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Millions Of Barrels Of Oil Safely Reach Port In Major Environmental Catastrophe

excerpted from The Onion, August 12, 2010:

In what may be the greatest environmental disaster in the nation's history, the supertanker TI Oceania docked without incident at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Monday and successfully unloaded 3.1 million barrels of dangerous crude oil into the United States.

...Vast amounts of the black, toxic petroleum in the ship's hold were unloaded at an alarming rate into special storage containers on the mainland.

From there, experts confirmed, the oil will likely spread across the entire country's infrastructure and commit unforetold damage to its lakes, streams, and air.

"We're looking at a crisis of cataclysmic proportions," said Charles Hartsell, an environmental scientist at Tufts University. "In a matter of days, this oil may be refined into a lighter substance that, when burned as fuel in vehicles, homes, and businesses, will poison the earth's atmosphere on a terrifying scale."

"Time is of the essence," Hartsell added. "If this is allowed to continue, the health of every American could be put at risk."

Officials predicted that the oil could be carried as far north as Minneapolis and as far west as Honolulu. Hopes of containment are said to be scant, as the pipelines transporting the oil are numerous, massive, and buried deep underground, making it virtually impossible to dig them all up and reverse their flow back toward the TI Oceania.

"Our fear is that we'll start seeing this stuff in tanker trucks headed to gas stations all over America," Environmental Protection Agency official Ralph Linney said. "And once they start pumping it into individual cars for combustion, it's all over."

"How can we possibly contain this after it's spread to 250 million vehicles, each one going in a different direction?" he added.

Experts are saying the oil tanker safely reaching port could lead to dire ecological consequences on multiple levels, including rising temperatures, disappearing shorelines, the eradication of countless species, extreme weather events, complete economic collapse, droughts that surpass the Dust Bowl, disease, wildfires, widespread human starvation, and endless, bloody wars fought over increasingly scarce resources.