Use Bacteria to Clean Up Toxic Oil Spills


Target: James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Senator and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Goal: Use the power of bacteria to clean up oil spills and protect wildlife from harm.

It was recently discovered that when bacterial flora has the right nutrients added to it, the bacteria are able to easily break apart spilled oil. Since drilling for oil is unlikely to stop anytime soon, such capsules could be a great help when an oil cleanup is needed.

Scandinavia’s largest independent research organization, SINTEF (Stiftelsen for industriell og teknisk forskning), made this discovery when doing research on oil that comes from the Norwegian shelf. The researchers feel that if large capsules with the right type of bacteria and nutrients could be made, they would automatically attach themselves onto rocks along the shoreline and help to much more effectively clean up oil after a major spill.

While doing more research on and making such capsules is likely to be expensive, such projects should be paid for by the oil companies who drill in ocean waters. After all, if they are going to insist on destroying the environment, they should play a much bigger part in cleaning it up.

Sign this petition and tell government officials it is important to develop and utilize such capsules. When ocean waters are not cleaned up quickly enough after an oil spill, many more animals die; capsules filled with good nutrient-filled bacteria could be just the key to saving many more innocent lives.


Dear Senator Inhofe,

A major independent research center learned that when the correct supplements are added to bacterial flora, the bacteria are able to play a crucial role in helping to cleanup oil after a spill. Although drilling for oil probably won’t stop anytime soon, such capsules could greatly help to mitigate a mess after an oil spill disaster.

SINTEF, Scandanavia’s biggest independent research center, found this to be the case when they added nutrients to bacteria specifically used to clean up oil in the ocean. They surmise that if large capsules could be made and filled with the right type of bacteria, these capsules would attach themselves to rocks along the shoreline and greatly help to clean up a major oil spill. Oil companies should fund the research, development and distribution of such capsules, as it is these companies that are doing damage to ocean waters and the surrounding environment.

For all of these reasons, I urge you to encourage scientists to develop and utilize such capsules and to further support oil companies being required to pay for their development and placement in ocean waters after an oil spill occurs. If we are going to continue to drill for oil, it is imperative we have more methods in place to better clean up in the face of a disaster.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Dahlia88

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