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I've searched for info on this past Saturday's North Slope oil spill on MSNBC, FoxNews, CNN, NYT, and WaPo with NO results for this item.

Here's the latest Anchorage Daily News Link:

Here are the first two paragraphs of the story:

"Cleanup workers continued efforts Tuesday to mop up a large oily water spill in the Kuparuk oil field, but the cause of a pipeline leak remained undetermined.

State pollution officials as well as a spokesman for oil company Conoco Phillips, which runs Kuparuk, said the estimated size of the spill remains at 111,300 gallons. That ranks as the third largest industrial spill ever recorded in the North Slope oil fields."

Originally posted to Peace Monger on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:33 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I fucking hate oil. (3.60)
    Frequently I feel we would all be better off without cars, planes and plastics.

    Additionally, mainstream media is abhorrent.

    In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

    by ablington on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:36:28 AM PST

    •  Be careful what you wish for (3.00)
      You just might get it.
      •  Im not wishing for it. (4.00)
        I just wish plastic wasnt made from materials that cause war, pollution, and ill health. I also wish planes, cars, etc didnt require oil to function.

        I wish we could go back in time and do it over again, this time with less or no reliability on the stuff.

        In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

        by ablington on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:49:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Solar energy makes sense... (none)
          Except, the Bush administration doesnt like the idea because it isn't controllable..

          On the international level, with oil and atomic energy, the power plants can be bombed, etc.. cutting off energy, making huge areas uninhabitable, etc. in the worst 'madman theory' tradition...

          Now, since most nations depend completely on fossil fuels, a disruption in energy typically means a health crisis that results in millions of deaths as water, heat and other systems become nonfunctional..

          If people lived 'off the grid' they would be more independent of central control..

          It's pretty clear that some would rather see the US people as slaves of the oil companies than independent of the central power system, at any cost.

          It seems to me that that even if our lives and economy depend on the continuity of things like water and electricity, and they do, that their supplying will not be allowed to be made independent by using alternative sources of energy to any great extent. Because that threatens the systems ability to cut areas off.. etc. if they deem it fit..

          Its the kind of thinking that centrally planned economies exhibit.. And a fatally flawed logic, history has shown..

          A kind of thinking that is arguably pathologically insane..given the looming global energy crisis...

          •  Nice theory (none)
            But how are we supposed to live off-the-grid in densely populated urban areas, which are the surest way to reduce pollution and energy usage?  The Earth only has so much land.  We can't all have our own homes with windmills and photovoltaics.

            Insulation and solar roof tiles on a large apartment building only get you so much.  Whether your energy is from fossil fuels, or solar energy, those of us living in urban areas will always require the centralized production of electricity, until Mr. Fusion rolls along.

            No, I'm not a FReeper. Thanks.

            by JamesInPDX on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 03:14:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not true... (none)
              Solar panels on the roof of a building can pretty much provide for all of the electricity needs of those inside.  At the very least you could have a dramatic reduction of the need for power plants if every house and apartment had solar panels on it.  

              Even supposing that solar electricity only provided for 75% of the needs of a house (which is very conservative, IMO), it's still an improvement.  I don't understand what your argument is...  less pollution isn't good as long as it's none?  We don't live in such an ideal world.  

              In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

              by Asak on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 04:05:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh wait... (none)
              Sorry, I misunderstood your comment.  I see you were referring to the previous poster's idea that everyone could live off the grid.  I agree that is not a reasonable idea.  

              In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

              by Asak on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 04:07:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  free energy from the sun (none)
              check this out: eetimes article
              •  Yes (none)
                There may be ways to capture solar energy more efficiently.  Solar energy may someday be so efficient that it compares favorably with oil in terms of production costs.  But it will never be so efficient that a solar energy system -- photovoltaic or otherwise -- will ever be able to produce enough energy on the surface area of an apartment building to provide enough energy for all the families within it.  The power just isn't there.  The sun only shines so brightly.

                At peak output, when the sun is shining directly overhead and there are no clouds, only 1,000 watts of solar energy falls on each square meter of the Earth.  Even with an impossible to achieve 100% efficient energy conversion, solar cells lining the surface area of an apartment building would not be able to provide enough energy for its occupants. The sun just doesn't output enuogh energy.  And that's the point I was trying to make.

                No, I'm not a FReeper. Thanks.

                by JamesInPDX on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:33:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I could breathe underwater (none)
    •  That's nuts (3.00)
      The "better off without cars, planes and plastics" part that is.
      •  right, sucker. (3.78)
        cars, planes, and plastics are just SO integral to human life...

        had yer blood tested lately? any idea just how many non-biodegradable plastics are floating around in YOUR body, fuckin' up YOUR chromosomes...?

        didn't think so. trust me, you wouldn't like the answer.

        as to cars: yeah, I've got one, and I like it (just as I am conditioned to). but living in the UK showed me exactly how entirely UNnecessary cars are to maintaining the quality of my life. the dipshit notion that in order to be truly "free" we each have to piss away thousands of gallons of fuel annually in order to hurtle ourselvves around on crash-littered interstates in a frantic rush to get from one Exurbian hell to the next is a sick collective created and inculcated for purposes of profit for a small band of a select few - a group none of us here can claim membership in.

        "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

        by RabidNation on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:54:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've had my blood tested lately... (none)
          ...and no one told me about the nonbiodegradable plastics in there that are messing with my chromosomes!!!  Holy crap!!!

          Did you get your medical degree from Toshiba State with Frist?

          Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

          by The Termite on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:00:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not going to connect the dots for you. (3.66)
            leave your comment about frist for someone who deserves it (although funny, I'll grant). a simple visit to NPR's "All Things Considered" archives, and/or the same for the BBC, should turn up a couple of interesting radio documentaries (apart from the articles I've read) about the presence of plastics in groundwater, surface water, the food chain, and human bodies - as well as the cellular damage, reproductive harm, and actual changes to human bodies resulting from same.

            a f'rinstance: an interesting one to note for guys who treasure their "manhood": been following the news about the declining sperm counts/potency of american men over the last several generations? and been following the research on the presence of plastics in the bodies of those most sorely afflicted? looked into the leachates oozing out of your Pepsi bottle into the product you're drinking? 'tis interesting stuff.

