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View Diary: Activists Claim Exxon Intentionally Diverted Oil Spill Into Wetland (88 comments)

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  •  Dilbit is the term because bitumen is too thick to (16+ / 0-)

    flow in the pipes. This dilbit gushed out for 45 minutes at full pressure before they were able to stop it. That's a long time for an "emergency" response.

    It's diluted with a cocktail of poisons. The industry is attempting to call it "watered down."

    The corporate reluctance to admit to any differences between dilbit and conventional oil was apparent within days of the 2010 Michigan spill. Reporters on the scene from OnEarth and the Michigan Messenger asked Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel if the oil spilled from Line 6B had any connection to the Alberta tar sands. In both cases, he initially said “no.”
    •  But they got a ruling that it was not "oil" (7+ / 0-)

      Because oil pipelines have to pay into a fund to clean up spills.  A court ruled that dilbit is not oil, for purposes of that fund, so Exxon isn't paying into it; other pipelines' payments pay for this spill if anyone does.

      Thus by the same logic -- that of a no-doubt corrupt court -- there is no oil in the lake.  Dilbit, maybe, but that's not "
      "oil".  It may contain oil, and worse, but it's something else.

      And if this definition game sounds shady, don't forget the "synthetic fuel" tax dodge.  Back in the 1970s, during oil shortages, Congress gave tax breaks to "synthetic fuel", selling it as a way to encourage companies to do novel research into turning American coal into gasoline, etc.  In practice, coal-burning power plants just sprayed waste oil onto coal chunks before burning them.  This turned the coal into "synfuel", enough for tax purposes.

      Aren't they glad that juries aren't required to make these judgments?

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