March 12, 2006

250,000 Gallons of Oil

That's how much oil leaked out of a British Petroleum pipeline last week on the North Slope before oil company officials discovered it. The spill covers over 2 acres of fragile tundra with the thick sludge. It's the largest oil spill in the history of Alaska's north slope oil production.

Read more about it here.

What blows my mind is that every drilling proponent I have ever spoken with does nothing but sing the praises of "low-impact, modern drilling technology." What a crock of bull. Let's run down the oil industry's track record with respect to spills on Alaska's north slope, shall we?

  • The Prudhoe Bay oil fields and Trans-Alaska Pipeline have caused an average of 504 spills ANNUALLY on the North Slope since 1996, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Forty different toxic substances, from acid to waste oil, have been spilled during routine operations.
  • There were 4,532 spills between 1996 and 2004 totalling more than 1.9 million gallons of toxic substances, most commonly diesel, crude oil, and hydraulic oil.
And I haven't even touched on their other illustrious legacies:

  • Prudhoe Bay air pollution emissions have been detected nearly 200 miles away in Barrow, Alaska.
  • The oil industry on Alaska's North Slope annually emits approximately 70,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, the main component of smog and acid rain. This is more than twice the amount emitted by the city of Washington, DC, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
And just to rub salt in the wound, there's this bit of news. Please, please, PLEASE call, email or write your congressional delegation and tell them that you will NOT vote for them if they do not vote against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!!!!

On a more pleasant note, Sonja and I took the dogs for a swim over at 4th of July Creek, on the other side of the bay.

While there, we were able to admire some of these: While we took a stick and poked at one of these:
Then picked up one of these:
Thought these looked pretty neat:
All while letting Harvey and Luna do this:
It was a good morning.

1 comment:

Akiva M said...

Hey Paul, I think you ripped this blog post off a guy I know who posts over on *grin*

Nice to see you back in action