Yet Another BP Oil Spill in Alaska

Clearly, BP has been doing damage control on overtime since the disastrous Gulf oil spill, but it looks like they should probably shift some of their focus on PR to oil safety. Today Reuters reports that another pipeline has ruptured in Alaska's Lisburne field, and was spilling "a mixture of methanol and oily water into the tundra." According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the spill amounted to up to 4200 gallons, and BP said that cleanup was under way.

But even more remarkable and frustrating: the pipeline that ruptured and caused the spill hasn't even been used since June 18, when it was shuttered for annual maintenance work. While the fields generally produce 30,000 gallons of oil per day, the rupture was caused "during testing." Guess it didn't pass, did it? 

Meanwhile, this week Congress will vote on an offshore-drilling safety regulation bill, which would  increase inspections and make safety standards more stringent—and, if an amendment to be introduced by Louisana Democrat Mary Landrieu is given the greenlight, would allocate coastal states with a large percentage of the profits. The Hill notes that similar revenue-sharing amendments have elicited quite the debate—some members of Congress want revenue sharing to go federal—but the fact that it's on the table is still an interesting development in a clearly important and ongoing debate for our desperate environment.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 18, 2011, 4:56am

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