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Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 05:28 PM
[We already know more about the evils of fracking and pushing tar sands oil through pipelines than we knew forty years ago when the seeds of Exxon Valdez were planted. So why is this stuff even a question. We absolutely know that fracking and tar sands are destroying water resourses and all the land they touch. As we destroy the world we are like teens who won't use condoms and then are surprised at pregnancies and STDs.]

Published on Sunday, March 23, 2014 by the Seattle Times

Promises Broken by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, 25 Years Later

As we mark the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska on March 24, recall the history of previous industry promises made and broken

by Richard Steiner

AS we mark the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska on March 24, recall the history of previous industry promises made and broken. That troubled past should help inform the future of energy policy for Arctic offshore drilling, tar-sands and oil-shale pipelines.

The typical oil-spill message from industry and government is that the risk of a catastrophic spill is small, government oversight will be rigorous, any spill will be promptly cleaned up and environmental harm will be minimal and short-term.

History tells a different story.

Seeking approval to build the Trans Alaska Pipeline in the early 1970s, industry and government promised that oil would be shipped safely from Alaska, and not one drop would be spilled. The public and environment would be protected by double-hulled tankers, a fail-safe tanker-tracking system, state-of-the-art spill-response capability and the watchful eye of government. Soon after approval was granted, all these promises were abandoned.

On March 24, 1989, the single-hulled tanker Exxon Valdez grounded in Prince William Sound, causing, at the time, the nation’s worst oil spill. Millions of gallons of oil spread across Alaska’s coastal ocean, contaminating 1,300 miles of shoreline, and killing millions of seabirds, marine mammals, fish and other organisms. An Alaska Native elder referred to the spill as “the day the water died.” So much for not one drop.

Twenty-five years later, the injured environment has still not fully recovered. In fact, only 13 of the 32 fish and wildlife populations, habitats and resources monitored by the government are listed today as “recovered” or “very likely recovered.” Some, such as herring, pigeon guillemots and the AT1 orca whale pod, are still listed as “not recovering.”

The AT1 orca pod declined after the spill from 22 to just 7 whales, and has yet to birth a new calf. The government concludes that, for this unique group of whales, “there appears to be no hope for recovery,” and the population “will likely become extinct.”

There are still thousands of gallons of Valdez oil in beach sediments, which the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council representing state and federal governments says is “nearly as toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill,” and will take “decades and possibly centuries to disappear entirely.”

Government litigation with Exxon, now Exxon Mobil, remains unresolved as the company refuses to pay the government’s final $92 million claim presented in 2006 for unanticipated ecological damage, making this now the longest-lasting environmental litigation in history. So much for short-term effects.

Five months before the 2009 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, representatives of the oil industry and government regulators assured Congress that offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was perfectly safe, and the existing regulatory regime was sufficient.

Based on such assurances, President Obama announced an expansion of offshore drilling, declaring that “oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills.” Three weeks later, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, causing the largest accidental oil spill in history.

And now, with the rush to drill in the Arctic Ocean and to build new tar-sands and oil-shale pipelines and terminals, we hear the same old empty promises. Shell’s 2012 Arctic drilling fiasco, in which one drilling rig ran aground and both rigs were deemed unfit for service, shows the same pattern of betrayed promises.

Clearly, hoping for the best and rolling the dice is no longer acceptable.

If we care about a coastal area, we should not expose it to the risk of oil development. Spills will occur, they can’t be cleaned up, they can cause long-term damage and restoration is impossible.

Where we do continue to produce and transport oil, it should be done with the highest possible safety standards, regardless of cost. We need to use oil much more efficiently and stop wasting it.

Above all, we urgently need to kick our hydrocarbon habit and transition to a sustainable society.

Copyright © 2014 Rick Steiner

Chip-skiff
03-23-2014, 05:41 PM
1. Oil companies lie.

2. Oil companies cheat.

3. Oil companies steal.

4. The oil company executives penalized for lying, cheating, and stealing are so few that it's not perceived as a risk.

Bob Adams
03-23-2014, 05:47 PM
1. Oil companies lie.

2. Oil companies cheat.

3. Oil companies steal.

4. The oil company executives penalized for lying, cheating, and stealing are so few that it's not perceived as a risk.

5. Are so poor they need government assistance.:o

Chip-skiff
03-23-2014, 05:50 PM
The same list applies pretty well to members of congress.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 06:40 PM
Above all, we urgently need to kick our hydrocarbon habit and transition to a sustainable society.

