Researchers debate oil spill remedy

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The oil industry maintains that dispersants should be part of routine response to deep-water blowouts. But in tests, Erik Cordes, a biologist at Temple, showed that an oil–dispersant mixture is highly toxic to deep-sea soft corals. “I don’t know where the trade-off lies,” he says. “But my gut and what I’ve seen in these experiments tells me I would rather the oil just go a little further and last a little longer than have the oil and dispersant causing that kind of damage.”