Who’s paying for the pipeline spill cleanup work?

So, a pipeline broke in Arkansas, spilling about 12,000 barrels of a form of heavy crude oil being piped in from Canada.  I’m learning a bit about this industry by following the spill.  For example, I’ve learned that there’s something called the ‘Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund‘ that was established to ensure that if there’s an accident like this, the money will be available to pay for the cleanup. The bulk of the money for this comes from a per-barrel tax that the oil industry pays on oil produced in, or imported to, the US.  It seems like a nice program.  One would think.

So, this pipeline spill.  Turns out that what it was carrying either was from tar sands, or is very similar to that (bitumen, to be exact).  Point being, despite the environmental damage being similar to crude oil (or perhaps even worse, depends on who you ask), this form of crude oil is exempt from the barrel tax designed to pay for cleanups such as the one this same oil is currently responsible for!  Amazing.  The Keystone XL pipeline would also fall under this exemption, despite posing no small environmental risk.

(via Treehugger and ThinkProgress)

Video of the spill:

Exxon CEO acknowledges global warming link

Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, acknowledged that burning fossil fuels is warming the planet, but says we’ll be able to adapt.  While I agree with that statement, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to have to adapt to a changing and warming planet, I like Earth the way it is now!  We currently have the technologies needed to enormously decrease CO2 emissions and decrease global warming.  We do not need to depend on adapting to a changing environment, we can instead prevent it from changing in the first place!

I do agree with much or most of what Tillerson goes on to say, about how the public is illiterate in science and math, and the press is lazy.  I just disagree about the idea that depending on adaptation to a warming planet is an acceptable path to follow.  I live in Colorado, where we are ‘adapting’ to what climate scientists have been predicting – erratic precipitation amounts, warmer temperatures, which right now means I’m living in the path of the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history.  Yes, we can adapt, but I’d prefer a Colorado with a more stable climate, please!

Read more over at The Hook.

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