Copyright © 2014 Rick Steiner

Not, possible.

What we can do is think of oil as a strategic resource that at our present rate of consumption is unaffordable and strips our descendants of it's many other uses as we burn it up.

I gotta say as heinous as large spills are there is much greater environmental cost to using oil for it's intended purpose.

CWSmith
03-23-2014, 06:48 PM
Big oil is not REQUIRED to keep its word. They have the population living in fear and the politicians in their pocket. Of the two, the first is the most troubling.

Phillip Allen
03-23-2014, 06:58 PM
... so what?... Obama can't keep HIS word

Bob Adams
03-23-2014, 07:03 PM
... so what?... Obama can't keep HIS word

What in the name of God does that have to do with the subject of this thread?

Phillip Allen
03-23-2014, 07:10 PM
What in the name of God does that have to do with the subject of this thread?

the subject is not keepling one's word... LYING

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 07:19 PM
Actually, the subject is big oil not keeping its word. That why in my editorial preface I mentioned fracking and tar sands.

Phillip Allen
03-23-2014, 07:22 PM
moving the goal posts after the 'game' has started... I didn't write the thread title and that is one of the arguments frequently used on me when one of my threads is hijacked

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 07:27 PM
Another total bull evasion, Phillip. Next time someone tries to hijack one of your threads, deal with it there . . . if it is a real hijacking, given how often you start something like the bit on "Global Warming Fancy" with a pack of lies and when called on it you can't even face the truth of being wrong. Being called on bull is not hijacking. What you have tried here is. You're the one trying to "move the goal post" here.

Phillip Allen
03-23-2014, 07:30 PM
Another total bull evasion, Phillip. Next time someone tries to hijack one of your threads, deal with it there . . . if it is a real hijacking, given how often you start something like the bit on "Global Warming Fancy" with a pack of lies and when called on it you can't even face the truth of being wrong. Being called on bull is not hijacking. What you have tried here is. You're the one trying to "move the goal post" here.

speaking of 'bull evasion'...

bit oil lies... Obama lies... so what? the same game of double standards again?

BTW... I learned the 'fancy' word from YOU

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 07:37 PM
No double standard. When I am on a thread opposing Obama's drone policy for example, I'm clear. I don't try to say Obama is worse or the same or less than Palestinians and Israelies lobbing missles at each other since that's not relevant there. Same here. Lots of people lie in lots of different circumstances. In this thread, I'm dealing with big oil's over century and a half of lying.

I take you seriously enough to try, Phillip. Perhaps that's wrong.

Phillip Allen
03-23-2014, 07:39 PM
I see a double standard... where is the outrage when other's lie that you ordinarily support

is there a thread on the Democrat politician who resigned after the IRS raded his office and home?

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 07:51 PM
Make a thread. I'm pretty sure you don't hold big oil in the same affection you hold for WalMart so inventing cockamaimmy diversions here is really wasted. But it you think big oil has a case in all this, present it.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 08:01 PM
Oh Christ Phillip why are you drawing fire on yourself?

Try this argument if the characterization of oil and gas industry lying bugs you, it does me btw.

The problem is people's expectation that oil and gas extraction and use can somehow be pollution and risk free. That our consumption of these fuels can be had without consequence. That the Oil and Gas industry will have higher priorities than delivering a product at a profit. The contractual obligations, "promises", of the O&G industry is not to protect the environment but to deliver a product at a profit within the regulations defined by gov't.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 08:02 PM
Actually, the subject is big oil not keeping its word. That why in my editorial preface I mentioned fracking and tar sands.

What "word"?

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 08:05 PM
From the OP,

Seeking approval to build the Trans Alaska Pipeline in the early 1970s, industry and government promised that oil would be shipped safely from Alaska, and not one drop would be spilled. The public and environment would be protected by double-hulled tankers, a fail-safe tanker-tracking system, state-of-the-art spill-response capability and the watchful eye of government. Soon after approval was granted, all these promises were abandoned.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 08:15 PM
That's right Lee. As much as you hate to admit it, we need to figure out how to produce our goods closer to where they are consumed, and learn to move them with electric motors.

When it gets right down to it, the highest, best use of gasoline is in chainsaws.

