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Why Sarah Palin and Chevron May Be Responsible for the Next Massive Oil Spill in Alaska

Currently 6 million gallons of crude oil sit at the base of a volcano that has erupted 19 times in the last eight days.
 
 
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Mount Redoubt is awake. Our governor is not. I'm beyond annoyed.

Currently, 6 million gallons of Alaska crude oil wait at the base of a volcano that has puked, spewed and gone half mad 19 times in the last 8 days. The years of colonization have made flaccid the response of many Alaskans. For good reason; collective PTSD from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and subsequent 20 year wait only to have the Supreme Court deliver Exxon a reach-around while Alaskans grabbed their ankles fuels collective disillusionment. It's ironic we need petroleum products to deal with an oil company. Sadly, our governor couldn't remember "Exxon v. Baker" when asked by Katie Couric about Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with. The 20th solemn observance of the catastrophic spill last week would have been an appropriate time for a statement, but she was loudly silent. It is a very real possibility that history could be repeated.

The Drift River marine terminal started operating in 1967. Brilliant. I know, let's put an oil storage facility at the base of a volcano. You would think it was the secret lair of the Evil Dr. Cheney; or some hilariously funny and misguided plotline from an Austin Powers film. Pipelined in from another facility, it merely holds the crude until it's ready to ride to the refinery across the inlet.

One of the reasons given for leaving 6 million gallons of crude in the storage tanks is stability; the tanks are much more stable when they have something in them. Chevron referenced Katrina and the need to keep the tanks heavy enough so they don't float away in a flood. The environmental coupon clippers decided to risk Cook Inlet in order to save empty storage tanks. DID I MENTION THEY ARE AT THE BASE OF AN ACTIVE AND EXPLODING VOLCANO? Drift River is also permitted by the EPA to treat ballast water from tankers. Were the storage tanks emptied of oil, they could be filled to safe and stable weight levels with sea water-called BALLAST when it's in a boat.

The volcanic eruption of 1989 was severe, but Cook Inlet was not at risk - the storage tanks had been emptied. 20 years later, industry initially wouldn't release the amount of oil left in the tanks citing a threat to " homeland security ". So, by that logic, the terrorists would attack if they knew the crude supply in a storage facility was running a little low? REALLY? The Palin Administration, the Coast Guard, and the EPA rolled with that and regurgitated the corporate line of drivel without question. Why don't the terrorists attack the Port of Valdez? They release their crude number every day. Finally, due to relentless pressure from Cook Inlet Keepers, Chevron finally owned the fact they decided to store 6 million gallons of crude oil at the base of Mt Redoubt .

After months of seismic activity , rumblings, belches...well, all the volcanic foreplay you would expect before an eruption...why are 6 million gallons of oil still there? That's over half the size of the reported Exxon Valdez oil spill . The Coast Guard, Chevron and the State have collectively admitted that there is a lack of response equipment if the Drift River oil tanks rupture or collapse.

According to state statutes for lease conditions;

"Mitigative, Preventive, and Abatement Activities Required (a) The LESSEE will, at its own expense ....The LESSEE shall prevent or, if the procedure, activity, event or condition already exists or has occurred, shall abate, as completely as practicable, using the BEST PRACTICABLE TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE...immediate, serious, or irreparable harm or damage to the environment (including but not limited to soil, sediments, water and air quality, areas of vegetation, fish or other wildlife populations or their habitats, or any other natural resource)."

 
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