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energy & nuclear | environment

is it raining oil in louisiana?

A videotape posted on the Russia Today news site shows an amateur cameraman filming oil-slicked streets in River Ridge, a suburb of New Orleans.
this story appeared today on raw story:

A videotape posted on the Russia Today news site shows an amateur cameraman filming oil-slicked streets in River Ridge, a suburb of New Orleans.

The camera pans across oil running down the streets and into storm drains. The videographer, who isn't identified at the RT Web site, describes it as "the same brown bubbly stuff we saw yesterday in the Gulf under the Bay St. Louis Bridge."

He continues: "You can see it. It's raining oil. It is literally raining oil in River Ridge. ... Is this not crazy, dude?"

Because oil generally doesn't evaporate, it shouldn't be possible, under normal circumstances, for it to rain down from the skies. But Charlie Paxton of the National Weather Service tells WTSP in Tampa that "a water spout could pick up some oil and carry it a short distance."//

Another possibility is that the dispersant BP has been using to thin the oil, Corexit, may have made some of it light enough to be absorbed in the atmosphere.

This skeptical article at Fast Company declares it "not likely" that it's raining oil, but it quotes the EU Times as stating that "when combined with the heating Gulf of Mexico waters, [Corexit's] molecules will be able to 'phase transition' from their present liquid to a gaseous state allowing them to be absorbed into clouds and allowing their release as toxic rain upon all of Eastern North America."

And the article also points to a report (PDF) from the newly-renamed federal Minerals Management Service which states that oil, if it's light enough, has been known to evaporate. "So it might be possible that oil is mixing with rain," Fast Company's Ariel Schwartz concedes.

"Worst case scenario? It's petroleum mixed with Corexit, the cancer-causing dispersant BP's spraying on its oil slick," writes ben Wojdyla at Jalopnik. "Best case scenario? Dirty roads."

see the original article and the video at:

 http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0623/videographer-raining-oil-louisiana/

VIGIL FOR THE OCEANS 24.Jun.2010 17:50

A Friend

VIGIL FOR THE OCEANS: A Contemplative Service of Healing Prayer
Sunday, June 27
5:00 p.m.
Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, 1535 N.E. 17th Avenue, Portland

Join us for communal prayer dedicated to the healing of our fragile oceans and those who depend upon them to sustain life. Candles, music and meditation will carry not only our grief but our prayers for guidance as we seek to become more faithful stewards and protectors of the gift of Creation.

The Vigil for Oceans is sponsored by Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, in partnership with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

See www.grace-memorial.org