The Kalamazoo River oil spill has received a revival of attention from media in the United States and Canada nearly two-years after more than 800,000 gallons of heavy crude oil spilled into the river from Enbridge Energy’s pipeline.
New information has been mad available this month from the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the spill. Canadian media has looked at the Kalamazoo River as what can happen when a spill occurs, at a time when Enbridge is attempting to build a new pipeline across Canada.
Enbridge can’t say if federal cuts would undermine oil spill response
OTTAWA — Alberta-based Enbridge can’t say what impact millions of dollars in cuts to federal environmental emergency staff would have on its oil-spill response plan for the Northern Gateway pipeline project, even though the plan relies partly on federal help if a spill were to occur.
Enbridge identified the Environment Canada unit as part of its emergency response plan in March 2011, before the Harper government’s 2012 budget eliminated regional jobs and funding for the team that responds to environmental accidents and disasters.
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Must Read: Investigation Reveals True Hazards Of Piping Tar Sands Across America
America has a new word to learn: Dilbit.
Dilbit, short for diluted bitumen, is a combination of tar sands crude (bitumen) and dangerous liquid chemicals like benzene (the dilutant) used to thin crude so it can be piped to refineries.
And there is a lot of it being piped into America — in some cases through the backyards of communities that don’t even know it’s there.
What are the Tar Sands?
The tar sands in northern Alberta have emerged as Canada’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution and are also poisoning the water, polluting the air, and destroying the land. Meanwhile, oil companies are recklessly developing the tar sands, with plans to increase production to a dangerous level of six million barrels per day or more by 2035.
There are two ways that oil is extracted from the tar sands: open pit mines and in situ, or drilling, sites.
What If a Tarsands Spill Happens Today in Nebraska?
The worst tarsands spill seen in the United States happened two years ago in Marshall, Michigan. Inside Climate is running a three-part series documenting the stories of families impacted by the devastating spill and how unprepared local, state and national officials are for tarsands.
We are not dealing with traditional crude oil, tarsands–also known as dilbit–is more toxic, more difficult to cleanup and worse for our natural resources.