Photo via Amazon Watch
Are you surprised? I’m not surprised. Yes, look at me being smug and flippant about our most recent environmental screwup. You can throw whatever scathing liberal epithets my way you like, it won’t change the fact that oil pipelines leak, or that I am – abominably – stating the obvious.
This morning, at about 5:30 AM, an oil pipeline in Ventura County started leaking. It continued to leak until it had released about 700 barrels, or up to 29,400 gallons, of crude. You can read the news reports yourself, but the big story here is that the valve got shut off before the half-mile river of black sludge could reach the ocean.
Thank heavens! I hate to report bad news.
The goo flowed down Ventura’s Prince Barranca, a grassy canyon that leads to the San Buenaventura state beach near the Ventura pier. See, we avoided disaster because the 10-inch pipeline wasn’t flowing at full pressure, and Crimson Pipeline, the owners of the pipe, managed to turn it off relatively quickly.
“The line didn’t break,” Crimson spokesperson Kendall Klingler told the press earlier today. “It had been closed for maintenance, and [the company] has only released 2,000 barrels into it.”
Only 2,000 barrels, folks, so quit your bitching and get back to work. That’s what Ventura’s firefighters are doing.
“Because we were prepared and trained for such incidents as this, we were able to do a damming and diking operation, with our agencies working together, and stopping the flow of oil from even making it through the city, much less down to the ocean,” said Ventura City Fire Chief David Endeya.
Rock on, Chief.
Crimson isn’t quite sure why the valve started leaking this morning, which is somewhat troubling, since the valve underwent maintenance on Wednesday. But look, the important thing is that the oil didn’t reach the ocean. Can’t you be satisfied with that?
I mean, there is some concern that the Los Angeles heat will exacerbate the vapors coming off the crude. The Ventura County Environmental Health service has said that crews are already vacuuming it up, and that the odor may cause some irritation. The vapors have no ill effects, though, according to Dr. Robert Levin of the county Public Health. However, he has cautioned nearby residents to shut their windows if they smell oil. You know, just to be ultra super duper sure.
It’s not like fossil fuel vapors have endangered the health of the good people of Porter Ranch. Or have they? (he said, citing a 3,000-word article that details all the fucks LA has not given to said good people of said Ranch).
So, how to conclude this opinionated editorial about the new lake of stinky pitch on Hall Canyon Road? Shall I say that the pipeline delivers crude to the Los Angeles Basin, and ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery (the very same Exxon that has built a decades-long misinformation campaign about man-made global warming that has landed them in significant legal limbo)? Shall I share with you the LA Times latest findings, that Crimson has spilled roughly 7,453 barrels of hazardous waste since 2006, resulting in more than $5.8 million in property damage? Shall I wrap it up by referring back to last year’s San Refugio oil spill, in which 143,000 gallons of crude oil flooded Santa Barbara’s coastline? Maybe, since Plains All American Pipeline was recently indicted on 46 criminal counts and faces fines of nearly $3 million.
But no, I will not do these things. Rather, I’m going to save you the trouble of looking up “oil spill” in Planet Experts’ search box and losing any respect for whatever pipelines aren’t leaking this week. I’m going to tell you why oil, and other fossil fuels, is bad for you.
You see, even if you’re not a pinko anti-gun pro-LGBT granola-munching GMO-free hack in the vegan lobby’s pocket like me, you may have the brain cells necessary to realize that the convenience of fossil fuels isn’t worth the long-term damage they do to our planet. You may see that oil and the chemicals they use to clean it up is still causing fetal aberrations in dolphins years after the Deepwater Horizon spill; or hear that people living near fracking sites don’t feel that great most of the time; or know that massive leakages of methane are messing up our atmosphere, man.
The Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, has this quote he likes to trot out whenever something like today’s oil spill happens. “[I]t’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction,” he says, “but rather a question of when.”
And he’s right. You know what happens when a solar panel leaks? A plant photosynthesizes. You know what happens when some wind gets away from a windmill? It exposes a pair of pretty ankles.
Look, if I were receiving billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies, I’d happily tell you oil tastes like chocolate syrup, but BP just won’t return my phone calls. I’ve gotta shuck and jive for the sad, salty truth, folks, cause the only peanuts I get paid are from this rinky-dink website we got here.
