The stories surrounding oil and gas as energy are on the rise. Right now all of America is captivated by the events of the gulf coast as a well spews hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil in the ocean each day. Just this week there was an Alaskan pipeline that was shut down to fix a leak. The most recent event happened close to home. On May 28th around 10:30, a tanker truck exploded traveling east on the 91 freeway as a result of a traffic collision. The driver of the big rig was try to avoid another collision when the weight transfer incurred from a sudden lane change sent the truck out of control. Running across the freeway the tuck sideswiped a Honda forcing it over the center divider which collided with two other cars. The tanker then fell on its side igniting its payload. Fortunately there were no fatalities in the accident.
Traffic was congested all over the south-land as people tried various alternate routes since the 91 freeway was closed in both directions. Even side streets were considerably crowded as motorists on overcrowded freeways had nowhere to go other than spilling onto local streets. What made traffic worse was the memorial day weekend motorists. The 91 freeway was closed from shortly after the crash until around 3 when westbound traffic was allowed to pass and a few eastbound lanes were opened around 7 as the additional lanes had to be repaired from the fierce blaze. Firefighters let all of the 8,800 gallons of fuel in the tank burn which took five hours as flames shot 100 feet in the air.
These recent incidents beg the question of whether or not current methods of energy are safe and whether alternate forms of energy are any safer. With thousands of animals and plants being killed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill it may be time to consider whether, as a society, we are being good stewards with the natural resources we have been given and how our use of them is harming the environment around us. Is it acceptable to engage in an activity like offshore drilling which has resulted in the deaths of many animals considering the different spills over the year. More importantly the spills seem to get bigger as the years pass. Why with our increase of technology, are we not able to better contain spills therefore not doing as much harm to the environment? Or first of all, why are spills even occurring with our increases in technology? It is easy not to be immediately concerned about the livelihood of creatures in the ocean but more importantly are we putting people lives in danger by the energies we are transporting whether flammable or bio-hazardous? These are just a few things that responsible and environmentally conscious Americans should consider.