Don t Cry Over Spilled Dispersants

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Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) isn t happy with BP s use of surface oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico in order to ameliorate the adverse effects of the oil spill. In a letter to Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral in charge of the cleanup operations, Markey alleged the dispersants have caused a toxic stew of chemicals, oil and gas, with impacts that are not well understood.

BP used the dispersants with permission from the Coast Guard and EPA, and according to Admiral Allen and Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, the use of dispersant was actually reduced by 72 percent. Ms. Jackson adds, There s absolutely no doubt that use of dispersants was one of several essential tools to mitigate this spill s impact.

Dr. Ross agrees. The Gulf oil spill required urgent measures, clearly. All this talk about 'toxic' chemicals in the dispersants used by BP, with the approval of the Coast Guard and under the watchful eye of the ultra-conservative EPA, is just so much malarkey from Rep. Markey. As one commenter put it, his position is analogous to, Well the fire's out, now let's shoot the firefighters. "