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Oil Dispersants Used During Gulf Spill Degrade Slowly In Cold Water

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the now-to-bring-out-the-oil-dispersant-dispersants dept.

Earth 61

MTorrice writes "During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, clean up crews applied millions of liters of dispersants to break up the oil. At the time, the public and some scientists worried about the environmental effects of the chemicals, in particular how long they would last in the deep sea. According to a new Environmental Protection Agency study, the key active ingredient in the dispersants degrades very rapidly under conditions similar to those found at the Gulf surface during the spill. Meanwhile, in the much colder temperatures found in the deep sea, the breakdown is quite slow. The chemicals' persistence at deep-sea and Arctic temperatures suggests more research is needed on their toxicity, the researchers say."

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61 comments

Or, we could have just done nothing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42889751)

They were screwed either way. If they hadn't used them, there'd be a congressional inquiry asking why we didn't bring all the technology we possibly could to bear on this horrible accident. There's always a line of people who are salivating to second-guess whatever decision gets made. I'm guessing there are a lot of pelicans who, if they could talk, would be praising the use of the dispersants.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890065)

I'm sure as the last large fauna dies out on this planet, our scientists will be hard at work identifying the various factors which may theoretically cause such a decline.
Fox News will debunk the hysteria and profit margins will continue to grow.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42900323)

I'm sure as the last large fauna dies out on this planet, our scientists will be hard at work identifying the various factors which may theoretically cause such a decline.
Fox News will debunk the hysteria and profit margins will continue to grow.

"Toxic" is a relative term, what is toxic to humans is often well tolerated or even quite beneficial for other forms of life. The major threat to the "large fauna" on this planet isn't shit dumped into the oceans or the rivers or atmosphere, it's human population. It's not the fact that someone used fertilizer on their lawn, it's the fact that their lawn is sitting smack in the middle of what used to be wilderness. It doesn't matter how "green" you try to be, unless you're willing to wipe out about 80% of the humans on this planet you're not fixing the problem.. you just prolonging it.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890081)

How about we stop letting corporations run shoddy operations to save a few bucks and keep the oil from getting in the water to begin with?

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (3, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#42890421)

On a long enough timescale, no matter how well funded, mistakes will occur.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42891015)

On a long enough timescale, no matter how well funded, mistakes will occur.

Sure, but when the rewards are greater than the cost of the consequences of the mistakes, those mistakes become more frequent.

In fact, they become part of the business model.

I mean, who knew that allowing the banking industry to engage in limitless derivatives investing could possibly cause any problems to the economy? Who could have predicted that an earthquake and tsunami could kill the power to an old, poorly-maintained nuclear plant, causing the release of radiation? Why would anyone think that turning firearms into consumer products as readily available as cell phones might end up in a society with a lot of gun violence? What moron would think that injecting toxic chemicals into bedrock under high pressures near populated areas could possibly cause contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback or that those might cause health risks?

I mean, mistakes will occur.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (3, Insightful)

pipelayerification (1707222) | about a year ago | (#42892173)

A $4.5 billion penalty is hardly a slap on the wrist. BP has set aside about $38 billion to settle up on the disaster in addition to the fines. There has never been an oil well worth that much money in history. It will certainly have an affect on the way they conduct their business in the future. Statistics do not bear out that ubiquitous gun ownership leads to dramatic increases in gun violence, in fact, quite the opposite is true. And while fracking is certainly not the panacea that many in the gas industry would like everyone to believe it is certainly not the Pandora's box that environmental alarmists would have you believe either.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#42892329)

Why would anyone think that turning firearms into consumer products as readily available as cell phones might end up in a society with a lot of gun violence?

I like how you tainted a punchbowl of otherwise completely reasonable and objective common sense observations by slipping in your little patently-dishonest pro-establishment turd; you sly devil, you! ;)

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42894869)

I like how you tainted a punchbowl of otherwise completely reasonable and objective common sense observations by slipping in your little patently-dishonest pro-establishment turd; you sly devil, you!

