Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: oil spill

May
5th

Tar sands oil, $5 billion and the Strait of Juan de Fuca

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

In an ideal, green-hued world, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline would accomplish what many of the project’s opponents believe it will accomplish.

The sludgy crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands would stay in the ground because there would be no way to get it to refineries and beyond. Ecosystems would be spared. Much less carbon would be burned, and there would be that much less global warming.

The problem is, that’s among the least likely alternatives to the Keystone project. Among the most likely is that Pacific Northwest waters will be put at a much higher risk of oil spills – a scenario that now has $5 billion behind it. Read more »

April
19th

Lessons not learned from Deepwater Horizon disaster

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

A follow-up progress report by the presidential commission that investigated the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill couldn’t be more timely – or distressing.

It came out Tuesday, just days ahead of today’s second anniversary of the catastrophe that killed 11 workers, released almost 5 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and created economic havoc for coastal fishing and tourism industries from Louisiana to Florida.

The report has little good news – especially for the families and loved ones of the dead men and for anyone who works on offshore oil rigs. The lessons of the Deepwater Horizon seem to have been quickly forgotten, and not enough steps have been taken that might avert a similar disaster from taking place in the future. Read more »

June
1st

Will Obama wind up owning the Gulf oil spill?

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The gusher of petroleum at BP’s wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico has already won the trophy for the worst oil spill in the country’s history. But it may just be getting warmed up.

Now that “top kill” – BP’s last-ditch attempt to turn off the spigot – has failed, prospects for a fix anytime soon look dim. The company hopes to begin capturing the rising oil this week by lowering a containment dome over the ruptured pipeline, but it’s hard to put much faith in the effort after everything else has failed.

Relief wells, which should reach the shaft by August, are supposed to be the surefire solution. Let’s hope. In the meantime, the catastrophic blowout threatens to turn the Gulf of Mexico into another Black Sea.

Between now and then, we’ll witness an unprecedented political science experiment.

Read more »

May
7th

Upside to the oil spill

I tried to come up with a single positive to the big BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

I could only think of one: I suspect we will never again hear someone say: “Drill, baby, drill.”

I don’t think even Sarah Palin would have the guts.

May
5th

Whitman’s BP connection

A caller made a good point about the op-ed we ran today by Christine Todd Whitman in which she argues that the BP oil rig disaster “shouldn’t permanently halt offshore exploration for oil.”

The op-ed noted that Whitman is the former governor of New Jersey, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, president of the Whitman Strategy Group and co-chair of the Republican Leadership Council.

But it left out what the caller thought was an important factoid: that Whitman serves on BP America Inc.’s external advisory board. According to an April 30 article in Newsweek, BP pays

Read more »