Tanks for Nothing
Up to 170,000 sea birds have been killed by a large oil spill off France’s western coast, which began on Dec. 12 when a tanker hired by the oil giant TotalFina spilt in two during stormy weather and sank in the waves, pouring 3 million gallons of oil into the Atlantic. Some of the oil is still floating at sea, but most of it has begun to wash up on a wide stretch of coastal islands and beaches in western France. TotalFina has been harshly criticized for its role in and response to the spill. After more than two weeks of failing to contribute to clean-up efforts, TotalFina on Thursday offered $6 million to help with the clean up and said it expects to spend $60 million total dealing with the disaster. Meanwhile, a smaller oil spill is threatening sea birds along the coastline of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, where a Russian tanker ran aground in heavy winds on Wednesday, split in two, and leaked about 850 tons of oil into one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.