Kevin Costner, James Cameron, and Stephen Baldwin going the distance to clean up the Gulf
Kevin Costner is making a sequel to Waterworld and Stephen Baldwin is going to direct it—kinda. According to E! Online (via WWLTV) and AOLNews, Kevin Costner has come to the Gulf’s rescue with technology that could very well save the ecology of the region from the rust-colored oil tar currently riding the waves to the Louisiana coastline and marshes. While filming Waterworld in 1995, Costner—motivated by the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster—purchased technology from the government and sank $24 million of his own money into developing centrifugal oil separation machines. (The machines function like a vacuum to separate oil from water, purifying both in the process.) Oil separation is nothing new, but Costner’s technology, developed by Ocean Therapy Solutions, promises to not only work faster than machines that are already in place, but also extract clean, unpolluted water that's up to 97 percent pure (according to figures from the video below) as well as filter out reusable oil, reducing the damage done to Earth’s two most prized resources by the Deepwater Horizon spill. The company is currently at work improving their technology’s purifying capacity to 100 percent.
One of the six machines approved by BP for testing in the the Gulf can filter up to 200 gallons of water a minute, which is reportedly 50 gallons more than the rate at which the oil is gushing into the ocean. The plan is for the machines to be taken out on barges with tanks attached to the machines’ pipes to store the collected oil. Still, while Costner was in Louisiana last week demonstrating the effectiveness of his machine, BP had yet to approve its testing (BP waited until Tuesday of this week), even while they were contemplating such “last resort” methods as shooting golf balls and tire shreds into the oil leak.
According to the E! Online report, two more well-known filmmakers are also offering their assistance: James Cameron has offered up the submersibles used to shoot Titanic and the documentaries Ghosts Of The Abyss and Expedition: Bismarck to the crews trying to stopper the underwater geyser, and Robert Redford, well, appeared in a commercial.
Finally, yet another filmmaker is getting in on the oil spill action, though one considerably less lauded: Stephen Baldwin, SyFy staple and embarrassment to Alec, is at work producing a documentary on the oil spill and the role Costner’s technology may play in the clean-up. Of course, given Baldwin’s bankruptcy of late, it’s amazing he’s financing anything at all, let alone a film. Has the Internet already restored Stephen Baldwin?