Oil pipelines, oil trains, oil wells, they all leak. And they will continue to leak. Don’t believe me? Check this shit out:
- May 20, 2016 – What You Need to Know About the Santa Barbara Oil Spill
- May 15, 2016 – Shell Pipeline in Northern California Has History of Oil Spills
- Apr. 26, 2016 – In Peru, Oil Poisons Water, Fish and Crops
- Mar. 21, 2016 – Oil Companies Are Using Dozens of Hazardous Chemicals in California Wells
- Feb. 22, 2016 – Three More Oil Spills Reported in Peruvian Amazon
- Jan. 06, 2016 – The Gunashli 10 Oil Platform Has Been Burning for Over a Month
- Sep. 09, 2015 – The BP Oil Spill Horror Show: Eyeless Shrimp, Cancerous Fish
- Sep. 04, 2015 – Coca-Cola Fined $7.2 Million for Sri Lanka Diesel Spill
- Jul. 20, 2015 – Oil Train Derailment in Montana Closes Highway, Forces Evacuations
- Jul. 16, 2015 – Higher Rates of Illness Observed in People Living Near Fracking Wells
- Apr. 10, 2015 – Burrard’s Bunker Fuel Problem: Why Even a Small Oil Spill Is Too Big
- Apr. 09, 2015 – Oil Dispersant Used on Gulf Spill Harmful to Humans & Animals
- Apr. 02, 2015 – Duke Energy Pollutes Water for Four Years, Then Protests $25 Million Fine
- Mar. 29, 2015 – Abidjan: The Biggest Toxic Waste Scandal You’ve Never Heard Of
- Mar. 21, 2015 – BP Ignores 25,000-Pound Tar Mat, Says Gulf of Mexico Is Doing Great
- Mar. 10, 2015 – Four Oil Trains Have Derailed in the Last Three Weeks
- Feb. 17, 2015 – Oil Train Derails in West Virginia, Ignites, Forces Town-wide Evacuation
- Jan. 27, 2015 – Gas Pipeline Explodes in West Virginia, the 5th Fossil Fuel Disaster This Month
- Jan. 23, 2015 – North Dakota Frackers Spill Almost 3 Million Gallons of Salty Wastewater
- Jan. 20, 2015 – Benzene Detected in Montana Water After Yellowstone Oil Spill
- Jan. 19, 2015 – Pipeline Spills Up to 50,000 Gallons of Oil Into Yellowstone River
- Jan. 16, 2015 – Previously Unknown Fracking Chemicals Polluting Water in Pennsylvania & West Virginia
- Dec. 19, 2014 – Enbridge Spills Over 56,000 Gallons of Oil, Closes Pipeline to U.S.
- Dec. 18, 2014 – Tanker Spills Thousands of Gallons of Oil Into Bangladeshi Mangrove Forest
- Dec. 04, 2014 – Oil Spill in Israel ‘Will Take Months, if Not Years’ to Clean
- Nov. 13, 2014 – Shell Could Have Prevented ‘Environmental Catastrophe’ in Nigeria
- Nov. 03, 2014 – Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Killed Over 600,000 Seabirds
- Oct. 20, 2014 – Northwest Louisiana Oil Spill Kills Wildlife
- Oct. 12, 2014 – Small Gasoline Spills May Add Up to Long-Term Contamination
- Oct. 03, 2014 – Millions of Barrels of Toxic Sludge to Be Dumped Near Texas School
- Oct. 02, 2014 – Almost 220,000 Gallons of Oil Have Spilled in Wyoming This Year
- Sep. 07, 2014 – Fracking Wastewater Is Ravaging North Dakota Farms
- Aug. 30, 2014 – Pennsylvania Admits Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water in 243 Cases
- Aug. 09, 2014 – The Mount Polley Tailings Pond Was Always a Disaster Waiting to Happen
- Jul. 22, 2014 – Halliburton Delays Informing EPA of Chemicals Released into Ohio River
- May 20, 2014 – Fracking Waste Is Dumped Illegally in Karnes County, Texas
- May 17, 2014 – Citgo Pollutes Illegally for 10 Years, Fined $2 Million
- Mar. 11, 2014 – More Than 30,000 Tons of Coal Ash Spills Into Dan River