What Happens When You Move Oil in Boats and Barges...

Eliot Kamenitz / The Times-Picayune

The catastrophic spill occurred early Wednesday after a 600-foot Liberian-flagged tanker named The Tintomara collided with a barge being pulled by a tugboat near the Harvey Locks. The barge — which was carrying 400,000 gallons of thick, tar-like No. 6 fuel oil — was split in half, sending its contents into the river.

As a result, the Mississippi River is shut down to boat traffic for the entire 100-mile stretch from the busy Port of New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico.

This event will get twisted in the minds of some as a reason we don’t want more offshore oil drilling. Offshore oil is moved in pipelines, not tankers and barges. The risk of a accident, and the consequences of the resulting spill, is several orders of magnitude higher when we have to move the stuff in vessels.

Offshore oil easier to regulate and control than the international maritime business. America will be cleaner, safer and more secure when we develop our own oil resources.