Quantcast

Chicago Mayor Demands Answers From BP After Oil Spill

Energy

Though this week's BP oil spill on Lake Michigan didn't take place in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's territory, it was close enough.

At just 20 miles away in Whiting, IN, the estimated eight-to-12-barrel spill could have impacted the water source of about 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs. That's why a fiery Rahm Emanuel is demanding answers from BP and environmental agencies. He told reporters that he'd prefer a "full account."

"I want a report on what happened, how it happened, why did it happen, how much happened and how do you prevent it from ever happening again,” he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Chicago’s water was rated No. 1. I don’t want anything to ever endanger it. We’re investing in it. I want to make sure BP is a good corporate citizen next door in Indiana."

Crews have been cleaning a Lake Michigan oil spill this week from a BP refinery in Whiting, IN. Photo credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

BP's initial assessment was that the spill could have totaled between 378 and 756 gallons of crude oil. BP crews used vacuum trucks to remove about 5,200 gallons of an oil-water mixture from the site near the BP refinery and the shoreline of a nearby beach. Still, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there are appear to be no negative effects on the lake.

The Lake Michigan spill took place a week after the EPA lifted its drilling ban on BP, which was related to the Deepwater Horizon oil and gas disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The fact that literally days after BP was cleared to bid on federal oil and gas leases the company is cleaning up yet another spill—this one threatening the drinking water of 7 million people —sends a clear message," Valerie Love, a No Keystone XL Campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. "Not only can BP not be trusted to safely process crude oil, it’s obviously not capable of handling highly corrosive and toxic Alberta tar sands." 

When the Chicago Sun-Times asked BP to respond to Emanuel's demands, an email response from a company spokesman did not address whether the company would issue the type of report the mayor requested.

“BP continues to make progress in responding to an incident Monday at the Whiting Refinery," the spokeswoman wrote. “Crews have recovered the vast majority of oil that had been visible on the surface of a cove-like area of Lake Michigan and on the shoreline between the refinery and a nearby steel mill.

"Monitoring continues in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management."

———

Related Content:

4 Years After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, EPA Lifts BP’s Gulf Drilling Ban

BP Disaster Recovery Through the Lens of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Evidence Finds BP Gulf Oil Disaster Causing Widespread Deformities in Fish

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

"Take the pledge today." Screenshot / StopFoodWasteDay.com

Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.

Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative of food service company Compass Group. It was launched first in the U.S, in 2017 and went global the year after, making today it's second worldwide celebration.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15 in Paris, France. Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images

When Paris's Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, the flames threatened more than eight centuries of culture and history. The fire evoked shock, horror and grief worldwide. While the cathedral burned, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed determination to rebuild what the French regard as a sacred site.

Read More Show Less
An artist's impression of NASA's InSight lander on Mars. NASA / JPL-CALTECH

Scientists have likely detected a so-called marsquake — an earthquake on Mars — for the first time, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Hero Images / Getty Images

Across the political aisle, a majority of American parents support teaching climate change in schools even though most teachers currently do not.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Priit Siimon / flickr / cc

By Andrea Germanos

Lawyer and visionary thinker Polly Higgins, who campaigned for ecocide to be internationally recognized as a crime on par with genocide and war crimes, died Sunday at the age of 50.

She had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer last month and given just weeks to live.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

An E. coli outbreak linked to ground beef has spread to 10 states and infected at least 156 people, CNN reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
The Anopheles stephensi mosquito, which carries malaria. CDC / Jim Gathany

The world's first malaria vaccine was launched in Malawi on Tuesday, NPR reported. It's an important day in health history. Not only is it the first malaria vaccine, it's the first vaccine to target any human parasite.

Read More Show Less