Local oil spills raise unsettling questions
Local oil spills have caused an unsettling thought to creep into my mind. In the past two months, two oil spills have occurred in two Great Lakes states and it seems to be more common than I would have ever imagined.
The first most Michigan residents, especially those on the west side of the state, have heard of. Sometime between July 25 and 26 about one million gallons of oil spilled from a pipeline into a creek near Marshall that tributes to the Kalamazoo River. In the latest report, oil has been found 30 miles up the Kalamazoo.
On Sept. 9, another oil spill occurred less than 200 miles away in Romeoville, Ill. This oil spill released an estimated 6,100 gallons of oil into the surrounding area, reaching a waste-water treatment plant.
Enbridge, a Canadian company, has been responsible for both spills. So, with both spills so close together both in distance and time, I am starting to worry about if these smaller-scale spills are the norm or not.
According to a profile of Enbridge by the Polaris Institute, the company is responsible for 610 oil spills from 1999 to 2008. In fact, in 2008 alone there were 93 spills. This amounts to about 5.5 million gallons of oil being spilt into the environment in less than 10 years.
Does this information mean that this happen more often than the public knows?
As citizens, we should be demanding accountability for these environmental atrocities. However, if we aren’t informed how are we supposed to take action?
I believe that we all have a responsibility to make sure our world is protected for our future generations to enjoy.
So this fall, I am making sure I know where each Michigan candidate, stands on environmental issues. I also encourage you all to do the same. We shouldn’t stand for being underinformed or having our environment destroyed for the all-mighty dollar.
Stay tuned for my reports on what Michigan’s politicians are doing to help protect our environment.
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