I didn't know I hated to admit that. My $.02 is that the use of oil to transport goods is a great use of oil but using oil to move millions of singular individuals in 4000lbs of vehicle is the place where we waste most of it. There are a lot of goods that simply can't be made locally so shipping a pallet of olive oil or a pallet of computers across the country makes sense.

George Jung
03-23-2014, 08:26 PM
I hadn't realized the Koch brothers have nearly 2 million acres of 'tar sands' under contract in Canada. And suddenly, (in terms of why folks in Congress are so damned anxious to run Keystone down our throats) all becomes clear.

elf
03-23-2014, 08:28 PM
That's right Lee. As much as you hate to admit it, we need to figure out how to produce our goods closer to where they are consumed, and learn to move them with electric motors.

When it gets right down to it, the highest, best use of gasoline is in chainsaws.
Not really. The highest, best use of hydrocarbons is in plectra for harpsichords, and in medical applications, especially all the various little parts and pieces which we've learned to use to repair hearts and lungs and other body parts.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 08:37 PM
From the OP,

Seeking approval to build the Trans Alaska Pipeline in the early 1970s, industry and government promised that oil would be shipped safely from Alaska, and not one drop would be spilled. The public and environment would be protected by double-hulled tankers, a fail-safe tanker-tracking system, state-of-the-art spill-response capability and the watchful eye of government. Soon after approval was granted, all these promises were abandoned.

Oh come on, any human activity has risks, a politician or salesman might promise the moon but there is absolutely no way you can transport millions of barrels of oil from point A to point B and not spill a drop. That is simply an unrealistic standard. It would be like saying you can have the privilege of driving a vehicle on public roads but your car cannot emit any pollutants, your tires cannot leave rubber dust and aerosolized particles that can wash into the watershed.

O&G like other industries has to update best practices as gov't mandates but focusing on spills as the greatest pollution threat associated with the use of oil and gas really misses the forest for the trees.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 08:42 PM
I hadn't realized the Koch brothers have nearly 2 million acres of 'tar sands' under contract in Canada. And suddenly, (in terms of why folks in Congress are so damned anxious to run Keystone down our throats) all becomes clear.

KeystoneXL is becoming irrelevant. Some folks want to push for it because someone else is against it. Koch will do well with or without KeystoneXL. If it wasn't Koch it would be Alpha Beta Charley and sons.

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 08:43 PM
LeeG, as you know, I'm sure, the Exxon Valdez accident stemmed from dropping almost all the safety practices - manning, lead and chase tugs, etc. - that were part of the EIS in setting up the port. As the story points out. the institutions of big oil and the federal and state governments broke the promices on which they built the port. The Exxon Valdez was not the small risk result of following proceedures. It was the guarenteed outcome of violating the terms of operation -- with the blessing of the powers of the time.

LeeG
03-23-2014, 09:17 PM
Ian, my beef is focusing on "Big Oil" as some evil entity. You might as well include farming, pharmaceutical and electronic industries.

Big Oil is shrinking in relation to the national oil companies in the world as their production and reserves are declining.

Fracking and tar sands extraction are as inevitable as picking the last apples on a tree than leaving them for the birds.

That they are relatively new and nearby as opposed to oil imported from parts of the world where environmental oversight doesn't exist makes the consequences of our consumption a bit more relevant, I see that as a good thing.

Ian McColgin
03-23-2014, 09:26 PM
As anyone reading this Forum knows, I have plenty of beefs with corporate agribusiness and pharmaceuticals. I've not so often mentioned the interesting experience of trying to unionize electronic manufacturing workers or exposing illegal solvent dumping by those manufacturers, but they are certainly among the galexy of villins.

In "The Guardian" the Kostner charactor is asked how he chooses who to save and he responds that it's easy, who ever is first. Same with organizing and desling with evil in our world. There's plenty more than anyone can deal with so we go into conflict where ever we are when it happens. Can't fight every fight and while some are clearly trivial, there are more significant issues than any person can deal with, so I personally respect anyone fighting for freedom on any front, doesn't have to be where I am.