One man's common sense is another man's instrument of wholesale slaughter in a kindergarten.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#42894399)

Sure, but when the rewards are greater than the cost of the consequences of the mistakes, those mistakes become more frequent.

BP has already paid out tens of billions in fines and compensation. There are plenty more lawsuits in the pipeline, with a potential final payout of about $90 billion. That is an immense amount of money, far more than the GDP of most countries. You can be pretty sure that the oil companies are going to be a lot more careful in the future.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42894893)

BP has already paid out tens of billions in fines and compensation

And taken a nice tax abatement for it.

Plus, the payouts have not been that much. They have set aside that much, which still sits on their books as an asset, but the payouts have been glacial.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900307)

"A lot more careful" in the future? They certainly weren't much more careful than the Ixtoc spill 30 years ago, where a set of maneuvers eerily similar to those attempted to plug the BP spill were employed (and all failed similarly). If BP didn't want lawsuits, it shouldn't have dumped millions of gallons of a neurotoxic carcinogen to cover its own liability (amount of oil spilled). Or maybe it shouldn't have put 10,000+ claimants' data on a single laptop only to magically "lose" it. If corporations are people, BP is a fucking psychopath with dead girls in its basement.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890659)

Its one of the most regulated industries in the country. The Government regulators failed in their job. Just like the SEC failed on their job to regulate bad home loans.

Knowing that now, what would your suggestion be?
Suprisingly enough, more government and more regulation can have a negative impact with no positive impact.

"Most regulated"? Not really (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900771)

Several waves of deregulation came about under the Bush administration. Drilling here in the US is more unbound than in europe, where features like a "dead man's switch" (google it) are actually required. The problem here was not regulation, it was pure malfeasance and a will to cover up the damage done no matter the cost.. the cost being the several hundred million dollar PR campaign BP ran afterwards to clean up its image. The way you present this information makes it seem like BP and the obama administration are in any opposition. To the contrary, this administration sheltered BP's excesses, even parroting BP's bogus initial spill estimates to the media.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42891195)

That's pretty easy to do... stop using oil... wait, what's that? You don't want to be inconvenienced? Oh yea... that's why this happened.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

Lotana (842533) | about a year ago | (#42891793)

Really?! Oh I think you will change your tune if the price at the pump goes up by a few dollars. Well, maybe you won't since you might be a millionaire, but quite a few people will.

Face it, we WANT our oil as cheap as possible. Lower price of fuel means lower price of everything else. And lower price of living translates to more money available for spending on leisure activities.

If that means we need to exterminate all the cute seals to get cheaper energy, then so be it.

More oil drilled DOESN'T MEAN lower energy prices (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900913)

Huge myth. Gas prices have to do with the number of refineries and their processing rates rather than how much oil we are drilling. Your entire argument's nonsense. We could open ANWR and still not see a dip in pricing. Blame crony capitalism before supply and demand.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

Onymous Hero (910664) | about a year ago | (#42893395)

Wasn't it drilling regulations that pushed drilling further and further offshore to much deeper (and risky) areas?

Anyway, there's vastly more oil migrating into the ocean from natural seepage than from the odd oil spill, so if you don't want oil in the water perhaps that's a better place to start :p

http://oils.gpa.unep.org/facts/natural-sources.htm [unep.org]

"Didn't drilling regulations...?" No. (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900379)

At the time of the spill, there were 3000+ rigs in the gulf. Only about 30 of those were deepwater. No, "natural seepage" will not cause millions of gallons of gas to drift out into the ocean every year, nor will "natural seeepage" destroy the oceanfloor habitat and leave a layer of toxic oil/dispersant sludge mixed with dead marine life several feet thick as this spill has done. Is someone paying you to post this?

