or about two-thirds of U.S. total transportation energy, diesel fuels power most of our goods movement, and most international containerized cargoes are delivered by ships -- the largest vehicles ever built.
"Energy resources offshore are being explored because each of us petroleum consumers is demanding more," Corbett says.
The website also may help us decide how to reduce risks of future oil spills.
"Drilling this exploratory well by the Deepwater Horizon was an extremely high-risk proposition," Corbett says. "At $75 per barrel of crude oil, the oil spilled would have been worth about $90 million in terms of spill oil value if extracted for refining. Some experts are now estimating damages from the spill to exceed $10 billion. That's a potential 100 to 1 loss, given the spill damage-to-value ratio."
Corbett's research collaborations focus on ways to improve the energy performance of transportation systems using ships, trucks, trains, and other vehicles. There are ways to reduce the need for offshore oil drilling, Corbett says:
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- If we improve automobile fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg), as proposed by the current administration, we would offset demand equivalent to the gasoline energy lost by 199 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
- If we add only 2 mpg to the fuel economy for trucks, as proposed by the Union of Concerned Scientists, we would offset diesel-driven energy demand equivalent to 12 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
- Rebalancing how we transport goods would achieve substantial energy savings. A shift from truck to rail for specific commodities/routes would require about 20 percent of the energy per ton-mile compared to trucking. Achieving this would require an investment in infrastructure and green logistics to facilitate intermodal combinations of trucking and rail rather than treating the modes as competitors.
- Shifting passengers from single-occupant cars t
. Prolonged respiratory problems for oil spill clean-up volunteers2
. First wind turbines on Galapagos Islands will halve diesel imports, reduce risk of future oil spills3
. Cleaning up oil spills can kill more fish than spills themselves, say Queens biologists4
. Arctic governments and industry still unprepared for oil spills 20 years after Exxon Valdez5
. The Prestige oil spill caused changes in the cell structure of mussels6
. Microbes in mud flats clean up oil spill chemicals7
. Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico nears the coast8
. Spill Central at University of Miami9
. Caution required for Gulf oil spill clean-up10
. Envisat monitors oil spill proximity to Loop Current11
. NASA deploys planes, targets satellites to aid in oil spill response