Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yellowstone River Oil Spill Reveals Mixed Reactions to Contamination

By Duane Craig

Yellowstone River Oil Spill
It is telling to see the reactions to the oil spill in the Yellowstone River. There are always the reactions of disbelief as people try to come to grips with the fact that it happened in their backyards.

Other people react with indignation calling for exquisite investigations and an all-out effort on cleanup and punishing the culprits. Still others say they expected it and were only surprised because it finally happened.

Of course there are those who are just totally surprised and are dealing with the consequences without having the time or energy to process just what the event means in the long term.
Then, there are the totally disconnected reactions of the oil traders. Instead of shifting focus to other investments where there is less chance of environmental catastrophe, they are instead worried about "the bad publicity from the oil spill," and the longer term negative effects it might have on Exxon's stock price.

Perhaps there are some people being affected by the spill in Montana who have investments in Exxon and just accept the consequences remembering all the great gains and dividends they've collected over the years. Environmental degradation is just necessary collateral damage in the war of making profits. But, many other people there, and the wildlife and plant life, will pay a disproportionate share of the costs for the oil-based economy.


Tacy Talego said...

Human Nature v. Mother Nature again. We are all just trying to find equalibrium along the path of least resistance. With the support of environmental professionals who care about the environment we find ways to cleanup, rehabilitate and move to the next disaster. There must be a better way. If we put some of that energy into pro-actively finding it instead of reactively fixing it, Mother Nature (including us humans) would be better off.
Posted by Tacy Telego, APR

Beverlymm said...

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Rally and Conference to be held
September 7th and 8th
to Raise Awareness

WHO: Protecting Our Waters
WHAT: Shale Gas Outrage Press Conference
WHEN: Wednesday, September 7 at 10:30am
WHERE: Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St. (corner of Broad & Arch) in the Parish Room

Philadelphia, PA – Shale Gas Outrage is a a two-day event endorsed by over 65 organizations outraged by fracking‟s environmental impact and unacceptable risks. Protecting Our Waters is leading the push for a Pennsylvania statewide halt on high-volume hydrofracking and for a continued moratorium on gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.

Dozens, likely hundreds, of families throughout Pennsylvania‟s “shale country” have lost access to drinkable water due to gas drilling impacts. Some families have reported severe abdominal pain, mouth ulcers, vomiting, hair loss, signs of arsenic poisoning and other serious health issues as a result of water and air contamination. Farmers and others report dead animals and lost or threatened livelihoods as a result of gas drilling.

Two months after the drilling began on two hydrofracking wells within a mile of her property, Kim McEvoy of Evans City, PA began to notice her well water turning black and emitting a foul odor. “The smell of rotten eggs was so strong that it would wake me up when the shower was running in the next room,” Kim said, adding that headaches, constant fatigue and growing health concerns followed.

Referring to her pursuit of an explanation for the high levels of toxic chemicals in her well water, Susan Breese of Kingsley, PA said, "I felt helpless. Hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. . . [Southwestern Energy] said,‟It‟s just me up against a giant oil and gas corporation. My water is ruined, my property value is totally done for."

Shale Gas Outrage includes a rally against fracking on September 7 from noon to 2pm on Arch Street in front of the Pennsylvania Convention Center (where 2,000 members of the natural gas industry will be holding their convention), as well as a march, an Interfaith Blessing of the Waters, and the September 8th Freedom From Fracking Conference. For a complete list of events please visit

Ecologist, author and public health advocate Sandra Steingraber is confirmed for the morning plenary at the Freedom From Fracking Conference, along with hydrogeologist Paul Rubin; filmmaker Josh Fox will speak at the closing plenary.

“High volume hydraulic fracturing is a public health disaster in the making,” said Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Protecting Our Waters organizer and Freedom From Fracking Conference Coordinator.

Protecting Our Waters is a Philadelphia-based grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the Delaware River basin, the state of PA and the region from unconventional gas drilling and other threats to drinking water, environment and public health: