Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chinese Oil Spill Grows

While much of the world's attention remains fixed on the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, another oil spill is destroying sea life on the other side of the globe.

A Chinese oil pipeline has been spewing crude oil into China's Yellow Sea for five days now, as the Associated Press reports:

China's largest reported oil spill had more than doubled by Wednesday, closing beaches on the Yellow Sea and prompting an environmental official to warn the sticky black crude posed a "severe threat" to sea life and water quality.

Some workers trying to clean up the inky beaches wore little more than rubber gloves, complicating efforts, one official said. But 40 oil-control boats and hundreds of fishing boats were also deployed in the area.

"I've been to a few bays today and discovered they were almost entirely covered with dark oil," said Zhong Yu, a worker with the environmental group Greenpeace China, who spent Wednesday on a boat inspecting the spill.

"The oil is half-solid and half liquid and is as sticky as asphalt," she told The Associated Press.

The oil was spread over 165 square miles (430 square kilometers) of water five days since a pipeline at a busy northeastern port exploded.

The Chinese government-controlled media has stated that no more oil is leaking into the Yellow Sea, yet outside observers maintain that the oil slick is continuing to grow.