            "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

            by RabidNation on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:07:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for clarifying... (none)
              It's hard for me to imagine plastic making its way into the bloodstream, but you make an articulate point so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

              I'll have to do the Pepsi ooze test sometimes, though I never drink the crap.  Leachates sounds like just one more reason.

              And sorry about the Frist crack.  Twas meant in jest.

              Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

              by The Termite on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:46:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's in the air (none)
                Ultimately there isn't much you can do to avoid exposure to potential toxins, considering it's

                in the air in our homes.

              •  Toxic Load on your mind and in your body (none)
                Check this one out:

                The body burden
                Our toxic load gets heavier.

                By A. Clay Thompson
                December 13, 2000
                San Francisco Bay Guardian

                SCIENTISTS CALL IT the body burden: the amount of toxic junk trapped inside you. Industrial society, with its smokestacks, tailpipes, oil refineries, and pesticide-laden vegetables, is leaving its residue within the cells of each of us, in the form of synthetic chemical compounds and heavy metals.

                The roll call of toxins pulsing through our bodies is chilling.

                There's a good chance you've got a little DDE - a by-product of the condor-killing, probably carcinogenic pesticide DDT - embedded in your fatty tissue. Then there are PCBs, the now banned compounds used as coolant for electrical generators and known to cause cancer and reproductive defects in animals. Researchers say PCB contamination is "almost universal" in human fat and breast milk and in the brains and livers of small children. Dioxins too...

                And our toxic load may be getting heavier.

                Last week local green group Communities for a Better Environment released a 16-page report calling attention to studies done on a relatively unknown class of chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. The compounds, used widely as flame retardants in plastic products including computers and furniture, are showing up in increasing amounts in humans and animals across the globe. "Around the world it looks like [PBDE] levels are doubling every two years," said Greg Karras, staff scientist for Communities for a Better Environment.


                At a molecular level PBDEs closely resemble dioxins and PCBs.  

                Poor me, I dig myself holes! Somebody marry me, I'm getting old! -- Sole

                by MediaRevolution on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:13:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Check the recycle symbol for safe plastic (none)
              On the Trail of Water Bottle Toxins
              To be safe, environmental advocates suggest simply avoiding #7 plastics altogether and opting for safer choices for food and beverage storage. These better options include polypropylene (#5 PP), high density polyethylene (#2 HDPE), and low density polyethylene (#4 LDPE). No evidence has been found to suggest that these plastics leach toxic materials. Scientists advise against the repeated use of plastic water bottles made from plastic type #1 PETE as there is evidence to suggest that such bottles leach a compound known as DEHA, which is classified by the EPA as a "possible human carcinogen," as well as acetaldehyde, which has received the same designation from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
            •  That's what "Tort Reform" is all about (4.00)
              Its about the freedom to pollute massively, and kill, without making retribution.. (the main effect of capping lawsuits at $200,000 is to make the often years long lawsuits financially infeasible for lawyers to take.. even if they are clearly guilty)

              How much is your life 'worth'?

              Less than you think!

          •  Dude (none)
            read "Our Stolen Future," and I promise you there's no way you'll ever make an uninformed comment like the above again.

            If you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you are unfit to live. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by Scott in NAZ on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:49:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "Better Off without Cars, Plastics, etc" (none)
          Being in the UK, I suppose you'd prefer London when the soot was so thick you could get 10,000 deaths, when horse turds filled the streets and stank up the air?

          Cars aren't great, but they are better than what proceeded them

          We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

          by ScrewySquirrel on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:03:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  lived in Brighton (none)
            on the seafront. rode bicycle or a bus to work, and a train elsewhere, when called for. and WALKED; you know, vertical ambulation, propelled forward by my (gasp!) legs. astonishingly efficient and eco-friendly.

            and "london when the soot was so thick..." OH, so it's PLASTICS that are responsible for clean air laws...? Funny, I thought it was England's ban on the use of coal as a household fuel, and the emissions controls placed on factories and vehicles...silly me.

            "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

            by RabidNation on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:11:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Back of envelope calculations (4.00)
              I could be wrong -- someone please correct me if I am.  But here are some quick, fun calculations:

              If you're a slender 160lbs, walking five miles on a flat surface at a relatively brisk 3.5mph, you will require approximately 465 kilocalories.

              You could consume 500 kilocalories by eating one pound of beef steak.  One pound of beefsteak requires 20,000 kilocalories of fossil fuel to produce, most of which in the use of petrochemical fertilizers for feed crops.

              One gallon of gasoline contains approximately 31,200 kilocalories.

              Thus, you're doing about 7.5mpg -- about the same as a Hummer.  (That is, unless you have an impressively efficient gait, and, more importantly, you're a vegetarian -- in which case you may be doing upwards of 100mpg.  No fair saying you eat organic -- I strongly doubt the Earth could support 6.5 billion of us without petrochemical fertilizers).

              No, I'm not a FReeper. Thanks.

              by JamesInPDX on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 11:03:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  HA! (none)
                think I'll give you a four for that. As someone who can be overly sedentary by nature - I fight that all the time - I appreciate you giving me the ammo I need to argue next time my girlfriend wants to go out and "do something" and I wanna chill out and read.

                and it's interesting, too. to think I get the same mileage as a's hoping someone from EarthFirst doesn't set me on fire or slash my tires.

              •  Do you have a good source for those statistics? (none)
                I'm a vegetarian for the reasons you mention (and beause it's really pretty easy for me), but I've always wondered how much of a difference it really makes.  It seems logical that feeding an animal to adulthood just to kill it for food is more energy-costly than just eating the food yourself, but I fell the people who write those statistics always slant them pro-vegetarian.

