dateline: May 19, 2015, An oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA caused by a ruptured transfer line owned and operated by Plains All Ameican Pipeline occured. Plains All Ameican Pipeline originally stated that 500 barrels (21,000 gallons) had leaked out of the broken pipe but later revised it's estimate to 2500 barrels. (105,000 gallons)
Big numbers. Bigger cleanup, Even bigger aftermath:
- animals in the ocean dead: millions?
- animals along the shoreline dead: thousands? tens of thousands?
- cost to local economy due to loss of tourism: millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? - losses would include lost revenues to restaurants and hotels in the area (Memorial Day weekend is now a lost cause for the local tourism industry in the area.)
- a miles wide oil slick extends the reach of the losses - this is still expanding because of winds and tides.
- how long will the area be impacted? - years? decades?
Worst part of this mess? Plains All American Pipeline will likely understate the damage to the environment and local economy. The wildlife and local economy will get crushed under the weight of the environmental disaster and the politicians and judges will let this company off with a small slap on the wrist in the form of a fine. California might even have these guys pay for part of the cleanup. Then taxpayers will get stuck with the decades long effects of the spill.
Plains All American Pipeline a Texas based company, has a documented 175 safety and maintenance violations since 2006, stores and transports crude oil. They own 18,000 miles of pipeline and report $43 billion ($43,000,000,000) in revenue and $878 million in profits ($878,000,000) in 2014. They have been cited for mechanical failures, equipment malfunctions and operator errors. Everyone who is looking knows these guys are a oil spill waiting to happen. To these guys, even a $100 million ($100,000,000) fine is nothing.
These days big oil can do whatever they want, make huge mistakes that destroy communities and they already know they can usually walk away with only small penalties. They have zero incentive to act differently because they don't have any real damaging consequences for their irresponsible actions.
Case in point: BP says it's findings show "no conclusive relation" to the Deep Water Horizon's explosion and spill to the sudden spike in dolphin deaths in the gulf of mexico. Really? It is absolutely amazing that their findings are unable to link the leak of 4.9 million barrels (210 million US gal) of crude oil to the deaths of dolphins in the gulf. (never mind the millions of lost animals and billions in lost tourism) Experts say the well in the gulf is still leaking today.
I don't know the solution to this equation: (big oil + lack of regulation and oversight = irresponsible behavior) by these large companies. But I can certainly recognize the link and the results.
just my opinion. what do you think?
information cited from the following sources: