Hurricane vs. oil spill: Bet on the lawyers

The Associated Press (via Insurance Journal) had an answer of sorts to my query on what would happen if a hurricane passed over the oil-drenched patch of the Gulf: Good news! Well, sort of.

It quotes Ed Overton, an LSU professor who leads a federal chemical hazard assessment team for oil spills:

Hurricane season is fast approaching in June and experts are sure the oil will still be flowing by then. Though it might seem counterintuitive, a big storm could help by dispersing and diluting the worst of the oil, Overton said.

“A hurricane is Mother Nature’s vacuum cleaner,” Overton said. Normally it cleans things up. But that’s not a solution with a continuing spill.

Unfortunately, the article ends with that cliffhanger. I leave it to the reader to compare the AP’s dire accounts with yesterday’s (relatively) benign assessment from the New York Times.

Meanwhile, III’s Claire Wilkinson cites the Wall Street Journal: The lawyers are coming.

Update: More on the hurricane/oil spill interaction here.


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