BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill was notable because of the huge number of barrels leaked, the economic and environmental devastation wrought, and the number of people directly affected. But oil spills are not an aberration. Spills are a constant and poisonous cost of the world's dependence upon fossil fuels.
Little attention is paid to this steady stream of spills. That's in part because company and government officials often labor to convince us that each single spill is minor, unimportant, and environmentally benign.
This week, while BP was defending itself in court against claims and potential fines stemming from the 2010 disaster, emergency responders were kept busy dealing with new oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world.