are likewise unproven and potentially dangerous.

More on Oil Spills
Coast Guard Has Zero Capacity To Deal With Arctic Oil Spills, Head Officer Tells Senate
Canada Mothballs High-Tech Oil Spill Detecting, Arctic Ice Monitoring Planes

Tags: Arctic | Oil | Pollution

Best of TreeHugger