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1937 – Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

1973 – Catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Arizona, following a fire from leaking propane being transferred from a train car to a storage tank, kills 11 firefighters.


The Minerals Management Service (US Interior Department) failed to impose a full review of potential environmental impacts of the BP Gulf drilling operation because preliminary reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was “unlikely.”

Exxon assures Mineral Management Service that pipelines under the Yellowstone river were safe and that a massive oil spill was "unlikely."


I don't know if you've had the distinct pleasure of visiting Yellowstone National Park. I've seen it in winter, spring, summer, and fall. The variety of life, the colors, the flora, the geysers, the incredible hot springs - it is both a homage to the variety of life, and a testament to its precarious grasp under the most difficult circumstances.

The key river through this national gem is the Yellowstone (the Minnetaree Indian name is  "Mi tse a-da-zi"), a large tributary whose headwaters come from the Missouri. Gorges, falls, combined with the most gorgeous wild country surround its shores. Fly fishing, swimming, and natural beauty define this amazing river.

On July 2, 2011, a failsafe, well maintained, leakproof, perfectly operating pipeline, running from Silver Tip, MT, to Billings, MT allegedly leaked 750 barrels. Exxon immediately proclaimed the leak was stopped, and the amount of oil released was minimal.

By Sunday, it admitted that maybe, perhaps, just possibly, 42,000 gallons may have entered the fast flowing river, but Exxon assured Montana and EPA representatives, that it had already contained the spill and no damage was expected. Montana's surprisingly populist Governor Brian Schweitzer stated that "The parties responsible will restore the Yellowstone River." (Schweitzer recently  vetoed a number of bills that would lower pollution standards, give more companies the right to police themselves, increase levels of cyanide in mining and leaching operations, and cap civil litigation awards)  

At 20 mpg, you could drive 840,000 miles on this spill.

The latest? Exxon admits that it may have "underestimated the damage."

LAUREL, MT -- Mountain snowmelt amid hot summer temperatures are expected to complicate efforts by ExxonMobil today to continue the initial cleanup along the oil-fouled Yellowstone River near Billings, Mont.

Officials say rising waters could make it harder for Exxon Mobil Corp. to get to areas damaged by the crude spilled from a company pipeline. . . .

After downplaying assertions from state and federal officials that damage from the spill was spread over dozens of miles, Exxon Mobil acknowledged under political pressure that the scope of the leak could be greater.

(Copyright ©2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Fancy that. An oil company lying about the nature and extent of the damage they caused.

Because of gases gathering from the spilled oil, several municipalities, including Laurel, MT, were evacuated, lest the expanding vapor cause an explosion. (I BLEVE I am running fast and far)

Exxon is conducting overflights to help direct clean up activities and crews. The seasonal flooding is turning this leak into a major leak headache.

The Good News for BP? XOM is trading at $82.01,

up $0.63 or 0.77 percent
, on a volume of 18.05 million shares.

- - -

More than a year ago, on Ye Olde Kos, I warned about another attack on our environment:

a) BP wants to drill under Lake Michigan, almost a mile below the lake's bottom. Think of the Gulf leak, but with fresh, not salt water.

b) BP is the 6th largest polluter in the Chicago area. With its new Whiting Refinery capacity (Canadian oil shale & tar sands), that will increase by 40%.

c) BP is deliberately pollutes Lake Michigan with benzene & mercury. Remnants from tar sands refining process will be far, far worse.

This little missive ended up being reprinted in a local newspaper, and led to members of the public complaining about any increase in BP drilling or oil shale refining. BP's assault continues, although local governments are still standing strong.

- - -

Come on, dKOSers. Oil is safe. Really Safe. VERY VERY SAFE. In fact, it is the safest, cleanest, most efficient, and most profitably safe form of energy. After all, how many of your cars blow up on the highway? Why don't we see more of that? Because BP and Exxon are there for you. They keep you safe!

Besides, those leaks were simply accidents. And accidents are very rare. There is no chance that those accidents will repeat themselves. The industry is too safe and too smart to let that happen. Really. Honest. They mean it. Just look how safe the last 10 years have been!

Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay.
Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989.
Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater.
July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.
Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays.
Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants.
June 19, Calcasieu River, Louisiana: An estimated 71,000 barrels of waste oil were released from a tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu River during a violent rain storm.
July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts.
August 11th, Guimaras island, The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country's fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up effort. It continues to leak and pollute the local fisheries to this day.
December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea's west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast.
July 25, New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.
March 11, Queensland, Australia: During Cyclone Hamish, unsecured cargo aboard the container ship MV Pacific Adventurer came loose on deck and caused the release of 52,000 gallons of heavy fuel and 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, into the Coral Sea. About 60 km of the Sunshine Coast was covered in oil, prompting the closure of half the area's beaches.
Jan. 23, Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
April 24, Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser—the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared it a "spill of national significance." BP (British Petroleum), which leased the Deepwater Horizon, is responsible for the cleanup, but the U.S. Navy supplied the company with resources to help contain the slick. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil had also reached Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history

Read more: Oil Spills and Disasters —


How far can you trust Big Oil?

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