Actor Kevin Costner invented an oil separator machine with collaborators, and lobbied hard for investors for years, but fell short.
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was Costner’s initial inspiration. Costner tells CNN and other news sources it seemed no one thought oil spills would ever happen again.
Now Costner’s shelved oil/water separating machine has BP testing it.
According to CNN, CBS and ABC, Costner spent years and over $20 million of his own money into developing the centrifuge which allegedly separates oil from water and dump the oil into a holding tank, leaving the water 99 percent clean of crude, 200 gallons at a minute.
Costner spoke on Good Morning America” of the effects Valdez had on him initially:
“When I saw everyone on the shore with rubber boots and pitch fork, trying to clean up the problem that they didn’t create, you know, the images of the birds, it was all very sad,” Costner told ABC News. “So I went ahead and said, ‘does this have to happen?'”
Costner started Costner Industries, and bought the patent for the technology.
The devices, which can be taken to the spill site via barges, come in different sizes. The largest can clean water at a rate of 200 gallons per minute, according to the firm.
According to ABC, Costner and representatives of Ocean Therapy Solutions, the firm that developed the machine, brought the device for BP officials in New Orleans last month to investigate.
Costner’s publicist said the initial failure of the test of the machine was due to the “peanut butter-like thickness” due to the after-effects of the dispersants. “The machines were then adjusted to handle the thick consistency, and now they work as intended,” according to ABC’s report.
Costner told CNN and ABC for 12 years he’s been up against oil companies’ lack of interest in his and other technologies.
“It may seem like an unlikely scenario that I am the one delivering this technology at this moment in time, but from where I’m sitting, it is equally inconceivable that these machines are not already in place,” Costner told Congress last week.
“It represents maybe an opportunity for an industry to go back to work. If we can show that there’s a responsible answer to an inevitable problem,” Costner said.
BP had reportedly ordered 32 of the Costner machines.
Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.