Thursday, May 27, 2010

Forty Million Gallons

The motorhome uses one gallon of gas for every nine or ten miles it travels. That's a lot of gas and I used to feel guilty about this but the amount of oil British Petroleum has thrown into the Gulf of Mexico over the last month or so would take the motorhome almost four hundred million miles (actually far more than that because a gallon of crude makes much more than a gallon of gas, but lets keep the math simple). That is a long way, in fact it is 1,600 times around the world! I would never want to drive around the world 1,600 times as I suspect it would probably become very boring after the first hundred times or so. But with this amount of gas in the tank, I could.

If there was a highway to the moon. I could take the motorhome there and back with this amount of gas as well. I would rather do that than drive around the earth 1,600 times. I would feel guilty about burning up this amount of resources but I will have to get over that. The BP "man on the ground" who was "here for the duration" sneaked back to England for a birthday party and he didn't feel guilty. I suspect he used a private plane to make the trip.

It seems they may have slowed or stemmed the flow today, at least we are all hoping they have. Now comes the cleanup. The only thing that comes close to this disaster in the past is the Exon Valdez spill in Alaska. That mess never did get totally cleaned up as evidenced by the fact that salmon no longer pass by our house. They take the long way around the Island now because the water smells better over there. Who can blame them?

Will BP clean up the mess? Will they repay the seafood industry workers who will lose their jobs over it? Will they buy the seafood restaurants that go broke? Will they make changes to ensure it never happens again? Will they repay the Federal and State Governments for everything it spent on the spill and investigations?

Does anybody care if they do? Will the government force them to pay? They will plead poverty and complain about the costs of course. They will say they have to protect their profits to pay off the shareholders.

1 comment:

  1. Croft Said:
    “...(actually far more than that because a gallon of crude makes much more than a gallon of gas, but lets keep the math simple).”
    That statement is not quite correct, there is a processing gain but it is not all in gasoline (see below).

    One 42gal gallon barrel of crude oil yields:

    19.5 gallons of gasoline
    9.2 gallons of distillate fuel oil (diesel fuel and home-heating oil)
    4.1 gallons of kerosene-type jet fuel
    2.3 gallons of residual fuel oil (used in industry and marine transportation and for election power generation)
    1.9 gallons liquefied refinery gases
    1.9 gallons still gas
    1.8 gallons coke
    1.3 gallons asphalt and road oil
    1.2 gallons petrochemical feedstock
    0.5 gallons lubricants
    0.2 gallons kerosene
    0.3 gallons other (don't ask me, I have no clue :) )

    * The total volume of products made is 2.2 gallons greater than the original 42 gallons of crude oil, representing a processing gain.