How to clean up the Gulf oil spill: Kevin Costner, toxic dispersants, and pantyhose

It’s clear that BP is over their head — literally — when it comes to the Gulf oil spill.  They’ve had some success siphoning the oil as it leaks out, but cleaning up the crude already in the Gulf is more of a challenge.   BP has been using Corexit dispersants to break up the oil, but the EPA recently decided the toxic dispersants were, um, too toxic.  This was after 600,000 gallons of the chemicals had already been used.

While BP fumbles with some rather primitive solutions, Kevin Costner has arrived to save the day.  Now we can burn the oil, siphon it off with a mile-long pipe, drop a giant crate around it… or we could try this machine that, you know, sucks up the oil and spits out clean water.

The NYT reports that Costner bought the technology from the government fifteen years ago and spent $24 million of his own money developing it.  Working with his brother, a scientist, he founded Ocean Therapy Solutions.  His company produces machines that can separate up to 210,000 gallons of oil from the water a day.  BP has approved testing of several of these devices.  My only question: Where were you three weeks ago?

This isn’t the only innovative way to clean up oil.  A few days ago, Inhabitat featured five green ways to clean up the oil spill.  The ideas range from peat moss to pantyhose, and they all seem better than toxic chemicals.


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