Thursday, May 21, 2015

It Wasn't as Bad as it Could Have Been

Earlier this week another massive oil spill occurred in the Santa Barbara area. While not on the scale of the likes of the BP spill which dumped hundreds of millions of gallons of crude into the oil, this recent spill is far from a small matter. Despite the pipe line only spilling 100,000 gallons of crude, the environmental impact is still very real and the long term ramifications are staggering. However I would like to focus less on the ecological issue and more on the business side of it. As stated in the article, this particular company, Plains All American Pipeline, has had over 175 different violations of federal safety and maintenance regulations, yet has still been allowed to operate. The pipeline has recently been inspected, meaning the companies process is either woefully inadequate or purposefully neglectful, neither one of those are good. The title focuses more on the fact that the pipe was not operating at full capacity instead of the spill itself suggesting that people should be grateful that it wasn't worse. However a spill is a spill. The damages are irrefutable, and the companies responsible pay a petty fine, doggedly clean up and then continue to exploit the world and its resources for profit. Hardly seems fair, especially not with the declining status of the environment.
What do you think? Am I just grasping at straws?


Elena E said...
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Elena E said...

The spill is not a trivial mater at all, and Plains All's 175 violations prove that the spill is something to take seriously. The company is not fit to operate as it is. Damages from a spill are devastating, and in a perfect world, Plain All pipelines would be removed, the oil cleaned up, and animals rescued, sheltered, and cleaned at the company's expense. Oil spills cannot be lightly dismissed so easily. Damage to the environment is something to be taken very seriously. Either way, everything in nature is interconnected, and damaging the environment will only have a negative impact on us in the long run.

Ben Maison said...

It's the cost of business. Well, it's the cost of GOOD business, the kind that allows you to take a healthy paycheck instead of having to constantly replace and upgrade your infrastructure.
I doubt this one spill will cause any substantial change in the overall oil extraction picture. Even when only counting P.A.A.P. spills, they're still far too common. It's something that would ideally change, but that's where the money is and where there isn't enough public or political focus to change the status quo.

"Plains All American Pipeline Chairman Greg Armstrong said he was deeply sorry for the spill.

'We apologize for the damage that has been done to the wildlife and to the environment, and we're very sorry for the disruption and inconvenience that it has caused the citizens and visitors of this area,' he said."

Douglas Kirsher said...

We are lucky the spill wasn’t worse but it was still a huge environmental disaster. We need to focus on the damage. The problem is that America relies on energy including oil to continue our way of life. While I wish we could stop pipeline deliveries, I don’t think I want to give up electricity or gas that maintains our lifestyle. I do think that we need to improve our infrastructure. Gas line explosions, water main breaks, potholes in the freeway, and this. Much of our infrastructure is old and we need to fix this problem. And those companies that make a profit off of the infrastructure need to be held accountable if they do not maintain their like was the case in the oil spill.