Bren Professor's Gulf-Oil-Spill Comments on Local News

April 30, 2010

Bren School professor of environmental and natural-resource economics Charles Kolstad appeared on television news yesterday, in a story that local station KEYT 3 ran about the Gulf oil spill.

More than 200,000 gallons of crude oil have been released into the Gulf of Mexico every day since an April 20 explosion destroyed the BP-owned offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.

Kolstad described the spill as "not good," but recalled that a similar spill in Santa Barbara in 1969 is credited with having initiated the modern environmental movement.

He also expressed concern over the impact the spill could have on pending climate-change legislation now before the U.S. Senate. The Obama administration offered increased offshore drilling as part of compromise legislation, but in light of this new oil disaster, Kolstad said, offshore drilling will be put on hold, perhaps stalling the legislation.

Eleven oil workers are missing and presumed dead following the explosion, while the spill, which is five times greater than first thought, threatens to become one of the worst ever. The oil is making land now, where it is expected to wreak environmental havoc on some three hundred miles of Gulf coastline, including the Mississippi Delta, home to 40 percent of U.S. wetlands and a national treasure of biodiversity.

Watch the TV news report.