Phillip Allen
03-23-2014, 10:46 PM
Make a thread. I'm pretty sure you don't hold big oil in the same affection you hold for WalMart so inventing cockamaimmy diversions here is really wasted. But it you think big oil has a case in all this, present it.

heck... I don't even hold wm in affection... your double standards won't get by without being called on though

while you are B****ing about wm you are leaving Target, K-Mart and many others alone. When you try to compare Wal Mart to cosco... you are comparing apples and oranges... cosco is a wholesale/bulk company... if you want to compare them to a wm intity... compare cosco to Sam's Club... but you won't cecause the difference dissappears

LeeG
03-24-2014, 06:14 AM
Ok Ian, I found some comedy that is somewhat related to the topic, it's a new GOP ad targeting millennials. It features a fellow filling his gas tank explaining why he's a Republican and how regulations are keeping his friends from getting jobs, in another skit he says "I shouldn't have to check my bank account to see if I can fill my car..." These ads were immediately followed with a Comedy Central spoof.

GOP ad

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PulUKsICY9o

Spoof

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gdQCtWlhx90

GOP ad

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x9qLYZPAQB8

Spoof

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8q7esuODnQI

John Smith
03-24-2014, 06:34 AM
Big oil is not REQUIRED to keep its word. They have the population living in fear and the politicians in their pocket. Of the two, the first is the most troubling.

Big oil keeps running ads about how safely we extract natural gas. We keep being told pipelines are safe.

We also keep being told all of this is not damaging our planet or changing our climate.

Far too many people WANT to believe this, so they do believe it. My grandkids are very likely going to see some very dramatic effects of all this in their lives. It won't be pretty.

John Smith
03-24-2014, 06:38 AM
... so what?... Obama can't keep HIS word

He's done a better job of keeping his word than any Republican I can think of, but that has nothing to do with this topic.

"DRILL BABY DRILL" would have something to do with this topic. Politicians denying Global Warming and climate change would have something to do with this topic. Denying the dangers of fracking has something to do with this topic. Supporting the Keystone Pipeline because the Koch brothers want you to has something to do with this topic.

Oil spills and mine collapses where safety rules were not met, people died, and no one goes to jail has something to do with this topic.

John Smith
03-24-2014, 06:43 AM
I see a double standard... where is the outrage when other's lie that you ordinarily support

is there a thread on the Democrat politician who resigned after the IRS raded his office and home?

I think you're way off track here. Which of Obama's lies have polluted our water?

If you go back to the BP rig, BP wasn't about to let us know the accurate numbers of oil leaking. BP was the one who said, on their permit, they had the ability to stop leaks. Cheney got fracking excluded from clean water laws, yet tells us it's safe. Obama seems to think it's safe.

I think most of us here realize it is not safe.

We are destroying the planet, and we can make our species extinct. We may well be on the way to doing so.

John Smith
03-24-2014, 06:44 AM
from the op,

seeking approval to build the trans alaska pipeline in the early 1970s, industry and government promised that oil would be shipped safely from alaska, and not one drop would be spilled. The public and environment would be protected by double-hulled tankers, a fail-safe tanker-tracking system, state-of-the-art spill-response capability and the watchful eye of government. Soon after approval was granted, all these promises were abandoned.

bingo!

John Smith
03-24-2014, 06:49 AM
Oh come on, any human activity has risks, a politician or salesman might promise the moon but there is absolutely no way you can transport millions of barrels of oil from point A to point B and not spill a drop. That is simply an unrealistic standard. It would be like saying you can have the privilege of driving a vehicle on public roads but your car cannot emit any pollutants, your tires cannot leave rubber dust and aerosolized particles that can wash into the watershed.

O&G like other industries has to update best practices as gov't mandates but focusing on spills as the greatest pollution threat associated with the use of oil and gas really misses the forest for the trees.

I think there are far more spills and leaks than there should be. For the record when some support for the pipeline came because of spills from trains derailing, my response was to fix the tracks and not have any derailments. I believe we can do that. I think running oil pipelines through and over a major water supply is simply asking for big trouble.

I also remember President Carter literally being laughed at and ignored when he gave his talk about our need to use less energy.

Nicholas Scheuer
03-24-2014, 07:19 AM
Let us return to a basic truth; Texas is the last place one might expect "rigorous oversight" and or "regulation" in regard to oil.

LeeG
03-24-2014, 07:23 AM
Big oil keeps running ads about how safely we extract natural gas. We keep being told pipelines are safe.

We also keep being told all of this is not damaging our planet or changing our climate.

Far too many people WANT to believe this, so they do believe it. My grandkids are very likely going to see some very dramatic effects of all this in their lives. It won't be pretty.

