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Gulf Drilling Disaster Triggers Scrutiny of Mediterranean Oil Rush

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Science  15 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6040, pp. 285
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6040.285

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Summary

Attracted by Italy's easygoing drilling regulations and low tax on oil extraction, dozens of companies have new plans for exploration and drilling in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. At a recent meeting, however, scientists, conservationists, and environmental activists warned that such efforts put several important biodiversity hot spots in danger. An oil disaster like the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for months, could easily ruin the Mediterranean ecology for a century or longer, some said.

  • * Laura Margottini is a writer in Orvieto, Italy.