Oil Spill Numbers Lie. What’s New?

by David on August 6, 2015

I just read an article by Michael Blood writing for Associated Press about the oil spill in California that happened two months ago. Its contents ticked me off, so I thought I’d write about it. Not that it’s Michael Blood’s fault. I’m sure he’s just passing along the information his sources gave him. And I’ll bet those sources are from the oil and pipeline industries, so that’s why they are so full of crap.Bird Covered in Oil from Spill

This spill was from a corroded oil pipeline off the coast. The first sentence of the article says that documents “disclosed that the spill might have been far larger than earlier projected.” What a shock. Have we ever had a spill that later evaluations concluded was less than expected? The companies lie. They always lie. They always give initial numbers that are smaller than reality. Does anyone ever think that those numbers are real? They talk about smaller amounts, and after a few months or years pass, and the media have shifted their attention to the next shiny object, new numbers come out. And we are supposed to believe these, too, I guess. But why should we?

This isn’t the first time the figures were revised. The spill happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday Plains All American Pipeline had already revised the numbers up to an estimated 101,000 gallons of crude fouling the water and beaches and killing at least 300 animals. This was about a five times increase. Now they say “alternate calculations” put the amount at 143,000 gallons, another 40% increase. ALTERNATE CALCULATIONS??? Yes, we’ll start with these lies and then come up with alternate lies. And they say figures are still “preliminary.”

The concluding paragraph states “Wildlife officials reported that nearly 200 birds and more than 100 marine mammals were found dead in the spill area. Investigators have not yet determined what, if any, role the spill played in those deaths.” –head bang– Oh yeah… it coulda been something else, maybe.

When are these criminals going to be reined in? Or maybe rounded up and shot? Ok that’s extreme. But how long are we going to put up with these kinds of charades? I’ll tell you how long. As long as our elected officials are in the pockets of the oil, gas, and pipeline industries. So FOREVER. Unless we interrupt the flow of big money into the lawmakers coffers. Unless we insure the overturn of “Citizens United” which made the mind-bogglingly preposterous decision that corporations are people. Unless we assure the bozos who take the money they will be kicked out of office.

I wish I could say that this rant made me feel better. Why isn’t everyone ranting???

Related links:

Michael Blood’s article

Plains All American Pipeline

Citizens United (Wikipedia)

Overview of Citizens United

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