Waterworld Meets BP Spill

Still from Waterworld.

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Kevin Costner, best known for his role in Bull Durham (or Dances with Wolves, or Waterworld, depending on whom you ask), will appear before a House panel today to discuss the need for research and development of technologies to clean up oil spills, in light of the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

At first blush, it might seem rather strange to invite Costner to this hearing, rather than, I don’t know, one of the 92,000 members of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. But Costner has invested $24 million in oil-spill technology over the last 15 years. And yes, 15 years ago was when the post-apocalypse epic Waterworld was released. The research he funded for Ocean Therapy Solutions has created a centrifuge that can separate oil from water (see a demonstration here). In fact, his solution seems a lot more credible than some of the bizarre ideas we’ve heard from BP in the past seven weeks, a company that clearly was not prepared to deal with this catastrophe. Costner, meanwhile, has been preparing for this for years. BP approved the device last month for use in the Gulf.

I’ll be live-Tweeting from this morning’s hearing, which you can follow here:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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