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An estimated 10,000 gallons of oil spilled onto the streets of Los Angeles last week, and children, seniors and anyone with a chronic disease were asked to stay indoors because of the foul-smelling air. The public health director for Los Angeles County, Jonathan Fielding, said there could be "mild, temporary health impacts." Most of the oil was quickly cleaned up, but that doesn't mean that we should forget just what happened here and how it fits in with a history of oil spills in the US.

Thanks to Americans United for Change, we have just such a list and it's kind of dispiriting to see. So far in 2014, March was a terrible month: 20,000 gallons spewed in Ohio, 1,600 went into Lake Michigan, 50,000 were derailed in Virginia and 168,000 gushed out in Texas. Also, in February, 12,000 gallons spilled in Minnesota. And, of course, 2013 was just awful, too. Climate Progress has put together a list of 45 fossil fuel disasters that happened last year (see more details below).

Americans United for Change is a group that supports the Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets a minimum level for biofuels in the national fuel supply. AUC's message after what happened in L: "Like oil spills? You'll love what happens after dismantling the Renewable Fuel Standard." Corn doesn't spill in quite the same way as crude oil, but we know that there's more than one plug-in vehicle driver reading this who'd like to point out that wind and solar energy doesn't spill at all.
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Another Day, Another Oil Spill

'50,000 gallons of crude oil spill onto LA street' : AP, May 15

Americans United for Change: "Like oil spills? You'll love what happens after dismantling the Renewable Fuel Standard."

Washington DC – Pro-Renewable Fuel Standard group Americans United for Change comm. dir. Jeremy Funk issued the following statement as 50,000 gallons of crude oil lay 'knee-high' in some places in the middle of Los Angeles today as a result of a ruptured pipe:

"Whether you live in the Gulf Coast community, near a railroad in Lynchburg, VA, a farm in North Dakota, or in the middle of a major metropolis like Los Angeles, it seems nowhere in America is out of reach from the messes big oil leaves behind. Headlines about oil industry spills and explosions and derailments have become a 'dog bites man' story. The alarming frequency of these costly, environmentally devastating and sometimes deadly disasters should give the EPA serious pause before deciding whether or not to roll back the Renewable Fuel Standard. Consider that ethanol makes up 10% of the U.S. gasoline supply that for every gallon of ethanol produced domestically, it's one less gallon sold of gasoline derived from dirty crude oil from unstable regions. That's why the oil industry wants the EPA to help put out of business their safer, cleaner, cheaper renewable fuels competition. But if the EPA give big oil what they want and drastically cuts down the amount ethanol in the nation's fuel supply, there's no way to avoid a corresponding increase in demand for crude oil and an increase in the number of disasters related to transporting it. So if you like oil spills -- you'll love what happens if the RFS is watered down."

Oil Spills Have Become Unacceptably Routine: Let's Not Make a Bigger Mess by Gutting the RFS ...

Ø L.A. Times, May 15: 'Pipeline rupture spews 50,000 gallons of crude oil in Atwater Village'

50,000 Gallons of Crude Oil is Knee-High in Atwater Village

Ø 'Less Than 24 Hours After Virginia Oil Train Spill, Same Company Derails Again In Maryland' : Think Progress, May 1

This image made available by the City of Lynchburg, shows several CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil in flames after derailing in downtown Lynchburg, Va., Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

Ø BP Refinery Leaks Oil Into Lake Michigan: Think Progress, March 25

Ø 'Texas Barge Collision Spills Up To 168,000 Gallons Of 'Sticky, Gooey, Thick, Tarry' Oil' : Think Progress, March 23

http://images.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AP917815162788-256x171.jpg

Ø EPA says Ohio oil leak at 20K gallons: Associated Press, March 24

Ø Train Spills 12,000 Gallons Of Oil In Minnesota, No Major Cleanup Effort Planned: Think Progress, Feb. 5

Ø '2013: What A Year: 45 Fossil Fuel Disasters The Industry Doesn't Want You To Know About': Think Progress, December 17, 2013

http://images.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/AP643700081289-256x171.jpg

March 29: An ExxonMobil pipeline carrying Canadian Wabasca heavy crude from the Athabasca oil sands ruptures and spills thousands of barrels of oil in Mayflower, Arkansas. The ruptured pipeline gushed 210,000 gallons of heavy Canadian crude into a residential street and forced the evacuation of 22 homes. Exxon was hit with a paltry $2.6 million fine by federal pipeline safety regulators for the incident in November - just 1/3000th of its third quarter profits.

September 29: A North Dakota farmer winds up discovering the largest onshore oil spill in U.S. history, the size of seven football fields. At least 20,600 barrels of oil leaked from a Tesoro Corp-owned pipeline onto the Jensens' land, and it went unreported to North Dakotans for more than a week. An AP investigation later discovered that nearly 300 oil spills and 750 "oil field incidents" had gone unreported to the public since January 2012.

October 30: 17,000 gallons of crude oil spill from an eight-inch pipeline owned by Koch Pipeline Company in Texas. The spill impacted a rural area and two livestock ponds near Smithville and was discovered on a routine aerial inspection.

July 27: BP's Hercules 265 offshore gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana explodes, enveloping the rig in a cloud of gas and a thin sheen of gas in the water. After spewing gas for more than a day, the rig finally "bridged over," meaning small pieces of sediment and sand blocked more gas from escaping.

August 28: A "well-control incident" at an oil drilling rig in rural south Texas causes an "intense" explosion after workers were drilling horizontally into the Eagle Ford Shale, causing homes to be evacuated. No injuries reported.

March 27: A Canadian Pacific Railway train derails, spilling 30,000 gallons of tar sands oil in western Minnesota. Reuters called it "the first major spill of the modern North American crude-by-rail transit boom."

November 8: A 90-car train carrying North Dakota crude derails and explodes in a rural area of western Alabama. Flames spewed into the air on a Friday, only finally dying down by Sunday, in what the Huffington Post called "the most dramatic U.S. accident since the oil-by-rail boom began."

April 5: Residents near an ExxonMobil refinery begin to smell "burning tires and oil" after the refinery leaked condensate water that accumulated while the company was flaring gas. Through the leak, ExxonMobil announced that it had released 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and 10 pounds of benzene. According to readings at the spill site, the refinery measured 160 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide and 2 parts per million of benzene in the air.

August 28: Approximately 20 gallons of partially refined petroleum from a New Jersey refinery spills into the Delaware River, after a leak in a heat exchanger that is part of the refinery's crude oil processing unit. The spill was reported two hours after workers discovered it, when they realized it was going into the river.

January 27: A barge carrying 668,000 gallons of light crude oil on the Mississippi River crashed into a railroad bridge. An 80,000 gallon tank on the vessel was damaged, spilling oil into the waterway, which prompted officials to close the river for eight miles in either direction.

November 23: Five are hurt after a gas tank near a drilling rig explodes in Wyoming.

December 14: Thousands of gallons of gasoline spill into a harbor in southern Alaska on Saturday after a pump used to funnel fuel into boats is accidentally severed. The 5,500 gallon spill occurred in the small village of the village of Kake, whose residents rely on fish and subsistence to get by.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      danfred311
      • 10 Months Ago
      USA uses half a cubic kilometer every year.
      itsme38269
      • 10 Months Ago
      A solar spill is just called a nice day.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 10 Months Ago
      Just squeegee it into the storm drains, no one will notice, out of sight out of mind.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        LOL... yeah, as long as we don't see the externalities of our own insane level of oil consumption, everything's fine!
      danfred311
      • 10 Months Ago
      Some good grammar was also spilled.
      Michael Walsh
      • 10 Months Ago
      This is your life with Keystone. Actually, this is your life now in some states, with 26m gallons of oil, fracking fluid, and wastewater spilled in 2013. Keystsone will just make it worse. And that's before we even start talking about exploding tanker trains.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        We should just rename this country to: "the people's glorious republic of superfundistan"
        EVnerdGene
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Michael Walsh
        What could any intelligent person have against piping oil through a modern and safe and new pipeline compared to shipping crude in tankcars or tanker trucks ??? Idiotcracy.
          Technoir
          • 10 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Safe pipeline? They leak, they explode, they burst. There is nothing safe about transporting oil.
          EVnerdGene
          • 10 Months Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          We should immediately stop doing whatever is not 100% safe. Stop all pipelines, in fact stop shipping all oil and oil derived products immediately. Stop driving and stop walking across the street. Don't eat you might choke. I love "progressives"
      EVnerdGene
      • 10 Months Ago
      Hey, you gotta break a few eggs to make a cake.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        What kind of awful cake is being baked here?
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Mmm, some oil is needed to bake a cake as well.
          EVnerdGene
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          fruit cake, with a little
        EVnerdGene
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        yeah Jesse, it does if fact seem like lots of folks in WDC have brain damage from drugs https://www.google.com/#q=picture+of+obama+smoking+pot Like why don't we build the ultra-safe Keystone pipeline using the latest in engineering technology instead of relying on old pipelines and train transit of crude oil ??? crack brains
        Jesse Gurr
        • 10 Months Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        You got to break a few eggs to show people what drugs do to your brain.
      Technoir
      • 10 Months Ago
      The faster we get off oil for tranaportation, the better. Oil benefits corrupt autocracies around the world, funds terrorism, contributes to trade deficits, poisons air, water and soil, ruins people's health, and puts money into coffers of corporations who use it to buy politicians.
        Smooth Motor
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        That is, until the rare earth material cartels take over and do the same thing...........
      Ziv
      • 10 Months Ago
      How many gallons of oil flow naturally into the Gulf of Mexico from underwater petroleum seeps? Well, they don't measure it in gallons but in thousands of tonnes. As Wikipedia puts it " In the Gulf of Mexico, there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak between five and one million barrels of oil per year - roughly 80k to 200k tonnes. " Oil spills damage the environment, but considering the positive aspects of the oil industry they are a small price to pay. http://www.whoi.edu/main/topic/natural-oil-seeps
        Mark Schaffer
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ziv
        Explain the difference in RATE of release and how man made spills ADD on to the what happens naturally.
        JakeY
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ziv
        Natural oil seeps and anthropogenic oil spills are fundamentally different. In fact, the article you linked talks about the major differences! First thing is that the flow rate of natural seeps is very slow and it's deep underwater where ocean life living near the seep has adapted to it. The oil that seeps out is also already heavily biodegraded. In contrast, anthropogenic oil spills involve a high volume of oil (and sometimes refined products) in a very short amount of time near the top of the water where it causes damage to species not adapted to it. That's why despite natural oil leaks taking up half of the volume of the total, the anthropogenic oil spills cause almost all of the ecological damage.
        JB
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Ziv
        I would like to see what would happen if your house was flooded with oil.
      goodoldgorr
      • 10 Months Ago
      This won't happen with water electrolisis for doing hydrogen. I can't believe how much there is hydrogen naysayer after reading these oïl spills news. Im sure that the hydrogen naysayers are trying to negate that they are responsable of these oïl spills and they don't want to know that they are guilty with their usage of fossil fuels. They try to promote batteries but they don,t have battery cars , they are paid by big oïl and goverments to promote a solution that will fail at replacing petrol but they fear hydrogen done by water electrolisis. We are invaded by big oïl money right in this website. This oïl Spill make them lauph.
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