Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Derrick Jackson

By Derrick Z. Jackson

As much as hurricanes Katrina and Maria upended African American and Latinx families, the landfall of the coronavirus brings a gale of another order. This Category 5 of infectious disease packs the power to level communities already battered from environmental, economic, and health injustice. If response and relief efforts fail to adequately factor in existing disparities, the current pandemic threatens a knockout punch to the American Dream.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less