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Iranian Tanker Leaves Massive Oil Slick, Worries Mount Over Environmental Damage
Experts have expressed concern about the potential environmental aftermath of a stricken Iranian oil tanker that exploded and sank in the East China Sea on Sunday.
The Sanchi—carrying 150,000 tons, or nearly 1 million barrels, of condensate oil—collided with the CF Crystal on Jan 6. The tanker caught fire and burned for more than a week before sinking. Iranian officials said all 32 crew members on the tanker were killed.
According to the BBC, Chinese ships are racing to clean up a 46 square mile oil slick left behind. The slick is thought to be made up of heavy fuel used to power the vessel.
BBC's China Correspondent Robin Brant reported that the oil slick has more than doubled in size since Sunday, noting that the big concern now is the environmental impact.
There could also be a very tall plume of condensate oil underneath the surface, Brant noted. Condensate is an ultra-light oil that is highly toxic and much more explosive than regular crude oil.
Experts worry that ship's sinking would likely expel the remaining condensate and the tanker's bunker fuel, contaminating the surrounding waters, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, "bunker fuel is the dirtiest kind of oil, extremely toxic when spilled, though less explosive. Condensate is poisonous to marine organisms."
As Rick Steiner, a U.S. marine scientist explained to the news service, the East China Sea is known for its rich—but already polluted—marine ecosystem that includes whales, porpoises and seabirds.
"As with all major oil spills, time is of the essence. This is particularly so with condensate spills, as the substance is so toxic and volatile," said Steiner.
In a statement, Greenpeace said the explosion and sinking occurred in "an important (fish) spawning ground."
"At this time of year the area is used as wintering ground by common edible species such as hairtail, yellow croaker, chub mackerel and blue crab. The area is also on the migratory pathway of many marine mammals, such as humpback whale, right whale and gray whale," the environmental organization said.
Teng Da from the Chinese Oceanic Administration told CGTN, "Now that the tanker has sunk, what comes next to the ecological system the government should watch very closely."
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."