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Chevron spills over 21,000 gallons of oil in Utah days after Governor called for more domestic production

By Climate Guest Contributor  

"Chevron spills over 21,000 gallons of oil in Utah days after Governor called for more domestic production"


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oilYesterday, Chevron discovered a leaking pipeline that was spewing 50 gallons of crude oil per minute into Red Butte Creek in Salt Lake City. By the time crews capped the leak, more than 21,000 gallons “” between 400-500 barrels “” of oil had spilled out, “coating geese and ducks” and closing the city’s largest park.  TP’s Amanda Terkel has the story.

The Salt Lake City Tribune writes:

Chevron pledged to clean up the 6-mile mess, but the company could not quantify the damage. As of late Saturday, Chevron said the leak had been stopped. But company representatives could not say when it began, how much oil spilled into city waterways and why “” despite pipeline monitors “” it apparently took hours to learn of the accident. [...]

By then [just before 8 a.m., when Chevron shut down the pipe], oil had reached Liberty Park’s pond, drenching Canada geese and Mallard ducks. At least 150 birds were rescued from the pond and taken to Hogle Zoo to be cleaned. Some were goslings and chicks as young as a week old. [...]

Depending on amounts, the spill could disrupt the food chain for the long term, killing bottom-dwelling invertebrates that feed fish, said Walt Baker, director of the state Division of Water Quality.

Watch a local Fox 13 report:

Gov. Gary Herbert (R) put out a statement calling the spill a “devastating situation.” This disaster comes just four days after the governor put out his energy plan, which called for more oil production in Utah:

For example, just recently a Utah company partnered with Utah State University’s Energy Dynamics Lab to announce new technology that will purify contaminated water and clear the air during on”shore oil and gas recovery, such as the production in eastern and central Utah. Put in the context of the ongoing off”shore Gulf Coast petroleum disaster, this has even greater significance. One might ask: “Why are we drilling in the middle of the ocean where there is extreme environmental risk when we could be meeting the demand for domestic production from on”shore development in areas with minimal environmental risk such as Utah?”

Last month, both Herbert and Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) tried to block the Interior Department’s reforms for onshore oil and gas leasing. Herbert “said that if Interior doesn’t reconsider its drilling reforms, Utah might sue the federal government.”

Related Post:

‹ New York Times public editor files final report, never mentions the paper’s dreadful global warming coverage

Zakaria on the media’s double standard on oil disasters ›

10 Responses to Chevron spills over 21,000 gallons of oil in Utah days after Governor called for more domestic production

  1. prokaryote says:

    Residents, animals feel impact of Salt Lake City oil leak

  2. catman306 says:

    Painting the leaky oil industry with a broad brush won’t cut it. Next time try a paint roller, a spray booth, or a dipping tank.

  3. prokaryote says:

    Chevron Corp. has come out swinging in its fight to continue drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, arguing that not all oil firms should be tarred with the brush of BP PLC’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  4. Andy says:

    As a resident of Salt Lake City with kids aged 2 and 4 who absolutely love Liberty Park (the park that was closed due to the spill), I have to say that I am really really angry about this. We went down to the park to look today and left because you can still smell the fumes in the air.

    This is absolutely insane. Is there no part of our country that is safe from the recklessness of the oil and gas industry???

  5. Andy says:

    @prokaryote (#5) – Do these guys know no bounds? Chevron does such a great job with its *onshore* safety that clearly they are trustworthy when it comes to deep-water drilling. [They have a pipeline monitoring system for the Salt Lake City pipe that burst, yet the spill went undetected until someone simply *saw* the oil and called it in. Great job there Chevron! Sure, why don't you just drill wherever you like? We can trust you!]

  6. Andy says:

    In fact, Chevron’s pipeline monitoring system worked so well that they don’t know when the spill started. It started sometime in the night, and was only reported when someone noticed it the next morning.

    Perhaps their “pipeline monitoring system” was something like “Wellll… if we see something in the newspaper the next morning then I suppose we’ll have to do something…”

    Honestly. How many other spills have happened along this pipeline and simply gone unreported???

    [Ok, I'll stop my rant now.]

  7. prokaryote says:

    @prokaryote (#5) – Do these guys know no bounds?

    It is a matter of what people learned, are used too – behavior pattern.
    Since the industrial revolution people learned that the driver is fossil energy and that it grants superior powers. Human evolution is tied with technology advancements and we continue to update technologies but we forgotten to update the main driver – the basis of all, the energy we consume. With population growth and the inefficiency of the combustion engine we reached the boundaries of our ecosystems.

    Maybe we had to make this experience. Now it depends on how we react – i believe we can fix this, but it requires everyone. Pardon me if this isn’t the answer you would expect.

  8. prokaryote says:

    With population growth and the inefficiency of the combustion engine – fossil energy basically, we reached the boundaries of our ecosystems.