Who's In Charge Here?

A supertanker fire off Texas shows how the U.S. remains ill-prepared for fighting oil spills

Between Corpus Christi, Texas, and Mobile, one of the world's most extensive petrochemical complexes attracts the heaviest concentration of oil-tanker traffic off any U.S. coast. The Exxon Valdez disaster, which dumped 11 million gal. of crude oil into Alaskan waters in March 1989 should have jolted the U.S. -- and the Gulf States in particular -- into preparations for coping with such devastating spills. Just how dismally they have failed was demonstrated last week when fires and explosions wracked the 886-ft. Mega Borg for seven days, 60 miles off Galveston. For a time the convulsions threatened to disgorge 38 million gal....

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