Saturday, February 04, 2006

Stranded Alaska Oil Ship Rescued

No obvious damage was done, but even so, this is a bit alarming:
Stranded Alaska oil ship rescued
BBC Bews - Friday, 3 February 2006, 23:41 GMT

A laden oil tanker that ran aground on the Alaskan coast after being struck by a fast-moving ice floe has been refloated, the US Coast Guard says.

Tug boats used high tides to steer the Seabulk Pride away from the beach in Nikisi where it got stuck on Thursday.

"The ship is once again a ship rather than a beach ornament," an official reportedly said, adding that there was no sign of oil leaking from the vessel.

The ship was at port, taking on a load of oil. The ice flow pushed the 575 ft. ship a few hundred yards along the shore, before the ship came to rest in some silt. Obviously, the ice floe was moving with considerable force.

This illustrates one of the hazards that global warming is going to cause, and may give rise to doubts about our energy security. It also calls into question the wisdom of attempting to drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. I imagine that when the permafrost starts to melt, the ground will become unstable, threatening the integrity of all the drilling equipment.

Personally, I don't care if the oil companies take a huge loss, but I do care about what this kind of incident could do the the environment.

I know I've harped on this before, but wouldn't it be a better idea to invest in renewable energy sources, located in the USA? Wouldn't it enhance our security to have thousands of small generators distributed thoughout the country, so that no single disruption can cause a widespread power outage?