Sunday, December 2, 2007

Fatal Pipeline Explosion, Oil Spills, Raise Questions About Murphy Oil's Superior, WI Expansion

As Murphy Oil Co. inches closer to submitting permit applications to add a pipeline and multiply its refining capacity at its Superior, WI refinery more than six-fold, accidents in the region's growing supply chain raise fresh questions about the wisdom of the Superior plan.

The Murphy Oil complex will be expanded on wetlands that drain into nearby Lake Superior - - to date, the cleanest of the five Great Lakes.

State Capitol sources have said the projected wetlands filling sought by the company will be, at between 400-500 acres, the largest in Wisconsin since the 1972 adoption of the US Clean Water Act.

There is also a Great Lakes basin refining expansion by British Petroleum on the books in Northern Indiana, so it seems but a matter of time before oil spills pollute what is the largest supply of fresh surface water on the planet.

The Murphy and BP refinery expansions will handle Canadian crude oil from tar sands - - an extremely expensive, water-dependent and environmentally-destructive oil recovery process.

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