                  For instance, is that 20,000 kcal figure based on beef that is strictly grain-fed?  Because I see a lot of cows eating scrubby grass on land that looks difficult to use for other agriculture.  Are those all dairy cows, or do some/most beef cattle eat grass or hay as a significant portion of their diet?  If you've got a relatively unbiased source for such data, I'd love to know where to find it.

                   As far as your example;  it is indeed fun, but one flaw immediately jumped out at me:  if you get all (or even a significant portion of) your calories from grain-fed beef, you are 1. gonna die soon, lessening your overall environmental impact. 2. driving an H2 anyway, so walking will be no less efficient for you, and you could use the excercise, you cowmunching cowboy you.

                  Also, you left out bicycling, which is more energy-efficient than walking (also 3.5 mph is a little brisk for crosstown walking, and is a speed favored by "power walkers" who are explicitly trying to burn as many calories as possible).

          •  London's soot (4.00)
            That soot was from coal stoves and industry, with some contribution from rail transport. And the horse plop was msotly from the transport of goods, plus some passenger service.

            Personal mobility, for most, involved walking. Their system was fueled by peas and mash, using shoe leather-and-cobble technology. Longer trips might involve a coal-powered train or a shared ride in a horse-drawn coach.

            Yes, to use a single-occupant vehicle for every errand in 1875 would have drowned the city in manure. Yes, supporting today's level of commercial goods transport with animal traction would be a stinky folly. Yes, heating uninsulated homes to modern comfort levels with primitive coal stoves would be a choking mess.

            I am thankful that oil and natural gas helped keep our economic world running, bridging the times when those primitive technologies sufficed and the time when we harness a more sustainable energy source.

            But, I am not at all happy about the suburban sprawl that has necessitated single-occupancy motorized transport. Or the policies bent to keeping oil cheap and free-flowing right up until the last drop is gone. It could have gone so much better.

            Think of a mill worker in 1875 suddenly gaining the benefits of diesel-electric locomotives, hydro-electric factories, gas heat and cooking, electric trolleys. Refigeration for fresh veggies, electric lights for night school.

            Only this time, without the choking swarms of cars, without the wide roads and their speed-friendly turn radii. Without the over-HVAC'ed house. Without paying maintenance and depreciation on an overbuilt highway system he never really needed in the first place. Without the huge parking lots standing between every address, making him travel 2 miles to cover a cumulative half mile of storefronts. Without sending his butcher and baker to the edge of civilization at the back of some huge super-megalo-market.

            We didn't need to kill the cities to get rid of the soot.

        •  Right on... (none)
          "Do you realize that in addition to fluoridated water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake. Children's ice cream? You know when fluoridation first began? Nineteen hundred and forty six. Nineteen fortysix, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your postwar commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard core commie works."
        •  stop it (none)
          That's the biggest overreaction I've ever seen. Cars are not around just so people could make profits. Come on. And "crash-littered interstates?" You know the odds of getting in a car accident? Settle down. And I won't even mention planes, or plastics.

          I realize that you are passionate about this, but being way over the top is just as harmful to the cause as doing nothing at all. I could never take a person like you seriously.

        •  Had blood tested with what? (none)
          Last time I had it done, having my blood drawn involved plastic tubing, vials, and syringes.

          Republicans - Redefining the term Media Whore

          by yatdave on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:24:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  hold on a minute (4.00)
        I happen to think that there's a valid point in ablington thinking that we'd be better off without plastic... in the much much bigger picture.

        Of course plastics have made our lives 8 trillion times better, for all of the reasons mentioned above, and no doubt more.

        But I think that the proliferation of plastic in everyday uses also played a major role in making our society a disposable one.  At first only the packaging was disposable, but now it's the environment, the "news" (all fluff, no substance, just waiting for the next michael jackson story to fixate on), and worst of all our values (red state values, at least).  It's all about convenience and expediency.  And I think the more American society adopts that approach to life, the more it plays right into the hands of BushCo.

        OK, maybe that's a stretch.  But still...

        •  8 trillion times better? (none)
          Every time I have to grapple with a bubble-packaged product, I turn the air purple.

          And plastic grocery bags in our beautiful Caribbean, with limited waste disposal, are a travesty. Oh, lord, not to mention junked cars.

          It's getting so I value cardboard to faux leather, actually vinyl, or I seek cloth and wood. My hands would rather hold a book than a piece of plastic. Yet, goodbye forests.

          I'll grant technological improvements, but I seriously question the value of this transformation of our lives.

          TyWebb is right. It affects our thinking, our attitudes far more than appearing as roadside trash. We work longer hours, to buy more, to accumulate more, to put in bigger houses. And we have so little time for the things that matter.

    •  Feeding tubes are made of plastic (none)
      So are other IVs and life-saving equipment. To say we'd be better off with no plastics is ridiculous.

      And there are alternative ways to fuel our cars and planes and houses that just don't get the funding to build infrastructure to become mainstream.

      But I agree with your subject line, and that last part.

      •  smokescreen. (4.00)
        fine. make all the feeding tubes and ventilators you want out of plastic. all medical equipment, for that matter.

        and what percentage of total plastic use is that?

        there are few products that couldnt' be made of higher-quality, eco-friendly materials were profit not the sole defining factor in decisionmaking. soft drink containers, the ugly box my burger came in, the shell of the computer I'm typing on, the carpet on my floor, the dashboard of my car - all would be better, and better quality, if made of something else. and they wouldn't be giving me CANCER, either.

        and if one really MUST have translucent little boxes  to put one's cheeseburgers in, the technology exists (although not the profit imperitive) to make same out of corn, soy, and other grain derivatives.

        "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

        by RabidNation on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:01:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (none)
          I regularly eat corn based shipping material to impress my seasonal temps at work. It tastes like nothing, looks like a pub snack and dissolves instantly.

