The Skywriter

Weekly Round-Up 7/30/10: Another oil spill, this time in Michigan

30
Jul

Weekly Round-Up 7/30/10: Another oil spill, this time in Michigan

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Michigan called for a "State of Emergency" because of the largest oil spill in Midwest history. The pipeline, owned by Enbridge Liquids Pipelines and the largest transporter of oil from western Canada, leaked 840,000 gallons into the Kalamazoo River Monday morning devastating Calhoun County. The pipeline has been shut down but the damage is already done. And to think, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich was on the fence about the climate and energy bill that was recently proposed then put on the back burner.

The horrific pictures coming in of the oil spill in Calhoun County area underscore just how imperative it is for Michigan to move toward clean, safe energy sources like wind and solar instead of relying on outdated fuels like oil," Clean Water Action Michigan Director Cyndi Roper.

Obama is hopefully waking up to the inevitable devastation of drilling for oil. He has canceled two offshore drilling leases in the Atlantic, off the coast of Virginia and another one in the Gulf of Mexico. The lease sells were canceled in order to take time and improve safety in off shore oil drilling, provide better environmental protections and to reduce the risk of another oil spill devastation. This is the least he could do after sitting on his hands with climate legislation.

Obama's decision to cancel these lease sales recognizes that risky offshore drilling needs reform," said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center. "Halting controversial lease sales is among the most pro active steps that Obama has taken toward the Gulf disaster."

Good news for alternative energy! The largest wind farm in the history of the U.S. is underway in the Mojave Desert, about 75 miles north of Los Angeles in the Tehachapi Pass. This wind farm is said to take up thousands of acres of land providing electricity to 600,000 homes in Southern California while creating thousands of local jobs. We have Alta Wind Energy Center to thank for this wonderful project taking place. This project is expected to be complete within the next decade.

Oil Spill Update

BP has endured a record $17 BILLION loss in profits and is expected to spend at least $32 BILLION in cleaning up the Gulf. BPs share price dropped 40%. No wonder BP announced Monday that CEO BP Tony Hayward will resign on October 1. Apparently, he was bad for business and was being seen as more of a liability than an asset. So, he'll just leave his mess for someone else to clean. This decision is as much his as it is the board of BP. I'm sure $1.62 million and a pension totaling $17.1 million will keep him cozy. Robert Dudley, born in Queens, NY and raised in Mississippi, will be his successor.

Since BP capped on the oil well, there have been reports of missing oil from the Gulf. How could this be? There has been an estimated 126 million to 218 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf since April 20. However, only 80 million gallons have been salvaged while 40 million gallons are "missing in action".

What we're trying to figure out is: Where is all the oil at?" said retired Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen, the oil response's federal overseer. "There's still a lot of oil that's unaccounted for."

Scientists are currently working on the numbers. Apparently, coast guard are claiming to find little to no crude in the Gulf during their flyovers. A lot of the oil has been bio-degraded by bacteria already in the ocean while some of the oil has been dispersed or has washed up on shorelines. Some of the oil that has actually been collected was dumped in landfills and residents are not happy about it.

Got a great idea for cleaning up the oil spill? If so, take note: a $1 million dollars will be given away by the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge to the best idea for cleaning up the oil spill. So, put on your thinking caps!

The Colbert Report does a hilarious job of explaining the case of the missing oil. He compares this to a game of "Whack-a-Mole" where you hit a mole where it pops up from the ground. Check out the video below.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Oil Is Missing
www.colbertnation.com
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