Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Little oil spills add up to big trouble

They don't get the press that the big gusher did, but little oil accidents happen all the time. Yesterday there was a mini-gusher in the Gulf, set off when a tugboat struck an inactive oil well. The tug captain says the rig was lit as required. Even more remarkable, when you look at the photos, is to see just how close to marshland that the rig was allowed to drill.

Also yesterday, in Michigan, crews were working to contain a million gallon spill in the Kalamazoo River that was caused by a leak in a pipeline built in the late 60s. These sort of equipment failures happen with alarming regularity as the pipelines age and the oil companies fail to properly maintain them.

One can only hope that if the Congress manages to resurrect some form of an energy bill that addresses the oil industry in the fall, they institute some meaningful penalities for this sort of negligence.

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