          In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

          by ablington on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:33:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Okay (none)
          How about all of the spooky substances involved in creating the  computers you all are using?

          Switching stations?
          Phone lines?
          Trash bags?
          Stretchy fabrics?
          Rain gear?
          Unbreakable containers?
          Transparent tape?
          Almost any tape for that matter?
          Disposable Pens?
          Disposable Flatware?
          Saw guides?
          Sewing Machines?

          Do you need me to keep going, or are you getting the idea?

          You're a hypocrite.

          •  like he said (none)
            the technology exists (although not the profit imperitive) to make same out of corn, soy, and other grain derivatives.


            Green and Growing - support local Greens in 2005.

            by green in brooklyn on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:27:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course it does (none)
              And renewable technologies should become the standard for America.

              But the self-satisfied indignation is something we can all do without in the meantime. Because, as of right now, alternatives to renewable technologies are the standard. Those alternatives are absolutely everywhere, every one of us is still heavily reliant on them, and it's beyond absurd to claim that those alternatives (however flawed) have not provided for substantial advancements.

              So, like I said... Hypocrite.

          •  am I getting the idea? from YOU? (none)
            there clearly is no idea there to get. or are you too thick to notice that most of the items you named can (and should) be made of other materials than petroleum distillates?

            you've done a lovely job of reinforcing my point. thank you. I might be a hypocrite, but you're evidently an idiot.

    •  PETROLEUM is used to make a lot of important (4.00)
      chemicals including drugs and hospital gear. That's why it would be better if we didn't light the stuff on fire so much.
    •  You Don't Have Long To Wait ... (none)
      You don't have long to wait before you won't have to be burdened with all of the indignities inflicted upon you by Demon Oil ... food, electric lights, modern medicine, and just about everything else upon which you no doubt depend for your survival among them.

      By not long to wait, I mean a decade ... and probably somewhat less. How many horses do you have, pal? Know how to shoe it or, better yet, make shoes in a coal-fired forge? Got that victory garden started yet? You're gonna need it ...

      •  For petes sake, people (4.00)
        I understand the calamity that would ensue by the abrrupt disappearance of oil and oil related products. Our dependence frustrates me sometimes, which is reflected in my hasty post. I do not, however, desire calamity. I just wish, sometimes, that the 'plastic' we discovered that makes life so easy, was better for this earth and humanity.

        I understand how important cars, planes, and plastics are to our society. ANd no, I dont have a victory garden.

        In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

        by ablington on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:45:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Planes (none)
      While we have technologies to phase out oil use for automobiles, there is no other source of fuel for jets. Will we be driving our electric golf carts to the docks for our steamer trips to Europe?
    •  Biodiesel (4.00)
      I hate oil and wars and environmental degradation so much, I just traded in my minivan and bought a jetta TDI diesel wagon in which I run 100% Biodiesel.  Soybean oil grown in the USA.

      I know, its not the perfect solution but it beats drilling a wildlife refuge and killing tens of thousands of people.

      Big F-U to the oil companies.

      And, while I'm on my high horse.  I felt not-so-hypocritical when I left this note on a Hummer w/ a support our troops sticker in the parking lot the other day:

      "Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers so you can play soldier in yours.  10 miles per gallon, 3 soldiers a day.  P.S. you look stupid"

      Work for justice, peace will follow.

      by jefff on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:10:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing (none)
    I had heard nothing about this. Now I will be looking for more, and talking about it with friends-- I'm pretty sure they haven't heard any more than I had.

    Thanks !

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:42:06 AM PST

    •  i know. this is the first i've heard of any spill (4.00)
      the MSM needs to get on the ball.  something like this is important.  though i can imagine why it is overlooked.  ANWR will be in jeopardy if people see pollution.
      •  Who Has Time to Cover Major Oilspills? (none)
        When there is so much breaking Schiavo and MJ news to be indepthly analyzed and commented on. Forget the relevant fact that Congress just voted to do even more drilling there.

        The coming draft- GWB's version of "no child left behind"

        by Saber69 on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:17:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is politically inconvenient for... (4.00)
    ...everyone who voted to ok drilling for oil in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.  

    Let's get it out there!

    More dangerous are the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.

    by Titian on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:54:14 AM PST

  •  Recommending. (none)
    Please join me in recommending this diary, so the issue gets more widely noticed.

    They should all be judged soaking wet.

    by Kitsap River on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:03:55 AM PST

  •  ABC has a story (4.00)
    Well, it's actually a reuters story:

    The two (so far) Yahoo stories are:
    Leaky Pipe Spills Crude, Salt Water Onto Tundra (4.50 with 18 votes)
    Leaking pipeline causes oil spill in Alaska (4.07 with 17 votes)

    Please go to both stories and rate them and e-mail them.

  •  Spinning the spill (4.00)
    Conoco is claiming that only 50 gallons of oil are in that water.  An independent assessment is needed pronto.

    The oil companies are calling the spill "produced water", not oil.  That is, brine being returned to the fields for reinjection so as to maintain pressure.

    The spilled water contains only a trace of crude oil, and the amount of actual oil spilled is believed to be slightly more than one barrel or about 50 gallons, [spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc] Patience said.  Scroll down.

    Hal C.

  •  What? You expect them to cover real news? (4.00)
    When there's so much manufactured news easily available?
  •  No surprise at all (4.00)
    Check this out: In 2000, a dam holding coal-mining waste failed in Inez, Kentucky.
    The EPA called the Inez spill the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of the Eastern United States. Far more extensive in damage than the widely known 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska, the Martin County Coal slurry spill dumped an estimated 306 million gallons of toxic sludge down 100 miles of waterways. Link

    Ever heard of it?  I follow environmental news as much as anyone, and I'd never heard of it til a year or so ago.  The media's coverage of environmental issues is pathetic - weak, shallow, and almost always negative.  If there aren't good pictures (like oil-covered birds or seals), there's no story.  No wonder the public doesn't really care about environmental issues.

