BP spill only latest black mark in industry history

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Remember Mr. Short-Term Memory, played on several occasions by Tom Hanks on “Saturday Night Live” in the late-1980s and early ’90s? He couldn’t remember a thing he had seen just minutes before.

That’s kind of the way we are when it comes to the spilling of crude oil around our globe throughout the relatively short period in history oil has been pumped, spewed, piped or carried around the globe.

I have to include myself in this memory loss, for after researching the subject I was rather stunned by just how many times history has recorded man spilling black gold on the planet — and making a huge environmental mess.

While history still is in the process of recording the massive oil mess pouring into the Gulf of Mexico following an oil rig platform explosion off the coast of Louisiana, it is yet to be seen just how bad the problem is going to end up.

It’s safe to say, however, it’s going to be bad — for British Petroleum and for the United States and its fragile Gulf Coast.

But it’s hardly the first oil spill ... and may not even be the worst....

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