Monday, March 21, 2011

Oil Spill False Alarm

image I woke yesterday to the news that a “massive” new oil slick had been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico, just a few dozen miles away from the site of last year’s Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, fire and ensuing oil spill disaster.

Needless to say, nerves remain on edge and reports of the new spill set alarms off from Lake Charles, Louisiana to Panama City Beach Florida.  Reading some of the news reports, such as this from from, caused me to hold off posting updates. I don’t have a lot of faith in “California-based environmental nonprofit groups, even those with innocuous names like “On Wings of Care.”

As things turned out, I was wise not to fly off the handle and join the hysteria over hyped reports of a 100 mile wide new oil slick. Reports from last night indicate that it’s not an oil spill at all. It’s a bunch of mud from the Mississippi River.

Last Fall, I reported on another California-based nonprofit group, called Project Gulf Impact. PGI reportedly raised a large sum of money through public charitable donations, then abruptly changed their website’s solicitation pages after being alerted that someone was digging into their story. Their website and YouTube pages then carried a slew of scary-sounding stories of poisonings, sickenings and other black helicopter stuff and made the pages of conspiracy theorist websites.

With yesterday’s news of a potential new oil spill, I wondered how long it would take for a “California-based environmental nonprofit group” to fan the flames of controversy and panic, and “On Wings of Care” didn’t disappoint. They were on it within hours. “Like a duck on a June bug,” my grandfather would say.

A solemn anniversary arrives in approximately one month. April 20 marks one year since the Deepwater Horizon suffered a blowout, exploded, caught fire and sank.  Eleven brave men lost their lives in the accident, and millions of gallons of oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Events like this—manmade disasters of such large proportions—inevitably cause the wackos to come out of the woodwork to sell their stories of woe and take advantage of a fearful, nervous public.

Fortunately, we’re likely not seeing a repeat of last year’s disaster. At least not from the news reports we’re seeing this morning. So will the “California-based environmental nonprofit groups” please get their asses back to the left coast? The Gulf Coast doesn’t need any of your help.

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