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Posted Wed May 26 2010: from National Geographic:
Gulf Coast Pipelines Face Damage as Oil Kills Marshes
A vast network of pipes and platforms is woven into these wetlands, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill could literally expose them to potential ruptures and wreckage, experts say. If oil kills off marsh plants, wetlands will turn to open water, putting the shallowly buried coastal pipelines at risk of ships strikes, storms, and corrosive salt water. Each rip means more leaking oil, costly repairs and replacements, and in some cases, new wetland-restoration projects.... About 26,420 miles (42,520 kilometers) of onshore oil and natural gas pipelines snake through coastal counties between Mobile Bay (map), Alabama, and Galveston (map), Texas, according to Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.... What's more, the Gulf coastline has been literally sinking as fossil fuels are pumped out of the earth, according to the Gulf research institute. And as the coast sinks, sea level rises--submerging and killing off marshes, according to the USGS.... Add the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and you've got a "perfect storm of wetlands loss," Harte Research Institute director Larry McKinney said in an email.
[Read more stories about: unintended consequences, oil issues, wetlands]

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'Doc Jim says:
Glad the oil companies saved us all that money finding the cheapest way to feed our addiction.

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