    If you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you are unfit to live. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Scott in NAZ on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 08:38:13 AM PST

    •  Wow. I was wondering if I would ever see someone (4.00)
      reference that mess. I remember a 60 minutes piece on it. I vaguely remember the piece, but I do recall how a whistleblower ripped Bush & Co. for the coverup. That was one of the oh, say million times, where I thought people would catch on to the corruption of this administration. No such luck.

      Dino Ironbody is my father.

      by strengthANDwisdom on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:02:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wrote a letter to the ASCE (none)
      about that spill, because the upshot of it was, that Bush cronies were trying to make engineers sign a document that contained false information, which is completely against every single tenet that we, as engineers, hold true.  It's the first three things in our professional creed: don't lie, you are responsible (legally and morally) for the folks who die because of your mistakes, and don't act in areas where you don't have expertise.

      I was hoping the ASCE folks--stubborn engineers, all--would do some lobbying.  I never heard anything more.


      Viva la revolucion!

      by spacekitty on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:01:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oil Spill? (4.00)
    But we all know that they can drill up there using modern and clean technologies.
  •  Hadn't even heard of this until this post (none)
    Eek and yuck.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:18:47 AM PST

    •  This prompts me... (none)
      to check to see what is being done by our local NFS.

      Thank you.

      Please visit my webby, A friend said, "I feel like I've entered a slick modern museum of cool stuff."

      by stumpy on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:40:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Explosions at a Houston refinery (none)
    get covered, but not this.  I guess stories like this become news only when people die.  

    Listen all of y'all it's a Sabotage! - Beastie Boys

    by See you out there on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:26:40 AM PST

  •  But let's drill in ANWAR (none)
    It'll be grand!


    Thanks for bringing this story up.


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:41:29 AM PST

    •  Our drillling footprint will only be the size - (none)
      of a basketball court.

      And we will Order I tell you, ORDER spilled oil not to leave the court.

      Apparently I have made the unbelievably naive error of overestimating the intelligence of the American people.

      by Citizen Clark on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 04:56:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  but, but, but...johnnie cochran died!! (4.00)
    we can't cover an environmental disaster when a famous person has died (of a brain tumor, no less)!!!  we'd be irresponsible media if we didn't warn the populace of johnnie cochran's death, for it has deep and wide-ranging implications for the whole of humanity!!!


  •  Does this give drillers legal access... (none)
    to these lands?

    I've heard about provisions where if a protected area is tainted by an oil spill then it's no longer considered a nature preserve because it's been tainted, and thus opens it up for drilling.

    Maybe just hearsay, but has anybody heard of something like this?

    •  They already have access (none)
      Most of the lands surrounding Prudhoe Bay are state lands, that the state acquired as part of its conversion to statehood in the 1960s and 70s. There is some drilling now on federal public lands within the Alaska Petroleum Reserve to the southwest of Prudhoe Bay. Also several small Inuit communities allow drilling on their private lands to west of Prudhoe. The Arctic Refuge is to the east of Prudhoe.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:57:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spills like this are bad (4.00)
    But most of it can be cleaned up, and hopefully a good chunk of tundra won't be permanently barren from salt poisoning.

    The big impact at Prudhoe and its associated fields is the massive construction of roads, drilling pads, waste lagoons, housing areas, parking lots, and industrial staging areas. You can't build directly on permafrost (which will melt underneath your structure) so you have to build on massive gravel pads. The enormous amounts of gravel needed gets dredged out of once pristine North Slope rivers.

    Once Prudhoe is pumped dry and much of the drilling equipment is removed or salvaged, the gigantic gravel pads will remain.

    This is what will happen to the coastal plain within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, if we let it. A once prisitne wilderness will be transformed (permanently) into an industrial landscape of massive pads, roads and parking lots.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

    by Ed in Montana on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 09:47:46 AM PST

  •  Exxon Valdez was 11 million gallons (4.00)
    Just FYI, to put it in perspective.  That's 100 times bigger than this one in terms of volume, and since this is on land I don't expect it will spread as far.  Plus which, the company claims there is only 50 gallons of oil in the spill, with the rest presumably made up of brine (salt water).  Salt is of course probably toxic for the tundra, but at least it won't kill karibou.  Maybe they can use it for a salt lick.
    •  All the same, it sucks... (none)
      Even the oil from a snowmobile does damage.

      My understanding is that incidents like this one are part of the reason conservationists want to keep that small (5%) part of the North Slope marked as "wildlife refuge" free from drilling.

      You can't unscrew the wildlife.

      "what could possibly go wrong?"

      by dennisdeveny on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:08:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  5%!?!?!? (none)
        You goddamn environmental extremist.

        Why is it that when we want to protect 5% of a certain place or 1.5%....we are labeled extremists?

        Whose extreme here?

        "Injustice is of such a nature, that it must be destroyed by society or it will destroy society." - John Wesley Powell

        by environmentalist on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 05:37:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bicycles (4.00)
    I know it sounds simplistic. But I've been thinking more and more about how simply using bicycles more would help enormously.

    I realize they will not suffice for all occasions.  

    But can you imagine a culture where taking your bike, instead of your car, was the norm?
    To work especially.  And what great exercise. And clean living in the spring, summer, fall.

    Well. I am putting this thought out there as a drop in the proverbial general consciousness.

    •  and Bike paths!!! (none)
      Bikes should get their own roads.
    •  I love my bike (none)
      It is a perfect vehicle. Yes we need bike paths. Many motor vehicle drivers do not respect cyclists. They especially hate people like me because I dismount at busy intersections to walk my bike across. Walking with a bike seems to make me invisible to cars.

      A friend explained that she hates people walking bikes because they look like they can't make up their minds:
      am I a pedestrian or am I a cyclist?"

      Maybe I just want to live and making a left turn on some intersections looks like suicide to me.

      To thine own self be true - W.S.

      by Agathena on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:54:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe It's because many cyclists don't indicate (none)
        ...and I understand why.

        It's hard to lift a hand off your handlebars to indicate when you may need to take evasive action anyway to preserve your life.  A Catch 22.

        On the other hand, as a car driver who biked during college, I keep my eye out and was recently rear ended for slamming on my breaks so as not to hit a biker I originally thought was turning and then thought was going straight.

        The asshole biker blithly rode on after partly causing an accident.

        I think bikes need light up indicators just like cars, and I've been playing with the idea of trying to make it happen in San Francisco.  That way cyclists could indicate safely, which would improve safety for all concerned.

    •  Bicycles (none)
      can you imagine a culture where taking your bike, instead of your car, was the norm?

      Yeah, actually, I can.

      In Groningen, the Netherlands' sixth largest city, the main form of transport is the bicycle. Sixteen years ago, ruinous traffic congestion led city planners to dig up city-centre motorways. Last year they set about creating a car-free city centre. Now Groningen, with a population of 170,000, has the highest level of bicycle usage in the West. 57% of its inhabitants travel by bicycle - compared with four per cent in the UK.
    •  To toot my own horn (none)
      I do ride a bike to and from work almost every day and year-round here in Austin.  And I do think it is great.  Especially satisfying, of course, when I can go whizzing by cars stuck in heavy traffic.  Not so satisfying when it rains.  

      Hard to do the rest of it, though.  Like everyone else, we need to go to the grocery and Home Depot and Target and all the other places accessible only to cars (or tougher cyclists than me).  Hence we have a car, but at least just the one.  My wife works at home.

      Even here in the home of Lance Armstrong, it is a lot of work to get pro-bike street engineering.

      No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

      by Gator Keyfitz on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 12:08:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just some perspective (none)
    Let me preface this by saying that I am not in any way pro-oil spill, or anti-wilderness, or anything like that.  I just wanted to make some comments because I know most people have never been to Alaska and probably don't know much about the geography.

    The place where this oil spill happened, the "North Slope," is the northern coast of Alaska, far, far above the Arctic Circle.  It is probably one of the most inhospitable places on earth - no one lives there except for oil company employees, who tend to work two weeks on, two weeks off because living conditions are so unbearable.  (I actually am not sure if any native peoples live that far north - they are definitely masochists, if so!)  For several months out of the year, the sun never even rises.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I have never seen what I would call a "pretty" picture of the North Slope.  It is pristine wilderness - and ecosystems are worth preserving in their own right - but aesthetically, it is ugly, frozen tundra.

    To put things in perspective, the Exxon Valdez spill was not only far larger, but it happened off the southern coast of Alaska, where 90% of the people live.  It was a water-borne spill, which has far greater consequences for the environment.

    Again, I'm not trying to prove that this spill was "no big deal" or anything like that.  I just want to make the picture in everyone's head a little clearer.  Obviously, this is a very significant reminder of the sort of thing that may happen in ANWR.

    •  This'll learn ya (4.00)
      The Arctic slope is the breeding grounds for about 30 species of shorebirds, many of which breed nowhere else, several species of hawks (including the rare gyrfalcon which only breeds on Arctic tundra), our largest species of owl, zillions of snow, Candada, Ross', and white-fronted geese, huge numbers of songbirds like snow buntings and savanna sparrows, hundreds of thousands of caribou, a few barren ground grizzlies, wolverines, moose, musk oxen, loads of lemmings, Arctic foxes, and a unique bunch of plants that are extremely well adapted to the harsh conditions there.

      Not only that, but because people have not impacted the Arctic as much as lower-latitude areas, much of the ecosystem remains relatively pristine.  There are few places on earth that are still, relatively speaking, in such good condition.

      So maybe you need a clearer picture of what's up there...not us.

      If you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you are unfit to live. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Scott in NAZ on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:58:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: (none)
        That's very important information.  And I never questioned any of that, in fact I said that ecosystems are important in their own right.

        You act like you think you are disagreeing with me, which puzzles me.

        •  You said (4.00)
          basically that the Arctic slope was barren, inhospitable and ugly, and I'm telling you that you're missing the point.  It's inhospitable and barren only to someone who views it from the parochial perspective of a human living in a more temperate environemnt.  For the non-human inhabitants, it's almost paradise.

          What you said above is exactly what the pro-drilling folks say: it's empty and ugly.  This is false and misleading.

          If you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you are unfit to live. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Scott in NAZ on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 11:06:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No one lives there? (4.00)
      Don't tell that to the five thousand Inuits that have survived there for the last 20 thousand years or so.

      As for pretty pictures of the North Slope, check out Subhankar Banerjee's award winning book on the Refuge; ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, SEASONS OF LIFE AND LAND.

      Banerjee took most of the stunning photgraphs in his book in winter and early spring in the Arctic Refuge, just the times drilling proponents claim that the place is a barren wasteland. The release of his book along with the accompanying photo exposition at the Smithsonian two years ago sent Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens into a hate frenzy, since Stevens had just made the claim that North Slope within the Refuge was mostly a wasteland.

      Having visited the Arctic Refuge in June, I must agree that the North Slope is not for the casual outdoorsman.  But if you want to see one of the greatest remaining wildlife migrations on Earth along with some of the most remote wilderness in North America, its the place to go.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 11:02:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lest there be any confusion (none)
        I was speaking only of the North Slope, where there has been oil drilling for many years, not the just-opened ANWR, which occupies a much greater region.  The ANWR is a huge and much more diverse area, admittedly with some inhospitable tundra, but also with a great deal of natural beauty.  And as the comment above pointed out, the caribou like it fine either way.
  •  I thought modern equipment (none)
    was supposed to ensure things like this would never happen.

    I think the reason it isn't in the papers is that everyone knows oil spills only happen on the ocean, silly!