Re:"Didn't drilling regulations...?" No. (1)

Onymous Hero (910664) | about a year ago | (#42908005)

No, "natural seepage" will not cause millions of gallons of gas to drift out into the ocean every year,

Natural seepage in the gulf of mexico is about 140,000 tonnes a year, or 1 million barrels of oil. So, yes it does. Ok, it's only a fifth of the amount from the deepwater spill, but it's constant rather than one-off. Link: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10388&page=70 [nap.edu]

At the time of the spill, the liability was limited to 75 million bucks. That's definitely one regulation which increases risk taking!

Is someone paying you to post this?

Nope, you can remove you tinfoil hat now

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (4, Insightful)

MtHuurne (602934) | about a year ago | (#42890283)

Given that both using and not using the chemicals has drawbacks and that it is difficult to make good decisions at a time of crisis, isn't it a good thing this study is done now? That way, when another spill happens, there is more knowledge to base decisions on.

The only drawback of *not* using Corexit.. (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900691)

..is to BP, which couldn't as easily hide the amount of oil spilled--the only thing by which it is liable. To anyone who actually lives around the area, the spraying of the neurotoxic carcinogen corexit is quite harmful. "Isn't it a good thing this study is done now?" You're waxing about how great it is we can assess what happened after the fact of a disaster, when BP couldn't even learn from the Ixtoc spill 30 years ago? That time, all the same techniques were employed with similar failures. When another spill happens, they'll flounder similarly because the point's to make money on the short term, not to worry about disasters when they arise--disasters only affect those poor nobodies on the cost and their rinky-dink fishing boats. Why should a multinational like BP care, when BP's iniquities are so sheltered by the government that the coast guard would keep away journalists from the spill, threatening several tens of thousand in fines and years in jail for any who'd come close to a cleanup site?

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890341)

You and the mod who gave you Insightful need to read at least the bloody summary.

It's not a criticism of using it in the gulf. It's saying we probably can't use it in the deep sea, and crucially in the Arctic where we're still discussing whether we've got good enough kit to handle the inevitable spills.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (1)

andrew3 (2250992) | about a year ago | (#42890419)

I'm guessing there are a lot of pelicans who, if they could talk, would be praising the use of the dispersants.

Perhaps not, there's some research that could suggest that the dispersants could have made the disaster worse [motherjones.com].

There's always a line of people who are salivating to second-guess whatever decision gets made.

So we shouldn't be testing these things and being critical of how disasters are handled? That's how progress is made, and how we can improve for the next time it happens.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42891865)

Citing motherjones.com is like citing foxnews.com - no one will take you seriously unless they already agree with you.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42896691)

The study [plosone.org] referred to by motherjones.com.

Care on discussing the facts in the paper or are we going to continue to play shoot the messenger?

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42891159)

See, you're kind of missing the point. Yes, they were screwed either way. The _reason_ they were screwed either way was a direct result of negligence, they didn't maintain their own site properly and when the spill occurred they had no choice _but_ to use dispersants that did more damage.

The point is that they should be held accountable, but if you think that an oil company will ever be the subject of a congressional inquiry in a post-9/11 America, you're...much more optimistic than the rest of us, deluded, or both.

What A Congress! (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#42894469)

But you can bet your sweet donkey you'll get your very own congressional inquiry if you're a shortstop linked to PEDs who hits too many homers. Congress critters only have so much time in session, so they have to focus on the really important issues.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42896249)

Disagree.

BP, US EPA, and the Coast Guard Unified Command set up an Alternative Remediation Technology in order to evaluate ecologically friendly alternatives to dispersant used in the spill. There is some information about it here: http://www.oil-spill-info.com/Spill_photos/DeepWaterHorizon/Presentations/DWH_AlternativeTechnologies_USCG_Hansen_2010_RRT_I_ARTES.pdf

We were in frequency contact with Unified Command, and the Louisiana DEQ. To make a long story short, although many of the technologies that were scheduled to be "evaluated" during the ART program (3 of the spill response programs were ours (out of 11 total "green" chemical programs)) were mature products with 20+ years of EPA testing, as soon as the well head was capped, testing stopped immediately. We were told directly by the administrator of the Louisiana DEQ that he never felt more frustrated, and the whole program was probably window dressing to green-wash the use of unfriendly dispersant.

