Monday, July 18, 2011

Regulators, Public Surprised! Heavier, More Toxic Tar Sand Oil Shipped In Ruptured ExxonMobil Pipeline

You can put this in your "Government-Should-Be-Run-Like-A-Business" file.

You know, the file - - along with clips from the BP well blowout, Rupert Murdoch's crumbling newspaper empire, or Wall Street, Ethics  - - you whip out when conservatives begin their robotic touting of privatization and the alleged superiority of corporate acumen.

Here's what I'm talking about:

ExxonMobil let its "Silvertip" oil pipeline leak 42,000 gallons into Montana's pristine Yellowstone River, then admitted the conduit regularly carried heavy, dirty, toxic tar sands Canadian crude oil - - a fact not disclosed to public.

This story is pretty blunt about it:

Exxon: Pipeline Carried Oil Sands

BILLINGS - ExxonMobil admits on Sunday that they were wrong about what kind of oil was flowing through the Silvertip Oil Pipeline when it spilled into the Yellowstone River.

More details, here, and a few key paragraphs from a different account:
Officials with the U.S. Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said late on Wednesday they had just learned that the Silvertip carried oil from Canada.
That a pipeline thought to transport only "sweet" crude could have carried the heavier and more corrosive tar sands crude from Canada has raised concerns by health and environmental officials.
Tar sands crude may also cause more wear and tear on pipes because of its chemical makeup, including corrosive and abrasive agents, said Tom Finch, the pipeline administration's technical services director for the western regional office.
Federal inspectors were trying to determine if transport of tar sands crude could have triggered internal corrosion that may have played a role in the rupture, Finch said.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has faulted Exxon for failing to tell the state exactly what kinds of crude ran in the pipeline or spell out what hazardous chemicals were in the mix now contaminating riverside properties.

No comments: