Oil leaks all over everything

Oil, oil everywhere! And not in a good way. In its dubiously named Sustainability Report, oil behemoth Royal Dutch Shell reports that oil spills at its facilities rose 50 percent from 2004 to 2005. Hurricane damage was responsible for a goodly portion of the spillage, and sabotage of a major pipeline in Nigeria didn’t help either. The amount of oil spilled leapt from 6,724 tons to 9,921 tons. We would advise not trying to convert that to a mental picture. Nor this: a ship that sank off the coast of Freeport, Texas, in 1976 has apparently leaked 300 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Officials disagree on whether it is fuel oil or crude oil — crude is less toxic, but stays in the environment longer. The Texas General Land Office’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response Team (goodness, what are they compensating for?) has concluded that the leak poses no significant environmental problem. And really, why would it?