Is the US a Spillway?

 Posted by at 5:19 am  Politics
Apr 072013

As deliberations on the Keystone XL Pipeline continue, I was dismayed to learn of yet another oil spill from yet another effective pipeline.  Big Oil is demonstrating their inability to transport oil safely in pipelines, let alone clean up the mess.  They are content to make the US a spillway, but we cannot be.

7shellspillHuh. So maybe these pipelines are shoddy or poorly designed, since this is the third accident in a week. If only there was some kind of movement to keep these pipelines out of ecologically sensitive areas like the Gulf of Mexico! Oh, wait….

Thousands of gallons of oil have spilled from a pipeline in Texas, the third accident of its kind in only a week.

Shell Pipeline, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, shut down their West Columbia, Texas, pipeline last Friday after electronic calculations conducted by the US National Response Center showed that upwards of 700 barrels had been lost, amounting to almost 30,000 gallons of crude oil.

By Monday, Shell spokespeople said inspectors found “no evidence” of an oil leak, but days later it was revealed that a breach did occur. Representatives with the US Coast Guard confirmed to Dow Jones on Thursday that roughly 50 barrels of oil spilled from a pipe near Houston, Texas and entered a waterway that connects to the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Steven Lehman said that Shell had dispatched clean-up crews that were working hard to correct any damage to Vince Bayou, a small waterway that runs for less than 20 miles from the Houston area into a shipping channel that opens into the Gulf.

Y’all come on down and enjoy some of our oil-soaked shrimp!… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Big Oil continues to demonstrate that the industry cannot be trusted with the earth.  It’s the only one we have.


  22 Responses to “Is the US a Spillway?”

  1. Another reason to not allow the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed. How many more examples of Big Oil's incompetence does Washington need to force its eyes to open?

  2. "Big Oil continues to demonstrate that the industry cannot be trusted with the earth.  It’s the only one we have."  You are much politer than I would be – they have proved to be consistently mendacious – ie they are lying b*****ds!  I wouldn't trust any one of them to tell me what the weather is doing never mind with the safety of the environment!

  3. The keystone xl question is basically one of benefit versus cost.  We accept 30000 dead people per year from the use of the car because of its benefits to society.  Where is the benefit to keystone?  It is not our oil.  It will not be sold to us.  True, we will refine it, but then it will be sold overseas and the majority of the money will go back to Canada.  I see no benefit, just cost.

  4. Oil companies have been rapacious bastards from Standard Oil's filthy business practices onward. The saddest part is watching Republican lawmakers stand by grinning from ear to ear while their own damned constituents are dunked in leaking oil. They know the weak-minded teabaggers would support their own beheadings if the right-wing masters demanded it. Off with their heads!

  5. Representatives with the US Coast Guard confirmed to Dow Jones on Thursday that roughly 50 barrels of oil spilled from a pipe near Houston, Texas and entered a waterway that connects to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Profit at the expense of the environment and locally affected areas as well as consumers paying inflated prices at the pump. In addition, we consumers pay for the cost of clean up which the industry avoids at any cost i.e. Koch Bros…. :mrgreen:

  6. Tke a good look at the photos of the Arkansas pipeline break– and picture your neighborhood– it has happened, and will happen , again and again–

  7. There are multiple proposed pipelines coming to Manhattan NY – Spectra – and the Rockaway – are two among others – these are designed to bring the dirty frack gas to Manhattan, not only for internal use (and because of our poor ventilation in most apartments – is less capable of withstanding larger amounts of radon which this gas contains – which may effect most residents whose apartments are being retro-fitted for the new "dirty gas" – not to mention the history of not only leakage, but also explosions that are associated with these same pipelines throughout the US — in La Brea CA we had an explosion – if a similar one should occur in NYC – it could create a 15 block radi-us of damage – that could devastate any number of citizens – as well as property – this is an insane proposal already underway – these pipelines and this particular fracked gas is a potential death threat to many of us here in NY — but also those who live in the line of fire elsewhere – as witnessed by the 3 spills that occurred in the US just last week alone — we must demand a cease of oil for greed's sake at the risk of humanity and all living forms, not to mention that this is even more devastating to our carbon levels than are our fossil fuels – after the digs and after the potential lethal poisoning of our aquifers and after the slaughter of our wildlife and the deforestration that encompasses all of the "groundwork" for this enterprise – we are left with a relatively "clean" type of fuel – as far as burning it goes! We cannot allow this to happen — we are at a precipice re – global warming – allowing fracking will put us over the point of no return!

  8. sorry – when it comes to this subject I go ballistic! Thanks Tom for putting this out!



  9. Utah, Arkansas, and now Texas.  If I'm not mistaken, all Republican/Teabagger states.  How do state and federal politicians explain this to their constituents?

    I read further this week that the Arkansas spill, the very same spill that had 'oil' running down the streets of an Arkansas neighbourhood, was from a #9 type line spill similar to that mentioned in the following article from rabble,ca.. . . . an older crude oil line converted to be bitumen carrying, placing stresses on the line it was never made to withstand.


    Line 9 was built in 1976 and was designed to carry light crude oil. In July 2012, the National Energy Board (NEB) approved Enbridge's application to reverse the flow of the pipeline from Sarnia to Westover, Ontario, and is currently reviewing Enbridge's application to reverse the rest of the pipeline to Montreal. Crucially, the reversal isn't about the direction of the pipeline flow, but its contents: Enbridge is now openly seeking approval to transport tar sands dilbit from Alberta through Line 9. This raises multiple flags.

     First, Line 9 is a 37 years old pipeline and the risks of a spill are higher for dilbit pipelines (particularly old ones) as tar sands crude is more corrosive, and transported under higher heat and pressure. Moreover, if a spill occurs the impact of dilbit is more severe for health, water and land, as dilbit contains higher levels of toxic carcinogens, including naptha and benzene. In 2010, these risks were brought into sharp relief when Enbridge's Line 6B (originally constructed to transport light crude in 1969) ruptured spilling 20,000 barrels of dilbit into the Kalamzoo River in Michigan, a disaster that continues to have devastating impacts on surrounding communities and ecosystems. Most importantly however is the question of 'ethics' and how the Canadian state is responding to the apparent human rights and environmental crisis created by tar sands expansion.

    And from FDL . . .

    . . . Last week, DeSmogBlog noted that for example, Oneok is pushing a pipeline proposal that would bring oil and gas obtained via the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale down to “the pipeline crossroads of the world” in Cushing, OK, where it would be refined and sent further southward to Port Arthur, TX and then shipped off to the global export market.

    Now yet another key tar sands export pipeline is in the works, this one making a voyage to New England: the Enbridge Line 9 Reversal pipeline. . . . 

    To say the least, this whole tar sands issue is being rammed down the throats of Canadians and Americans by greedy oil companies and complicit politicians in both countries.

    • Dilbit — I didn't know what this was so I googled it.  From Wikipedia:

      Dilbit (diluted bitumen) is a means of transporting highly viscous hydrocarbon. Per the Alberta Oil Sands Bitumen Valuation Methodology, "Dilbit Blends" means "Blends made from heavy crudes and/or bitumens and a diluent usually condensate, for the purpose of meeting pipeline viscosity and density specifications, where the density of the diluent included in the blend is less than 800 kg/m3."  If the diluent density is greater than or equal to 800 kg/m3, the diluent is typically synthetic crude and accordingly the blend is called synbit.

      Read more

      If this whole deception of the tar sands doesn' get your knickers in a knot, nothing will.

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