As with most economic and environmental problems, innovation is usually the "right" answer, and the established players try very hard to bury it; generally by studying it to death, and running out the clock.

Re:Or, we could have just done nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42896333)

No, they weren't screwed either way. They successfully avoided news footage featuring ribbons of oil coating the shores like the Exxon Valdez spill. They used dispersants to hide their crimes from the general public that never got to truly appreciate the magnitude of the disaster to the ecology and take as truth the government's promise that food from the Gulf is safe to eat.

Who marked this garbage "insightful"? (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900833)

How about a congressional inquiry into why BP continued spraying Corexit after the EPA told them to stop? If there were pelicans who'd touched corexit (let alone the toxic mix that results from corexit and oil combined), they'd probably be dead right now, so spare me the bullshit.

Who knew? (0)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about a year ago | (#42889861)

Another study recently concluded that things such as water and gasoline evaporate less quickly when they're kept very cold. Also, oils, molasses, and other liquids get thicker and move more slowly. This is now summed up as the Santa Clause law of nature, that is, when things are as cold as Santa's nose on a North Pole night, they tend to happen more slowly.

The converse side of this is that when things warm up from North Pole temperatures, they happen much more quickly. This is why Santa and his militant reindeer army are able to very quickly deliver AR-15's and lots of ammo to all the good little American boys and girls on Revolution Eve.

Ooh ooh! New Research Topic! (-1, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#42889869)

I have this thing called a car and when it is used in an approved manner to drive down an empty road it transports me. This actually happened last Tuesday.

  We should do research on what would happen if we dropped my car from a cargo plane at an altitude of 20,000 feet and then decide if cars should be banned if there are any ill effects.

What? LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890007)

I dispersed your moms ass last nigth

Nature, you scary (-1, Troll)

neubian (2788915) | about a year ago | (#42890131)

When will we come to the place where we realize that the Earth doesn't need us to clean up from stuff that it already produces, in the places it produces it? Millions of gallons of crude seep from the Gulf floor every day. Nature/bacteria takes care of it. Move along. Nothing to see here. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911125315.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Nature works fine for slow leaks. (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#42891279)

When will we come to the place where we realize that the Earth doesn't need us to clean up from stuff that it already produces, in the places it produces it? Millions of gallons of crude seep from the Gulf floor every day. Nature/bacteria takes care of it.

Seeps are one thing. Blowouts are more than a tad faster. Nature takes a while and a big, concentrated, spill can cause a lot of havoc before nature gets around to clearing it.

Granted we need to avoid making it worse while trying to make it better. For instance: The attempt to clean the shore after the Exxon Valdez spill washed away the local biosphere as well. Several years later the "cleaned" sections were still barren while the untouched sections had recovered very well. I recall a great picture of a boundary between the two. Think "washed down to bedrock and gravel" or "cold, rocky desert".

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890237)

It never gets cold in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bottom of the ocean is normally cold. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#42891207)

It never gets cold in the Gulf of Mexico.

It does near the bottom of the ocean.

Water has its highest density at approximately 4 degrees C - just a tad above freezing. Water at higher OR lower temperatures rises above it, and water at that temperature sinks to the bottom.

Then it tends to sit there: Friction with the ocean bottom causes ocean currents to be very slow, so there's little mixing from turbulence. With all the water around it at the same temperature there's negligible mixing from convection. If there's a local, non-extreme, heat source, the warmed water rises by convection and slowly sucks in 4-ish degree water from around it. Heat transfer is mainly by conduction (which is slow) and diffusion (which is in the years-per-inch range).

So the surface temperature doesn't mean much. Even at the bottom of the gulf (except very close to volcanic vents and the like) the bottom water is quite cold.

Global warming good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42890321)

So, that means global warming is helping dispers these chemicals quicker? So with global warming we are able to clean up oil spills easier and more environmently friendly!