And my kids lives, late 20's.
I really can't get behind this Big Oil Bashing act, it's a hackneyed phrase that misses the forest for the trees. It isn't the extraction process that's effing up things it's the scale of growth this inheritance has enabled for human animals. Spills and waste were much greater when it only took one barrel to pull up 100 barrels, now that you get ten barrels. The stuff is valuable.

LeeG
03-24-2014, 07:34 AM
I think there are far more spills and leaks than there should be. For the record when some support for the pipeline came because of spills from trains derailing, my response was to fix the tracks and not have any derailments. I believe we can do that. I think running oil pipelines through and over a major water supply is simply asking for big trouble.

I also remember President Carter literally being laughed at and ignored when he gave his talk about our need to use less energy.

John, the amount of oil being moved by rail has increased at least 10x in the last five years, fixing tracks won't result in zero accidents, that's just not realistic. The process of stripping domestic resources to feed our oil needs is going to continue because we cannot afford more imported oil and we cannot reduce out need except through demand destruction.
I've hammered this before but the most obvious example is the refusal to raise the federal gas tax so we are using the national credit card to maintain the highway fund leaving states to raise their fuel taxes.

Dan McCosh
03-24-2014, 08:08 AM
Oh come on, any human activity has risks, a politician or salesman might promise the moon but there is absolutely no way you can transport millions of barrels of oil from point A to point B and not spill a drop. That is simply an unrealistic standard. It would be like saying you can have the privilege of driving a vehicle on public roads but your car cannot emit any pollutants, your tires cannot leave rubber dust and aerosolized particles that can wash into the watershed.

O&G like other industries has to update best practices as gov't mandates but focusing on spills as the greatest pollution threat associated with the use of oil and gas really misses the forest for the trees. Agreed. The vast scale of the global oil business is inherently polluting to some degree. Overall, it is remarkable clean, but the volume means spills are going to be big as well. It's the same with any significant extraction industry, or industrial materials manufacturing. The growth is driven by the demands of a world population, and the cleanest efforts will still have a huge impact. The alternative is doing without.

LeeG
03-24-2014, 08:30 AM
. The alternative is doing without.

A realistic and worthwhile alternative is doing more with less before negative consequences become irrevocable. That's where I see the problem lies, not in the extraction but the intended use enabling all manner of non-point source pollution.

Dan McCosh
03-24-2014, 09:11 AM
We've been very good at doing more with less. That's the problem. We keep doing more with less, until less is more. We become very efficient at consuming.

LeeG
03-24-2014, 09:28 AM
We've been very good at doing more with less. That's the problem. We keep doing more with less, until less is more. We become very efficient at consuming.

I must say it was exciting when Costco came to town. A 48 pack of toilet paper, I MUST have it!

ccmanuals
03-24-2014, 09:56 AM
To this day I personally have not gone into a Exxon gas station in 25 years.

It's my own little form of protest of their behavior.

Ian McColgin
03-24-2014, 10:12 AM
[IMc - There is nothing efficient or clean about our petro industry. We have become a monoculture where every aspect of our economy depends upon oil, for small examples the shirt I'm wearing and most of the components of this MacBook. I'm not about to sell short the incredible difficulty we are about to have in changing or dying. I certainly enjoy the easily made coffee sitting next to me. But, as the story below highlights, the costs of our incredibly subsidized petro industry are deadly.]

Published on Friday, March 21, 2014 by Common Dreams

Fossil Fuel Giants Guzzling World's Water as Poor Go Thirsty: UN
'Great political clout' of energy industry trumps those in need of drinking water

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

An unrelenting increase in energy production, including unconventional methods such as tar sands extraction and fracking, will severely damage the world's already dwindling water supply, the UN warned on Friday.

"There is an increasing potential for serious conflict between power generation, other water users and environmental considerations," says the World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy (pdf), published on the eve of World Water Day.

The energy sector, which has "great political clout," the report states, is set to consume an unfair share of this limited resource, "despite ongoing progress in the development of renewables." The report continues:

The overall evolution of the global energy mix appears to remain on a relatively fixed path: that of continued reliance on fossil fuels. Oil and gas extraction yields high volumes of ‘produced water’, which comes out of the well along with the oil and gas. Produced water is usually very difficult and expensive to treat. Unconventional oil and gas production is generally more water intensive than conventional oil and gas production.

While water demand is set to increase 55% by 2050, water use for energy production is set to increase 20% by 2035.

