Dripping Them the Bird
Some rare seabird species have been pushed closer to extinction by a big oil spill off the French Atlantic coast last month, the French environment ministry said yesterday. An estimated 300,000 birds were killed or injured when a tanker broke in half and leaked about 15,000 tons of oil into the sea. In the wake of the disaster, some French and European Union officials are considering instituting tighter controls on oil tankers, along the lines of the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which was passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. They might be wise to do so, considering a rash of recent oil spills around the globe. Within the last two weeks, serious spills have hit off the coasts of New Orleans, La.; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the United Arab Emirates; and Ireland.