Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Alberta Oil Spill Is Latest Catastrophe Showing Accidents Are the Norm

Energy
Alberta Oil Spill Is Latest Catastrophe Showing Accidents Are the Norm

National Wildlife Federation

By Peter LaFontaine

The Canadian oil industry (the same fine folks trying to ram Keystone XL down our throats) is having a bad summer, but it’s nothing compared to the stress felt by communities and wildlife in their path. Recently I told you about a major oil spill in Alberta that leaked almost a million gallons. Now we’re hearing about another pipeline rupture in the province, this one sending 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the Red Deer River and Gleniffer Lake, a reservoir that provides drinking water for more than 100,000 citizens. Plains Midstream Canada, the company that owns the line, has expressed the usual shock and regret, but the accident has put Alberta on alert:

The province issued an emergency alert for Mountain View and Red Deer counties, warning people not to touch, drink, swim or boat on the waterways affected by the spill.

“I was going to go fishing but [Alberta Environment officials] said, ‘no, you’re not allowed, “‘ Andrew Van Oosten, who huddled with his friends underneath a tarp at his campsite near the Gleniffer Reservoir, told CBC News. “You are not allowed to go near the water because it [oil] is washing up on shore.”

Is It an “Accident” When It Keeps Happening?

Nobody thinks the oil industry is going out of its way to sabotage their own pipelines, or is sitting around in back rooms scheming up ways to spill crude oil all over wildlife and fragile ecosystems. But there’s a point when accidents start getting so routine that they stop being “accidents” and become something else entirely. And in the two years since the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe put oil spills onto the front page and turned the Gulf of Mexico into a toxic dump, Big Oil has been responsible for hundreds more “accidents” and millions of gallons of spills.

Think about that for a second. Millions of gallons of crude oil that has no reason to be outside of a pipeline, but there it is, turning up in our drinking water, on our shorelines, polluting crops and fish and wildlife. The residents of Alberta have something in common with folks in Michigan along the Kalamazoo River. They share it with shrimpers on the Gulf coast, and with Denver residents, and North Dakotans, and with people around the globe who have to live with the consequences of Big Oil’s screwups. It’s not a fraternity I’m eager to join.

We deserve better. We deserve a system where a major oil spill is actually a surprise, and not just another day at the office. But our reality is this: half of the U.S. government is tripping over itself to help the oil industry build pipeline after dangerous pipeline—in the Midwest, in New England, in the Gulf region … everywhere there’s a buck to be made or a political point to score.

But you can make a difference. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of Americans speaking up for wildlife and clean energy. Say no to Keystone XL and other polluting projects, and maybe the community you protect will be your own.

Speak up for wolves and other animals threatened by Big Oil’s dirty plans. Take action now.

Visit EcoWatch's KEYSTONE XL and GULF OIL SPILL pages for more related news on these topics.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Kyle and Tropical Storm Josephine as of 9:10 a.m. EDT Saturday, August 15, 2020. RAMMB / CIRA / Colorado State University

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The record-busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season brought another addition to its bevy of early-season storms at 5 p.m. EDT August 14, when Tropical Storm Kyle formed off the coast of Maryland.

Read More Show Less
The Ocean Cleanup

By Ute Eberle

In May 2017, shells started washing up along the Ligurian coast in Italy. They were small and purple and belonged to a snail called Janthina pallida that is rarely seen on land. But the snails kept coming — so many that entire stretches of the beach turned pastel.

Read More Show Less
Feeding an orphaned bear. Tom MacKenzie / USFWS

By Hope Dickens

Molly Craig's day begins with feeding hungry baby birds at 6 a.m. The birds need to be fed every 15 minutes until 7 at night. If she's not feeding them, other staff at the Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Elburn, Illinois take turns helping the hungry orphans.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Douglas Broom

"Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people," said former U.S. president, Franklin Roosevelt.

Read More Show Less
A bald eagle flies over Lake Michigan. KURJANPHOTO / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Michigan bald eagle proved that nature can still triumph over machines when it attacked and drowned a nearly $1,000 government drone.

Read More Show Less
The peloton ride passes through fire-ravaged Fox Creek Road in Adelaide Hills, South Australia, during the Tour Down Under cycling event on January 23, 2020. Brenton Edwards / AFP / Getty Images

A professional cycling race in Australia is under attack for its connections to a major oil and gas producer, the Guardian reports.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UQ study lead Francisca Ribeiro inspects oysters. The study of five different seafoods revealed plastic in every sample. University of Queensland

A new study of five different kinds of seafood revealed traces of plastic in every sample tested.

Read More Show Less