Quantcast
Popular
BP oil spill led to baby dolphin deaths and diseases along the Gulf Coast. Truth Wire

Rush Limbaugh Claims BP Oil Spill Didn't Harm Environment

BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that claimed the lives of 11 men, killed numerous dolphins and other marine life, and released millions of barrels of oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico was an environmental disaster. The catastrophe has left far-reaching impacts on the region's economy and ecosystems that continue to this day. This is fact.

But leave it to Rush Limbaugh to alternative fact the BP oil spill, claiming on his radio show this week that it "didn't do any damage" to the environment.


For context, the right-wing radio host—who has apparently said many ridiculous things about the event before—was citing the conservative publication Daily Caller, which recently posted a story titled, "Bacteria Are Eating Most Of The 2010 BP Oil Spill."

The Daily Caller story was based on a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California simulated the conditions of the oil spill in their lab and found a new bacterium that helped break down the oil, suggesting that the same bacteria has gobbled up the oil in the Gulf.

Limbaugh, ignoring the seven years of havoc wrecked by the explosion, said this on his June 28 show:

Do you remember what I said about this? I said that there is oil seeping into the ocean from the ocean floor daily all over the planet. That the ocean has little things in it that eat the oil. That the ocean has a natural cleaning process that actually is part of the food chain, that oil is food for certain creatures that live there. And do you remember how I was pooh-poohed over that? Oh. I mean, the environmentalist wackos and the leftists came after me, "You're not a scientist. You don't know what you're talking about." But they were searching in vain for the oil. They couldn't find it.

I have a story here from The Daily Caller: "Bacteria Are Eating Most Of The 2010 BP Oil Spill." It's another example of being on the cutting edge of societal evolution. "Oil-eating microbes ate most of the oil BP spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, according to new research by scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study discovered and sequenced the DNA of a new type of natural oil-eating bacteria."

It's exactly what I told you was happening: that there are microbes and creatures in there that literally eat the oil. They feed off of it. "Knowing how oil-eating bacteria behave will help prevent future oil spills from doing as much damage to the environment as the BP spill." The BP spill didn't do any environmental [damage]—that's the whole point! They couldn't find the oil! I know what some of you are—"What about the Exxon Valdez, Rush? What about up there in Alaska where the captain, what—." Well, that was a different body of water than the Gulf of Mexico.

You can read the rest of his rant here or listen to it on MediaMatters.

To clean up the spill, BP cleanup crews released about 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico, which not only had detrimental consequences on the region's species, but a 2015 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study suggested that the approach backfired.

"The dispersants did a great job in that they got the oil off the surface," University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye, a co-author of the study, told the Associated Press then. "What you see is the dispersants didn't ramp up biodegradation."

Joye also told The Atlantic that 24 to 55 percent of the oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast is unaccounted for and suspects much of it is on the seafloor.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2. eflon / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Trump EPA Takes Credit For Obama-Era CO2 Reductions

Total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2.7 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to a report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Wednesday.

Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the EPA, touted that the report shows that regulations are unnecessary to slash carbon emissions.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Pacific bluefin tuna. OpenCage.info

Big Bluefin Tuna Recovering Due to Conservation, But Species Still at Risk

Although Pacific bluefin tuna remains a fraction of its historic population, the giant fish is making a comeback off the California coast after a eight-decade hiatus, due to global conservation efforts, Reuters reported.

The world's love of sushi and rampant overfishing has nearly decimated the species. Its population recently bumped to a meager 3.3 percent of its unfished level, up from its low of 2.6 percent two years ago, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Study urges conservation push for critically endangered black rhinos. CC0 1.0

Humans Are Wiping Out Species So Fast That Evolution Can't Keep Up

With the consequences of human activities pushing Earth into a sixth mass extinction, a team of biologists have calculated that plant and animal species are being wiped out so quickly that evolution cannot keep up.

Human activities—including pollution, deforestation, overpopulation, poaching, warming oceans and extreme weather events tied to climate change—are predicted to drive so many mammals to extinction in the next five decades that nature will need somewhere between 3 to 7 million years to restore biodiversity levels to where it was before modern humans evolved, according to an alarming new analysis published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Mackinaw Bridge, Michigan. Deb Nystrom / CC BY 2.0

Great Lakes Pipeline Dispute Highlights a Broader Energy Dilemma

By Douglas Bessette

A deal involving an aging oil pipeline in Michigan reflects the complex decisions communities across the country need to make to balance the needs for energy and safety with efforts to deal with climate change.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge, a Canadian company, have reached an agreement over a leak-prone pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac, the four-mile-long waterway that divides Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Christoph Schmidt / Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Antibiotics in Burgers: Majority of U.S. Fast Food Chains Fail Annual Report Card

By Lena Brook

Less than two weeks ago, JBS USA, one of our country's largest meat processors, announced a high-risk recall of nearly 7 million pounds of its raw beef, over concerns it may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. Nearly 60 patients in 16 states have so far been made sick. This recent outbreak of infections tied to contaminated ground beef is especially worrisome because S. Newport is a strain of Salmonella that has often been resistant to antibiotics. It may also be the largest beef recall in history for Salmonella.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Daniel Bruno / iStock / Getty Images Plus

How to Make Apple Kombucha

By Brian Barth

René Redzepi and David Zilber talk us through how to make a delicious Fall kombucha from their new release The Noma Guide to Fermentation.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Thom Yorke performs at Madison Square Garden in July. Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Thom Yorke of Radiohead Releases Song With Greenpeace to Help Antarctica

Greenpeace is on a mission to create the largest protected area on earth in Antarctica, and it just gained a very talented ally to help promote that goal.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke released a single Tuesday in support of the campaign called "Hands Off Antarctica," The Guardian reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
"The Golden Couple" by Marsel van Oosten. Natural History Museum

'Otherworldly' Photo of Endangered Monkeys Wins Top Award

Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten was awarded the prestigious title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his surreal portrait of a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys.

"The Golden Couple" shows a male and female snub-nosed monkey sitting on a stone in the temperate forest of China's Qinling Mountains. The endangered species, named in part for their golden-reddish fur and flattened noses, are endemic to the area.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!