Serial Oil Spiller Claims Local Mess is Unrelated to Their Michigan Mess...Sigh...

By JoshMogerman in News on Sep 12, 2010 8:00PM

enbridge_logo.jpg Cleanup continues at the scene of Enbridge Energy’s latest Midwestern oil spill in Romeoville, where an undetermined amount of oil leaked from a massive pipeline this week. Saturday, vacuum trucks diverted from the company’s recent spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River posed quite a contrast with work crews digging up the pipeline by hand. EPA has given Enbridge until Monday at Noon to end the flow of oil as 200-600 barrels continue to spill hourly (despite company claims that it was stopped Friday).

Enbridge claims that the local spill is unrelated to their Michigan mess. This despite the fact that the Romeoville pipeline, line 6A, feeds the damaged pipeline in the Wolverine State, line 6B, and statements from Enbridge’s CEO that the company had redirected extra oil into line 6A to make up for the lost capacity on the other line. The Romeoville line brings in 1/3 of the oil from America’s largest petroleum supplier, Canada (what, you thought it was the Saudis?). The pipeline moved many different kinds of oil, including tar sands oil, a source of growing global controversy, for the BP refinery in Whiting, IN (a source of local controversy). BP had their own pipeline problems last month after a gasoline pipeline ruptured in Northwest Indiana, taking weeks to clean up and replace.

In Michigan, line 6A remains closed after hundreds of defects were found in the pipe. The Illinois spill likely complicates Enbridge’s efforts to get that line restarted:

“This most recent spill by Enbridge along Line 6A in Illinois left me stunned, but not entirely surprised,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek. “It once again demonstrates the company’s apparent inability to safely operate their pipeline system. It is a reminder of the urgency of fixing all defects in Line 6B, the line that ruptured in Michigan, before it can be restarted. The health and safety of those living near the pipeline system cannot be compromised.”

It makes us wonder what investigators will find when they dig around Chicago’s collar counties which are a growing pipeline hub. The two Enbridge spills are already impacting oil prices nationally. So...how soon can we get our hands on one of those new-fangled electric cars?