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Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
we want YOU to think...if you dare...


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alberta Oil Spill: MAGIC Cleanup


Seeing Red

 There has been another oil spill in Alberta...and for the record, here at Incoming Bytes, yes,  I am seeing red. A very old pipeline that crosses a river has conveniently spewed some 3000 barrels of crude oil into the pristine waterway.  That is, of course, if  anyone should somehow believe it is "only" 3,000 barrels, or a half million liters of dirty, black oil.

 All Canadians should be aware of this latest mess courtesy of the petroleum industry.  The residents of Red Deer, Alberta, soon will be  aware of it since they,-- all 100,000 of them, obtain their drinking water from the Red Deer River.    

 We expect that Alberta premier Alison Redford, and her "Environment Minister" will quickly don designer Hazmat suits, rubber boots and rubber gloves, and get VERY busy scrubbing up the LATEST oil spill FROM A LEAKING PIPELINE  contaminating the Red Deer River. This is yet ANOTHER ugly oil spill from pipelines operated  by Plains Midstream Canada 

We expect Alison and oil friends will clean up EVERY DROP, since she reportedly said, in famous last words:

“In Alberta, this does not happen very often, and when it does we’re able to get a handle on it quickly” 
 She also apparently believes “the situation is in hand.” 

Doesn't that give us all a warm and fuzzy feeling? The residents of Red Deer, Alberta, who get their drinking water from this river must be delighted with this latest environmental disaster.

We suggest that Ms Redford should take EVERY executive from this irresponsible industry WITH her and clean up this " impossible to clean up" MESS-- and for once, face the consequences and reality of their responsibility, close up and dirty.

Which part of "Dirty oil can not be completely removed from a pristine environment" do they not understand?  Which part of "Oil is a systemic poison to plants, fish and wildlife" does this whole industry not understand?  Which part of "It is not a matter of IF, but WHEN a pipeline will fail" do these people not understand?
Canadians should be outraged and demand a review of all pipelines in the country.  With hundreds of leaks, incidents, and accidents,  the fact is, the oil industry is out of control and reckless governments continue to allow MORE pipelines. 
 The sad fact is, like all dirty crude oil spills, ad nauseum, this mess will never be cleaned up.
Oh, wait, Ms. Redford and her government have a magic way of cleaning up oil spills. How comforting. 
Our "governments" want to allow these people to build the Northern Gateway pipeline, and the XL pipeline --and knowingly gut environmental regulations to enable, and speed up the process?   Readers of Incoming Bytes are encouraged to pay attention. We clearly have a problem.....
*--and no, I will not be posting any pictures of this sickening environmental stupidity. I do not wish to make loyal readers of IncomingBytes sick to their stomachs. We already know what oil-coated wildlife looks like, courtesy of the oil industry.
Meantime, we'll just issue dunce caps and magic wands to all concerned.
 Is that incoming I hear?


  1. I read about this on Facebook earlier this morning. Unfortunately, oil spills have become a fact of modern life because of our greed. The planet is being destroyed by environmental disasters (remember the BP oil spill? The company has spent a ton of money in commercials encouraging tourism to the Gulf of Mexico, in the meantime, crude oil has become entrenched in the bottom of the Gulf and in the food chain). Crude oil stays in the environment for decades and destroys the habitat for many years, despite all the corporate bigwigs who try to whitewash these disasters. I agree with what you say and understand your anger.

    1. Katley, thank you for dropping in. These " slick oil people" have NO concept of how much damage is done by these spills, and if they DO, they just do not CARE.
      That oil will NEVER disappear completely from the Red Deer River in our lifetime; all it takes is a few parts per billion of oil to ruin the water for human consumption.
      The oil in the Gulf is 'out of sight, out of mind' at the beaches, where it has been "scraped up and covered up" but the backwoods marshes are poisoned and dying--not to recover --probably for centuries.
      This kind of environmental disaster should be considered CRIMINAL, not just 'accidental'. This pipeline was very old--and was left making "profit" for the GREEDY, DIRTY oil industry regardless of it's age or condition. The fact is, this was irresponsible and negligence. It is time to assess HUGE fines, and they better clean up the mess. Isn't it convenient? It is IMPOSSIBLE to restore that river to it's previous state. Thanks for commenting and speaking out, Katley. ":)

  2. It was hard to read this let alone look at it. It's times like these I have to wonder where the heck the change is. Did it get stuck in the oil? So sick of this environmental abuse.It makes me boil inside which is not good.There has to be a way to bring an end to this insanity!!!!So sorry to hear this RK...Forget the magic wands, just dunce caps are deserved. Hope all ends up okay....VK

    1. Hi VK, this is difficult to stomach, isn't it? These people are shameless--it does not seem to matter to them. It is clearly environmental abuse--it will kill vegetation, fish and wildlife--and the people will shrug and pretend they are innocent. It IS insanity, and our governments are allowing it to happen. UNACCEPTABLE under any terms. Dunce caps sure are deserved--and jail terms--and very, VERY large corporate fines.
      The people of Red Deer, Alberta, will now have contaminated water forever--just like the Native peoples downstream from the oil sands. It is outrageous. Thanks for commenting and speaking up, VK--your comments are always much appreciated. ":)

  3. I am a native of the Gulf of Mexico. I have first hand seen some of the damage done. What I am going to say next is going to be uncomfortable.

    This outrage makes me angry. Not that you are angry at the spill. Not that you are looking to preserve the habitat and the wildlife. Not that you are concerned about human drinking water. No, that is not what makes me angry.

    There are no fines because our governments are busy doing anything and everything to profiteer. Oil is the backbone of the economy both here and there. There are no regulations which require routine maintenance of the pipelines. The valves, yes. The pipelines, no.