Who knew?

The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (5, Insightful)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42890339)

The use of dispersants (really, the term should be "submergants") just caused the oil to sink to the sea floor. This in no way mitigates the actual problem, and may in fact compound it over time. However, it did allow the EPA, the Obama administration, and BP to rehabilitate their severely tarnished images, because this was a problem that you couldn't see easily.

Gulf seafood is off the menu for millions of people now, and into the foreseeable future, because these "dispersants" just happen to be extremely toxic to humans.

Unfortunately, we appear to have learned nothing and will probably use this kind of sweeping under the rug tactic when future spills happen.

Re:The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (4, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#42890741)

There is some logic to the use of these materials.

After all most of the life in aquatic environments is on or near the surface. The most important ecologies are the salt marshes and the top 200 meters or so of the ocean (epipelalogic zone) which is sunlit. It is where all the action is. 90% of life is found in this top layer. It is where the most complex and presumably vulnerable life forms are found.

So submerging the oil potentially reduces the harm that a spill may cause.

Re:The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42891107)

Yes, the oil being on top blocks the sunlight directly under it. However, the density of oil makes it possible to collect it from the top of the ocean without extremely complicated measures.

Another factor to remember is that most of the area where the oil leaked was shallower than 200m anyway.

Re:The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#42892669)

However, the density of oil makes it possible to collect it from the top of the ocean without extremely complicated measures.

Yes ... but ... see, you're making perfect sense here, so that's where you've gone awry.

There are ships that can suck in the oil slicks and ocean water, dump 97% of the oil into the hold and pump the mostly clean water back into the sea, repeating the process as necessary.

However, the EPA demanded that in the Macondo spill they not return that 3% water back to the ocean, but instead made them send out tankers to be filled up with the 3% water, which were then transported back to shore for decon.

The obvious problem there was that the rate of processing of the sea water was limited by how fast those tankers could get out and back and unload, and what the onshore capacity was and what the onshore processing rate was. Being all finite quantities the rate was lowered tremendously from its potential.

So, using dispersants was the next-least-bad. I used to know their names, but one of them was much less toxic than the other two. Still, the oil separating ships operating at full capacity would have been much better for the environment, but the government was here to help.

Re:The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (1, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42894171)

You would not want to be exposed to vapors of any of the "dispersants" used during the gulf spill, let alone get them on your skin, mucous membranes, or for fuck's sake ingest them. Aconite is more poisonous than belladonna, but you don't want to eat either one. Same thing here.

EPA told BP to stop spraying, BP bit its thumb. (2)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900507)

The Obama administration's folly (other than being helpful to BP in almost every way, including having government officials spout their bogus numbers on a whim), disallowing regulations present in much of europe (see "dead man's switch") that were removed under the Bush administration, and not doing anything to punish BP after it disobeyed the EPA and continued to spray Corexit despite being told to stop. Easy for you to say using millions of gallons of a neurotoxic carcinogen was the "next-least-bad" choice when you don't live in the area. People in the area are getting sick; marine life is hatching deformed. The toxic sludge created by corexit+oil is deadlier than either of them on their own, so please spare me this "next-least-bad" nonsense. The "obvious problem" is that we're allowing deepwater drilling when energy companies don't have any reason to give a damn when things go wrong; the government will be glad to help in PR cleanup, and they're not even obligated to pay back any claimants. There was a laptop with 10,000+ claimants' info on it that was magically "lost". Where's the government lawsuit on behalf of the people, if the government's here to help? In actuality, it's here to stand and watch while you and I get fucked.

Re:EPA told BP to stop spraying, BP bit its thumb. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42901169)

What do you suppose the real function government is?

I'm going with wealth transfer and resource extraction.

Re:The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42892353)

> After all most of the life in aquatic environments is on or near the
> surface.