Whereas an estimated 768 million people lack access to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation, rich and developing countries are soaking up mass quantities of water in the energy industry, wherein 90% of power generation is water-intensive.

"There will be no sustainable development without better access to water and energy for all," said director general of Unesco, Irina Bokova.

"Demand for fresh water and energy will continue to increase over the coming decades to meet the needs of growing populations and economies," the report says, "changing lifestyles and evolving consumption patterns, greatly amplifying existing pressures on limited natural resources and on ecosystems."

As a result, it continues, freshwater availability will be "increasingly strained over this period of time, and more than 40% of the global population is projected to be living in areas of severe water stress through 2050. There is clear evidence that groundwater supplies are diminishing, with an estimated 20% of the world's aquifers being over-exploited, some critically so."

______________________

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

LeeG
03-24-2014, 10:33 AM
This is where solar heat power plants make sense

Too Little Time
03-24-2014, 11:42 AM
Paul Krugman has a nice op-ed piece on the future

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/opinion/krugman-wealth-over-work.html?_r=0

He mentions the Koch brohers.

John Smith
03-24-2014, 01:14 PM
John, the amount of oil being moved by rail has increased at least 10x in the last five years, fixing tracks won't result in zero accidents, that's just not realistic. The process of stripping domestic resources to feed our oil needs is going to continue because we cannot afford more imported oil and we cannot reduce out need except through demand destruction.
I've hammered this before but the most obvious example is the refusal to raise the federal gas tax so we are using the national credit card to maintain the highway fund leaving states to raise their fuel taxes.

I'm not opposed to raising gas taxes. I'd offered a suggestion some time back that the guy who drives a Corolla ought to pay less for a gallon of gas than the guy who drives a Suburban. Kind of like how we used to have separate pumps for leaded and unleaded.

Where I disagree is with the railroad thing. The train tracks are a part of our infrastructure that's been neglected. There is simply no excuse in the 21st century to have train derailments. And, if there is one the spill is limited to what was on the train; a pipeline leak knows no limit.

Unfortunately, raising the gas tax will be politically unpopular. That's because the people don't want to know the truth, but they want to be told what they want to believe is the truth.

Bob Adams
03-24-2014, 02:33 PM
What "word"?

A interesting read about that:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/25_years_after_exxon_valdez_the_hidden_culprit_was _bp_20140323

CWSmith
03-24-2014, 02:36 PM
Big oil keeps running ads about how safely we extract natural gas. We keep being told pipelines are safe.

We also keep being told all of this is not damaging our planet or changing our climate.

Far too many people WANT to believe this, so they do believe it. My grandkids are very likely going to see some very dramatic effects of all this in their lives. It won't be pretty.

I agree completely and I fail to understand why people can sell the future of their children so cheaply. We're talking about convenience, not necessity.

Bob Adams
03-24-2014, 02:36 PM
To this day I personally have not gone into a Exxon gas station in 25 years.

It's my own little form of protest of their behavior.

Read the linked article...like I said interesting. BTW, a boycott does little to hurt the target. At any given terminal, you will see trucks with different brands on them loading from the same bulk gasoline tank. Additives are blended as it pumps to the truck according to the specifications for the brand.

Ian McColgin
03-24-2014, 02:40 PM
Thank you, Bob, for Greg Palast's inside look.

LeeG
03-24-2014, 05:10 PM
A interesting read about that:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/25_years_after_exxon_valdez_the_hidden_culprit_was _bp_20140323

Damn.

Rereading the Deepwater Horizon disaster it sounds similar and worse. What I couldn't figure is how politicized it got as though exploratory drilling should continue without finding the cause. There are all manner of military aircraft that got grounded after a fatality to ensure the cause was determined and a correction was made but when 11 oil workers die with billions of oil lost and damaged incurred we should continue because, well, Obama said we should fix the problem first.

