Carr Stirs the Pot

Dear Bay Weekly:

I recently read Steve Carr’s June 3 article titled “Big Oil: Big Mess.” It’s obvious he is a liberal zealot that can only resort to name-calling and racist remarks in regards to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and his associates.

How could you possibly publish something that represents someone’s disdain to the point of name-calling? Truth of the matter, you have a writer with a lack of respect for people.

Will he do the same to Gov. Martin O’Malley once that oil slick hits the Bay and O’Malley tries in all his efforts to do something to save our state? Probably not.

But the main issue here isn’t to name call or make accusatory remarks. What it should be is facing the issue that this Big Oil could be our Big Problem in the near future. The Chesapeake Bay could potentially get harmed once the oil hits the Gulf Stream. And what will we do then?

Name-calling is surely not what I’ll be concerned with. Steve needs to issue an apology to your readers and watch his touting of his political views.

–Jacqueline Quan, Lusby

Dear Bay Weekly:

Yet another disappointing article from Steve Carr. In his latest “Big Oil: Big Mess” piece in the June 3 edition, he attempts to make a point about the potential for a similar oil spill in the Bay; however, he plays fast and loose with the facts and with an alarmist twist, plays on the fears of the uninformed.

As a result of the Exxon Valdez disaster, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires tanker ships larger than 5,000 gross tons to have double hulls, reducing the potential for a rupture of the oil storage tanks.

Oil tankers do not routinely transit the Chesapeake Bay past Poplar Island. Cruise ships, cargo ships, automobile containers, barges and liquefied natural gas ships move goods and materials on the waterways of the Bay, and all pose a certain amount of risk. However, most of the four billion gallons of oil transported every year in the Chesapeake is done in barges smaller than 5,000 gross tons.

There are few major oil refineries in the Bay north of Yorktown, Virginia, or Piney Point, Maryland, that can accommodate a large oil tanker that he so colorfully described as hemorrhaging oil after running aground in a squall in the tricky shallows of Poplar Island.

The shoals in the vicinity of the Red 84 marker off Poplar Island are well documented and marked. Captains of company ships do not steam up the Bay without regard for their ship, crew, weather conditions or the continuation of their company and industry to engage in commerce. It would take much more than a summer squall along with the culmination of other events and conditions affecting the control of the ship to create such a calamity.

Mr. Carr is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. 

I was also disappointed that the Bay Weekly editor allowed the inclusion in the article of the slur referring to “every crazy idea” that Louisiana’s Gov. Jindal and his “Cajun crackers” can dream up. Mr. Carr may not be able to help but express his emotional frustrations by devolving to such lowly standards, but editors should consider filtering out such inflammatory statements.

–P. L. Gauthier, [email protected]