    There is a certain providence in the fall of a sparrow

    by mrblifil on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:16:34 AM PST

  •  Shut the hell up and get the point (none)
    This shit isn't about whether we do or dont need cars, plastic, oil, etc.  It is the fact that there has been a major ecological incident in one of our states and it is being covered up by our fascist rethug government.

    "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Einstein

    by Oke on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:24:05 AM PST

    •  Do you hate America? (none)
      You trying to discourage oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge for the few gallons of oil it might produce in ten years to make America independent of foreign oil for five minutes.

      If news of this ecological disaster gets out it will discourage investment, so shhh.

      As Reagan said, "what's a few birds." or was that his EPA advisor?

      To thine own self be true - W.S.

      by Agathena on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:58:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think it's major (4.00)
      As I said above, Exxon Valdez was 100 times the volume, and it was all crude, on water where it spreads easily.

      If you do the math, 111,000 gallons is 14,838 cubic feet.  If you assume that tundra (which I know to be relatively porous on the surface) can absorb ~2 inches of liquid quickly, you might guess that the spill will have covered 89,000 square feet of tundra.  This is about 2 acres.  This is very small.  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 19.6 million acres, so we're looking at ~0.00001 %.  Since the north slope of Alaska is quite a bit larger than just ANWR, we're talking about an infinitessimally small area.  If mother nature can't take a pin prick of this size in stride, then the earth would have exploded years ago.

  •  For those of you in the Boston/Cambridge area (4.00)
    tonight Wednesday, March 30th
    7:30 PM
    First Parish Church
    3 Church Street
    Cambridge, MA

    Michael Klare

    Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum

    In his path-breaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-Cold War world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States--its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.

    Since September 11 and the commencement of the "war on terror," the world's attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region's soil. Klare traces oil's impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America's own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2020, the U.S. will need to import 65% of its oil. And since most of this supply will have to come from chronically unstable, often violently anti-American zones--the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and Africa--our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement.

    With clarity and urgency, Blood and Oil delineates the United States' predicament and cautions that it is time to change the country's energy policies, before it spends the next decades paying for oil with blood.

  •  Possible Terrorist attack? (none)
    They dont yet know the source of the pipeline leak.
  •  Shhh don't spread this story (none)
    it might discourage investment in the Arctic Refuge.

    To thine own self be true - W.S.

    by Agathena on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 10:49:39 AM PST

  •  Where's the press! (none)
    I just emailed the writer on the original link and asked if he knew if any of the wire services had picked this up.

    It is the 3rd largest spill ever in Alaska.  

    Does the lack of press have anything to do with ANWR?  

    Maybe we can get the original reporter to try and earn an award!  Everyone email and get him to get the message out.

    •  Wire services (none)
      As to wire services picking it up, AP (Associated Press) had just one story, on March 29, at 11:29 a.m.  It moved on the West wire, so mainly western papers got it. It said information was from Anchorage Daily News, with a web link at the end.

      Oddly enough, on March 26, the Alaska wire had a story on a report -- AP's headline was: Regulators: North Slope spills not reported -- about these types of oil spills.

      So yes, you really have to search for this story. In my job, I could  have easily missed the spill story because it ran only once. Didn't work that day, so moot point. It would IMHO be newsworthy, because of proximity to ANWR vote.

      BTW, it was one of the largest industrial spills on North Slope. Not the third largest oil spill. Check a few posts back for Yahoo! links to stories to see the AP coverage.


  •  Oil content of produced water--toxic (none)
    This looks much worse than I thought.  The produced water selectively extracts and enriches small hydrocarbons and polar acids.  Traditional heavy oils may be small, but that water is enriched in many nasty toxins.
    Hal C.
  •  Alaskan Oil (4.00)
    I have little doubt that ANWR will be drilled sooner or later; Congress is balanced in that direction now.  I hope I am wrong.  I am against drilling for two reasons (but I am in the minority among Alaskans): one reason involves a desire to protect the environment and cultures that will be impacted; the other reason is based on a fear that if we don't come to terms with our energy consumption, we aren't going to be saved from our gluttony by drilling more oil fields.  We need leadership that is willing to explore all the energy options at our disposal and support development of new sources of energy that aren't oil based.  We also need leadership for the sacrifices needed to reduce consumption by a meaningful amount.  I fear that oil discoveries in ANWR will only prolong the inevitable and distract us from long-term solutions.

    Yes, the North Slope is a flat barren-looking area, but that doesn't mean it should be defiled.  Barrenness is a matter of scale at any rate; just because the wildlife there might not run on four long legs and sport a rack of antlers doesn't mean it has no value (actually the North Slope has a caribou herd, but a much smaller herd than the one inhabiting ANWR).  Just because the North Slope might be to a large extent coastal wetlands impossible for human navigation except during freeze up doesn't mean it has no intrinsic value other than oil.  There are Native peoples in Alaska and northern Canada whose cultures are based on the caribou herds.  Is the value of potential oil in ANWR worth the risk to these cultures?  There have been far-reaching material improvements to the lives of Native peoples on the North Slope, from a western point of view.  But Alaska has yet to fully experience or explore the net result of the changes to the indigenous cultures.  Well, at any rate, there's my two-cents' worth.

    •  I agree that ANWR will be drilled, (none)
      the political and economic climate right now give those who support drilling their best advantage to date.  I would like to see the opposition use the drilling vote as leverage to gain other energy concessions.  The vote will be close so the minority still has some power here.  Instead of just pounding on the table decrying the drilling, they should be negotiating tougher energy standards and better promotion of alternative energy (i.e. how about getting the hybrid tax credit renewed?) in exchange for their votes.
  •  Don't forget Vashon (none)
    That's how I know about it!
  •  Somebody better tell this idiot (none)

    Don't worry about pollution in refuge
    Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    I respond to the March 22 Forum column "Drilling in refuge will do little but fill greedy pockets" by Tom Teepen and all other misinformed/uninformed people regarding their views on the environment. I say bull-oney!