gilberj
03-24-2014, 05:42 PM
Thanks Bob, interesting article. Since the Exon Valdez the oil tanker business has gone through a revolution. It is now the major technical activity which has the highest level of third party scrutiny of any industry, between Flag Sate, OCIMF Sire reports, Port State Control, and the implementation of Safety Management systems. The amount of oil spilled from oil tankers has dropped dramatically from the '70's and 80's. The Exon Valdez was a big part of that change. The odds of a major pollution spill from an oil tankers has dropped substantially, but the risk is not by any stretch eliminated. When a tanker has a spill, one of the first things that happens is the arrest of the ships Master. This is often smoke and mirrors. When the Prestige broke up off the coast of Spain the Master had requested a Port of Refuge, however the Spanish Authorities drove the ship offshore into a North Atlantic Gale and it broke up causing terrible pollution. This was the fault of the Spanish Authorities, not the Ship Master, however he spent a year in prison and would have been longer but for international pressure and a very large bond by the Greek Government. After the pipeline spill in Kalamazoo not a single corporate representative was indicted. After the BP Blow-out not one executive was apparently responsible, how can this be? The company can pay a fine but there is no personal responsibility. It is not about just trying to point fingers. I'd make a substantial bet that a forensic search of all company communications in either case would show clearly the pressure to keep the oil flowing at all costs, or whatever measure. In the case of the Valdez, continuing to operate the facility when there was no clean up capacity available was clearly a bad call, and noticeably against their own standards and against the law. All our Governments are pretty much into covering their rears, and trying not to pish off the really powerful. the Corporations are in there for the money period. The folks in charge are not substantially different as people than any of us. Some are more honest and some less so.

Ian McColgin
03-24-2014, 06:54 PM
[IMc - Yep the business has gone through a revolution. Now we specialize in out of control little spills. Note that containment efforts had some effect perhaps but the crud did get out into the Gulf.]

Published on Monday, March 24, 2014 by Common Dreams

Heavy Crude Spill Hits Direct Path of Migrating Birds
Barge collision sends over 168,000 gallons of oil into busy shipping channel
- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

A major Texas shipping waterway stayed mostly closed Monday — three days after a weekend barge collision sent thousands of barrels of thick tar-like oil spilling into the ocean, polluting an important migration route for tens of thousands of birds.

The barge, which was being towed from Texas City to Bolivar, was carrying nearly one million gallons of RMG 380, an especially thick oil that officials warn has long-lasting environmental impacts.

One of the barge's tanks was breached, spilling up to 168,000 gallons (4,000 barrels) of oil into the Galveston Bay, according to estimates from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The spill comes 25 years after the Exxon oil spill in Valdez, Alaska and nearly four years after BP's Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

While the size of Saturday's spill is smaller than those disasters, it took place in the direct path of a bird migration path. Clean-up officials and environmental groups report oiled and dead birds.

"I've heard this is the largest spill in 25 years in Galveston Bay," said Rachel Powers, Executive Director for Citizens Environmental Coalition. "It happened right near a huge recreational fishing area that's an important source of local jobs."

“The timing really couldn’t be much worse since we’re approaching the peak shorebird migration season,” said Richard Gibbons, conservation director of the Houston Audubon Society, in an interview with the Associated Press.

The Houston Ship Channel, described by ABC News as "one of the world’s busiest waterways for moving petrochemicals," remained partially closed Monday as the clean-up effort continued.

As of Sunday, oil had been detected 12 miles off-shore in the Gulf of Mexico.

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gilberj
03-24-2014, 11:28 PM
First I'd have to say domestic oil barge work does not meet any of the standards found in major ship traffic. They do not get the same scrutiny oil tank ships do because of the politics around the ships is so sensitive. The small scale domestic barge traffic receives less attention from authorities at every level. The folk working on them...good people have less training, and usually much lower standard of mechanical equipment. this is true for pretty much everywhere...all major western countries, to say nothing about what happens in smaller more remote jurisdictions.
The statistic are pretty clear though. Spills, both frequency and quantity have been massively reduced over the last 35 years. The danger remains, spills will happen from time to time, as long as our whole economy is run by oil.

Waddie
03-25-2014, 02:31 AM
... so what?... Obama can't keep HIS word

After he found out off shore production wasn't safe I'm sure he corrected himself and shut down all the offshore rigs permanently. He's not the kind of man to give in to lobbyists and "big oil" money and let them resume business as if nothing happened. Our shores will be a lot safer because there are no oil rigs polluting the water any longer. How long will it take to complete the capping off of all those shutdown wells?

regards,
Waddie

skuthorp
03-25-2014, 04:34 AM
Nothing concrete will be done, and the Oil Industry just reflects the world that functions on oil for almost everything.I doubt we are able to change our lifestyle. What is to come will come and the species presently extant on the earth will cope, adapt or disappear. To quote my wife, "We're stuffed".
But the good news is there is a population still with the skills to survive, subsistence farmers in Africa and the subcontinent largely. If the climate allows of course.