BP Pipeline Spills Oil Onto Alaskan Tundra


Photo credit: Ryan McFarland via Zieak/CC BY

BP can't seem to get enough of letting oil loose. It must be quite a rush -- dumping toxic liquids on pristine environments, all the explosions, breaking records for the largest offshore oil disaster in American history. Whooo-weee! The latest, a spill resulting from a leak in BP's Alaska pipeline, is no Gulf spill, to be sure. But it's a reminder that where companies drill and transport oil -- especially notoriously reckless companies like BP -- that oil has a habit of spilling ...Here's Reuters:

BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant's attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra.

The London-based company has a long history of oil spills at its Alaskan pipelines - accidents which have hurt its public image in the U.S., where around 40 percent of its assets are based. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said the spill occurred on Saturday and amounted to 2,100 to 4,200 gallons.

Mmmmm, methanol and oily water. Sounds delicious -- I sure hope the caribou and arctic foxes up there think so too.

Another day, another oil spill. After the Yellowstone pipeline spill last week, the BP disaster last year, and numerous other smaller-scale events, I hope the message is getting clearer: Despite our 'state-of-the-art' technology and relentless proclamations from politicians on both sides of the aisle, we're going to keep on seeing accidents like this as long as we rely on oil.

Most will be small, like this tundra spill. Others will be massive, and ecologically devastating, like the BP Gulf spill. So as long as we remain tethered to an oil-dependent economy, we'll have no choice but to suffer them all.

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