    I worked for eight years on the North Slope at Prudhoe Bay, and I assure readers that there was never a drop of oil spilled without a dozen roustabouts with absorbent material designed to soak up all petroleum products. Then, the absorbent material was run through wringers to extract the oil.

    There was no polluting of the area, nor was there ever any interference with the wildlife, a strict and enforced taboo. Now there is more than double the number of those "precious" caribou than there was before the "dreaded" pipeline. And as for the greedy pockets, isn't virtually all progress due to greedy pockets?

    The North Star project where I worked in 1984 is now producing 400,000 barrels of oil daily on a 10-acre island! Just what would the 19.6 million acres produce?

    Get a life, Teepen. Why don't you write about something else you don't know anything about?



    Sometimes I'm a complete idiot. Sometimes I make sense. You choose which it will be this time.

    by tarminian on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:34:42 PM PST

    •  What's your point? (none)
      He didn't say no oil was spilled; he said what was spilled was cleaned up.

      As for more caribou than before, I have no idea.

      Lets all keep level heads here, and maybe we could spend our time on something more important than a spill that probably covered 2 acres of land with 99.955% brine (and .005% oil).

      •  Troll (none)
        My point is that this bone head says that when he was there everything was perfect.  You and I both know that that isn't true.  BTW, brine (salt water) is just as bad as oil for the tundra.

        Sometimes I'm a complete idiot. Sometimes I make sense. You choose which it will be this time.

        by tarminian on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:01:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Steve04 is right (none)
          The oil boys have done a better job at minimizing oil spills on the North Slope.  There has been nothing on the scale of the Exxon Valdez which occurred in Prince William Sound, 600 miles to south.

          But as I noted upthread, the major impactts to the North Slope come from the enormous scale of construction needed to support these large fields.  You are turning a wild, natural environment into a heavily industrialized landscape.

          As for the caribou herd, the herd in question at Prudhoe is the Central Arctic herd. Their numbers have fluctuated since development began in the 1970s, but they also have had room to move and avoid the most intense development. The North Slope south of Prudhoe is 125 miles wide north to south, with most of the oil development concentrated in the northern portion.

          In the Arctic Refuge, the North Slope is less than 40 miles wide north to south, and the Porcupine Caribou herd will have no room to avoid the proposed oil fields.

          Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

          by Ed in Montana on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 05:09:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No he is wrong (none)
            He didn't hear the wingnut screaming at the top of his lungs that oil production in Alaska is not harming the environment. If there wasn't oil production in the North Slope there wouldn't have been an Exxon Valdez. Just because it is 600 miles south does not mean it is not related to oil production further north. They are tied together.

            Sometimes I'm a complete idiot. Sometimes I make sense. You choose which it will be this time.

            by tarminian on Fri Apr 01, 2005 at 04:34:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Who's a Troll? (none)
          If you took a moment to look at my other comments, you'd see that I'm not a troll.  I'm just trying to look at the situation with a level head and encourage others to do the same.

          2 acres is not worth thinking about when Iraq is still going on, when SUVs still get tax breaks, when fuel efficiency standards are lax, etc.

          2 acres of the north slope is an infinitesimal bit of land, and mother nature can heal from tiny pin pricks like this.  Yes, brine kills tundra, but a) the root systems of the tundra are frozen this time of year, so they can mop up the spill.  b) Animals can clean themselves of brine, where they can't when they get dunked in crude. and c) brine is water soluble, so a decade or two of spring snow melt and summer rains would wash it away if it isn't already going to be cleaned up by the perpetrators.

          Oh, and by the way, I'd appreciate it if you rethought the "1" rating you gave me.

  •  I just forwarded this to Boxer (none)
    I just sent the article to Barbara Boxer's office.

    "Those who betray the trust...are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." - George HW Bush

    by DavidW in SF on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 02:56:24 PM PST

  •  Reuters and AP have news coverage... (none)
    ...but it doesn't look like the major corporate news networks have picked it up.

    Reuters: Leaky Pipe Spills Crude, Salt Water Onto Tundra (Workers are "mopping it up")

    AP: Workers tackle oily spill at Kuparuk (Could take 3 weeks to clean up, covers 2 acres, and the saltwater is as much of an environmental concern as the oil.)

    Just to refresh our memories..."Interior Secretary Gale A Norton says technical advances in oil exploration are at heart of debate over America's energy future; says oil exploration in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, if approved by Congress, will meet strict environmental standards with no significant adverse effect on region;. contends opponents of exploration will pretend less invasive technology does not even exist." (From NYTimes archive Op-Ed, dated March 14, 2005; emphasis added.)

    And, so we remember what this is really about
    Sierra Club Artic National Wildlife Refuge Slideshow

  •  Hey! We're at war! (none)
    And you cant go around huggin trees in war!!

    And look!! Over there! Terrarists!!!!


    The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

    by cdreid on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 06:42:16 PM PST

  •  Wow... (none)
    lets get some eco-porn of tarred up seals and this thing will be everywhere in 10 seconds

    Change today Or die this way

    by faithfull on Wed Mar 30, 2005 at 07:09:49 PM PST

  •  No News Because (none)
    The spill is mostly salty water......

    I have no love of oilcos but this isn't exactly the Exxon Valdez.  

    No doubt salty produced water causes enviro damage but it's not 111,000 gallons of oil.  It's 110,000 gallons of water with loads of salt and typically 50 PPM oil.

    Your oil content is under 10 gallons.  So when the helicopter flies over you just get pictures of water.  Not too exciting for the evening news when you can substitute a pitiful brain damage woman.

    See link below for info re typical produced water after cleanup.  It's unlikely the spill is from water before the separators as it's a pipeline leak probably from the distribution system taking the water back to be re-injected in the field.  A crude/water leak coming from the wells would be much more damaging but they undoubtedly spend a LOT more money keeping those lines leak free.

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