* that we have any clue about *

Re:The goal was to hide, not solve, the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42892729)

The use of dispersants (really, the term should be "submergants") just caused the oil to sink to the sea floor. This in no way mitigates the actual problem, and may in fact compound it over time. However, it did allow the EPA, the Obama administration, and BP to rehabilitate their severely tarnished images, because this was a problem that you couldn't see easily.

Gulf seafood is off the menu for millions of people now, and into the foreseeable future, because these "dispersants" just happen to be extremely toxic to humans.

Unfortunately, we appear to have learned nothing and will probably use this kind of sweeping under the rug tactic when future spills happen.

Don't forget that later that year, Steve Jobs would release the iPhone 4, and Antennagate would then occupy the public's mind, burying any news about the oil spill even more because it's not as newsworthy anymore.

Makes you sort of wonder if BP bought a bunch of iPhone4s to also blow the issue up - the more the spotlight on a relatively non-issue, the less spotlight on them.

Corexit made the spill 52 times more toxic (1)

Burz (138833) | about a year ago | (#42892939)

But I agree, BP used it to make the spill appear less severe on the surface.

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/12/chemical-dispersant-made-bps-gulf-oilspill-52-times-more-toxic [motherjones.com]

A new study finds that adding Corexit 9500A to Macondo oil—as BP did in the course of trying to disperse its 2010 oilspill disaster—made the mixture 52 times more toxic than oil alone. The results are from toxicology tests in the lab and appear in the scientific journal Environmental Pollution.

Not true (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#42893687)

Dispersants are basically soap -- the chemicals in Corexit and similar dispersants are the same as you'll find in bottles of Mr Muscle and other household cleansers living under the kitchen sink. They work by breaking bulk oil into small droplets which increases the effective surface area of the oil and gives the bacteria that normally degrade oil a better opportunity to do their job properly. They don't cause the oil to submerge, a neat trick if it could be achieved given that crude oil is a lot denser than seawater.

"Dispersants are soap"---who's paying you? (1)

FallenTabris (1709190) | about a year ago | (#42900555)

Funny that BP's PR teams also tried to claim dispersant just soap--why is there incentive for you to repeat their nonsense? In reality Corexit and oil make a muck that falls to the ocean floor--a layer of toxic muck and dead marine life several feet thick in some places. There is NOTHING to indicate Corexit allows bacteria to "do their job properly". If you're not being paid to write this garbage, you should be, I'm sure some of that several hundred mil BP spent on PR cleanup rather than actual cleanup afterwards is still up for grabs!

Re:Not true (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42901209)

That's fucking bullshit. He a look at the MSDS for Corexit. The shit is not only carcinogenic but causes red blood cells to fall apart.

Yes, soap is a "dispersant" but not all dispersants are soap.

Why do environmentalist extremists hate penguins? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42891421)

I'm not sure why such a negative spin is being attached to these stories.

As our press release clearly stated, new Corexit Ice(tm)(r), in 'fresh blast' or 'glacial menthol' scents, works harder, longer(tm) to protect pristine arctic environments. Apparently, eco-fascists want penguins to die, oil-soaked, when our competitor's inferior dispersants break down quickly under cold weather conditions...

Chem 101 (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#42891439)

Chemical reactions slow down at colder temperatures
I learned that 40 years ago
Why do you think they invented refrigerators

Re:Chem 101 (0)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about a year ago | (#42891879)

Funny that you got modded up for this while I got modded down for saying nearly the same thing in a more humorous manner. Perhaps I should have used refrigerators instead of Santa and his Militant Reindeer Army as my example.

Maybe the mods are cold today, and have become slow (and not able to appreciate humour) as a result.

Why are they called dispersants anyway? (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | about a year ago | (#42893881)

Wouldn't coagulant be more appropriate?

Oh, duh! They're called dispersants because they cause oil to be out of sight and out of mind - resting in the water column rather than causing financial and political turmoil on the surface.

but cant they.... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about a year ago | (#42895247)

But cant this make them easy to still pick up with a proper machine to then centrifuge the oil from the chemical...just sayin?

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