Monday, July 5, 2010

America's Finest at Work

From the New York Times:
The federal agency charged with protecting endangered species like the brown pelican and the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle signed off on the Minerals Management Service’s conclusion that deepwater drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico posed no significant risk to wildlife....

I suppose it depends by what one means by "significant." The hypothetical oil spills the MMS had in mind were anywhere from 1,000 to 15,000 barrels. I'm curious to know how they arrived at this range. The Exxon Valdez wreck spilled over a quarter of million barrels. And that's just a tanker: a vessel with a known, finite quantity of oil--not a well, which one assumes could provide far more oil than could go into a single tanker.

In any case, the MMS concluded that the comparatively modest spills in their projects posed a 27% percent risk of reaching the habitat of endangered animals.

I am wondering how many MMS employees (or Fish & Wildlife Service employees) would be willing to move to a neighborhood in which under certain circumstances the odds were slightly more than 1 in 4 that they would be mugged?

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