Americans would pay small fee to prevent another oil spill, study finds

Apr 25, 2017, 5:15 AM
In this April 21, 2010, aerial file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexic...
In this April 21, 2010, aerial file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

PHOENIX — More than seven years ago, nearly 140 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and causing an environmental crisis that still continues today.

According to a new study authored by a Arizona State University professor, the value of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is billions more than what was originally thought.

Kerry Smith, an Arizona State University professor and one of the study’s authors, said the study found “households in the United States would be willing to pay at least $17.2 billion to avoid another oil spill.”

Smith and 19 other researchers developed a survey from more than 10,000 interviews over the course of five years to estimate the value of the natural environment if there was no spill.

One of the goals of the study was to “assess how people evaluate harm to the natural environment as an asset, that we all collectively own,” Smith said.

The survey asked participants a hypothetical question: If a referendum were placed on a ballot to develop this program and prevent a similar spill, but your taxes would increase, how would you vote?

The result? The households surveyed said they would be willing to pay a one-time $153 tax to prevent another oil spill.

Smith said the survey found that Americans put a very conservative value on what they believe the natural resources destroyed by the oil spill are worth.

“The average person [believes] that natural assets are extremely important,” Smith said. “They care about them, they want them protected and they are prepared to pay to do that.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Shutterstock Photo)...

U.S. Dept. of Energy approves funds for Arizona’s updated Weatherization Assistance Plan

The U.S. Department of Energy recently approved the Arizona Department of Housing’s updated Weatherization Assistance Program plan.
5 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Torrence Dunham)...

Maricopa County to host job fair at Chase Field in February

Maricopa County is scheduled to host the 2023 Career Fair & Community Expo on Feb. 15 at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.
5 hours ago
Jason Derulo performs a concert during Day Two of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harve...
Wills Rice

Jason Derulo, The Black Keys to headline NFL Super Bowl Tik Tok Tailgate

Fans of early 2000s and 2010s music in the Valley can rejoice as some hit artists come to Phoenix for a Super Bowl party.
5 hours ago
The American Lung Association report criticizes Arizona’s failure to tax electronic cigarettes. (...
Jeremy Yurow | Cronkite News

Arizona falls short in annual Lung Association tobacco report card

Arizona lags behind in policies that prevent and reduce tobacco use, according to the American Lung Association’s latest report.
5 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation photo)...
Associated Press

Should federal grants be in favor of highway repair over expansion?

Advocates for highway construction are concerned their projects are getting shortchanged in the competition for grant money under the new infrastructure law.
1 day ago
(Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 27-29

Arizona Republicans elected Jeff DeWit as their new party chair and an arrest was made in the Scottsdale Molotav cocktail incidents. Here are the weekend's biggest stories.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Americans would pay small fee to prevent another oil spill, study finds