It's like these guys keep trying to outdo one another for worst possible idea. If you thought the Keystone XL Pipeline was bad, a newly proposed project is a pipeline moving more heavy tarsands oil than the XL Pipeline would move....but to really shoot for the moon, they're also adding refinery shipping docks along Lake Superior which would be capable of shipping over 13 million barrels of heavy crude oil over the great lakes via oil barges.
OH! And on top of THAT, Enbridge, the same company responsible for dumping nearly a million gallons of tarsands oil into the Kalamazoo river, is behind part of the project.
The company fined for that spill -- Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge -- is behind one of the new projects. Its new venture would nearly double the amount of crude oil shipped on a major pipeline from Canada to Lake Superior -- transporting more oil than the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that has caused an environmental outcry and fierce debate in Congress. The second project involves a refinery on Lake Superior's shore building a dock to load oil barges, allowing the shipment of up to 13 million barrels of crude oil per year throughout the Great Lakes to Midwest refineries and markets beyond.13 million barrels of heavy crude oil shipped on the Great Lakes each year, from a new refinery along Lake Superior.
I would like to take this opportunity to point out, once again, that the Great Lakes account for 20% of the above ground fresh water in the world, with around 30 million Americans drawing their water supply from it....not to mention watering crops with it.
We DRINK that water. We swim in it. We eat fish from it. I water my garden with it. Our water supply is about ten million times more important than our oil supply.
Maybe we should take a step back and think about the ramifications of when, not if, WHEN an oil barge is damaged, leaks, or goes down. It WILL happen at some point. And the best case scenario isn't much better....
Best case scenario we merely have a refinery on the coast of Lake Superior spewing more sludge into the Great Lakes, right there along with the BP Indiana tarsands refinery. We know the new refinery will be dumping thousands of gallons of poison and sludge into the Great Lakes every day, because that's what the current refineries do.
Refineries dump shit into the lake.
Under BP's new state water permit, the refinery -- already one of the largest polluters along the Great Lakes -- can release 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more sludge into Lake Michigan each day. Ammonia promotes algae blooms that can kill fish, while sludge is full of concentrated heavy metals.That's the BEST case scenario here. More shit dumped into the Great Lakes. Worst case is the inevitable: a damaged or even sunken oil barge. And it WILL HAPPEN. Thousands of ships have sunk on the Great Lakes. Tens of thousands. BIG ONES.
The company will now be allowed to dump an average of 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds of sludge into Lake Michigan every day. The additional sludge is the maximum allowed under federal guidelines.
The only one most folks know about is the Edmund Fitzgerald. But it's happened all the time. An oil barge sank in Lake Huron JUST LAST YEAR. It will happen.
And the thing is...an oil barge doesn't even need to SINK...it just needs to spring a leak for the oil to get into our water supply.
And this isn't your garden variety of oil. It's tar sands oil. A last, desperate attempt to pretend we have plenty of energy in the ground. It's not EVEN oil.
What's often being shipped isn't the oil seen gushing out of Texas oil towers in old movies. It's tar sands crude or dilbit, a semisolid form of petroleum also known as diluted bitumen.That we're even taking tarsands and shale oil seriously as an energy source is NOT a sign of plenty. It's low quality, dirty, harder to extract and takes MORE energy to actually turn it into something useful. We're putting more and more energy in and getting less and less energy out. It's the very definition of peak oil.
The sludgy product requires mixture with chemicals or other petroleum products to move through pipelines. Environmentalists argue it's a far harsher product on pipelines, and much more difficult to clean up when spills happen. It was dilbit that spilled during the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history, a July 26, 2010, pipe breach in Marshall that devastated wetlands, Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. The product combined with river sediments and sank to the bottom, making traditional oil cleanup booms and surface skimmers ineffective.
It's not a sign of bounty. It's a sign we're scraping the bottom of the barrel and need to find a way away from fossil fuels NOW. It's not an occasion to concoct plans to choose oil over water.
Keep your damn filthy, greedy hands off our water.