For years, film buffs have been lampooning actor Kevin Costner for his 1995 flop Waterworld. However, Costner has also given us good movies such as the unforgettable 1987 film The Untouchables. He was even able to make JFK watchable, a 1991 film by Marxist propagandist Oliver Stone. Like most actors his career is riddled with ups and downs, however, unlike other celebrities instead of preaching down to us from a Hollywood mansion, he leads by example by actually doing something constructive.
While British Petroleum and our own federal government appear to have been completely unprepared for the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it appears that Costner is the only one who learned something from the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident. Sure, he could be appearing in commercials advocating clean energy like Robert Redford, instead he has been putting his own money into research that will help clean up oil spills.
Costner began putting money towards cleanup research during the filming of Waterworld and has since put about $24 million towards finding a way to clean oil spills fast and efficiently. The efforts culminated in centrifugal oil separators which will soon be put to work. Costner’s attorney John Houghtaling describes the machines to the LA Times:
“The machines are essentially like big vacuum cleaners, which sit on barges and suck up oily water and spin it around at high speed. On one side, it spits out pure oil, which can be recovered. The other side spits out 99% pure water.”
This must make us wonder, if a Hollywood celebrity can fund such a helpful endeavor why can’t a company like BP? We have a wonderful natural resource surrounding our country but it is just appalling that this spill has gotten so far out of hand. Houghtaling continues:
“We could have as many as 26 machines dispatched throughout the gulf. Our largest machine is 112 inches high, weighs 2 ½ tons and cleans 210,000 gallons a day of oily water. We are hoping to have 10 machines that size out there — meaning we could potentially clean 2 million gallons of oil water a day.”
Fellow actor Stephen Baldwin is currently producing a documentary about the oil spill and Costner’s machines. It will be interesting to see them in action. At this point, we hope that Costner can show our government and BP a thing or two about how to apply resources properly.
What else can we say, sometimes celebrities get it right.