    If you want to advocate for change, advocate for QC of the entire industry. Right now, there is very little on shore, and most of it comes in the form of driving regulations. The offshore industry has a massive amount of regulation because people understand the pictures of a dirty beach and wetlands; the Valdez; the BP spill.

    On shore, the same regulations do not exist. It is a calculated risk. The fines for pollution and the clean up money are minuscule compared the profits which flowed through the pipe before it burst. The government and the oil companies both know it.

    It all just makes me sick.


    1. Red, well said. Don't worry about making anyone uncomfortable, I want people to say what they think, not what they imagine is 'acceptable'.

      Yes,offshore regulations are much more stringent than onshore operations which virtually have carte blanche to do anything they wish. There seems to be no control of any kind with pipelines no matter how old they are. Governments stupidly leave the oil industry to it's 'best practices' which, between the lines, means make huge profit at any cost to the environment and civilization itself. "Fifty-year-old rusted out pipelines make money.
      Outrage is not NEARLY adequate as a response to this gross stupidity, Red.

      People just don't get it, these people do not CARE what happens,as long as they make huge profits. Advocating for QC of the entire industry on shore is ideal and clearly what 'needs to be done' but until the politicians we vote for develop some spine and some ETHICS, nothing will be done anyway. Collectively, the oil industry and politicians should be ashamed of themselves and face their responsibility.
      "It all just makes me sick" is an understatement, Red. Thanks for commenting. ":) ~R

  4. Oh great, something else to mess up our environment!
    I too am seeing RED.
    ~Naila Moon

    1. Naila, it is a problem that occurs over and over--and our politicians do nothing about it. It is shameful isn't it? Our politicians are responsible for allowing old pipelines and NEGLIGENCE in maintenance and testing. Clearly that has to be changed. Thanks for visiting! ~R

  5. Raymond, I read this via my phone yesterday at work, and I have to admit. tears streamed forth as my heart went out yet again to Natures plight at another disaster at mans hand..
    Red! I saw and felt it, and I can only ask Natures forgiveness for our constant distruction of her waterways and oceans and Wild life.. And all in the Name of Greed.. .. I hope you do not mind me sharing a poem with you here Raymond I wrote about an Oil Spill..

    Earth Mother
    Black is the ocean, as the liquid gold spills
    Black is the feathers choking seabird bills
    Black is the day we pollute another shore
    And Black is my heart as it aches with her sores..

    Earth Mother, oh Earth Mother, we abuse you so
    We ruin your waters, we ruin your glow..
    Earth Mother, Oh Earth Mother, help us to see
    How each hurt we inflict, hurts You and Me..

    Tell me this, tell me true,
    Why is man destroying You?
    I hold onto your beauty, I hold onto your Light
    Why do they not see the hurt of your plight?

    The blackness is greed, which now spills from your depths
    The seas of darkness, like hovering debts
    Each is a mirror, in the conscious thought
    Many not caring and think of you naught

    My heart bleeds with you, I hear your cries
    You weep endlessly from your skies
    You howl and scream and belch out smoke
    You shake us and rattle and blew as you spoke

    But do we listen? To your words of woo
    No we humans.. We think we know..
    But soon your scorn, your wind and your storms
    Will devour us, and leave us with no form.

    And then our lament will wail like your Winds
    Our Maker will show us the price of our sins
    And our Earth Mother will cry, in her birthing pains
    As yet another end-cycle begins again......

    Sue Dreamwalker

    1. Sue, I see the tears and...and pain in your beautiful poem, so well said. We keep failing Mother nature with our foolish quest for greed--and never seem to learn. Is our fault arrogance or just ordinary oil-coated stupidity?
      Perhaps in the end, after we have destroy the final bit of natural beauty we have, the greedy and wealth-obsessed will see the error of their ways as they, true only to their greed, commandeer the last gasp of air. The 'lament' of greed will truly be ours--collectively, since we do nothing to stop the destruction.
      Thank you for your wonderful comments. I do hope this wakes up humanity, but that is a long and complex wish, isn't it. A dream to be prayed for. Thanks again Sue... ~R

  6. Replies
    1. Angie, sadness is perhaps the most appropriate response to the destruction of our beautiful environment. None of it will ever be the same, which is so distressing. Why these people don't understand this environment is NOT replaceable once destroyed---is beyond comprehension. Thank you for commenting. ":( !R

  7. Devastating....She is clearly fooling herself and trying to fool others. Quick! I don't think so.

  8. Lorre, you're right on. She is saying what she believes will "soothe the ruffled feathers" and everything will be "just fine" and political rhetoric and B.S.'ing abut everything will magically make the dirty oil disappear? Only fools will believe that. Thank you for commenting! ":) ~R

  9. Hi Raymond,
    Seems we did meet during the A-Z, so forgive me for that blunder. In my defense, I met quite a few bloggers that month ;-)
    This is an outrage. The solution isn't clean-up, or putting the pipelines elsewhere, it's ALTERNATE ENERGY. Wind, sun, and falling water are all free for the taking. We are stupid to still depend on oil.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Post A-Z Road trip!

    1. Hi Tina, yes, we did meet during the A-Z, and it was wonderful meeting you. I met quite a few new people myself, it's hard to keep track of everyone!
      This IS an outrage. As Red mentioned, there are virtually NO regulations in place to ensure testing and replacement of old pipelines, some of which are ancient! The oil business is so profitable they can literally buy influence anywhere.
      Clearly the ultimate solution is clean alternative energy--there's a lot more to this story than lets on. "We are stupid to still depend on oil" is a HUGE understatement. Which part of "OIL IS UNSUSTAINABLE" do the people in control not get?
      Thank you for visiting again, Tina, it's nice to see you! ":) ~R

  10. While I’m not a Canadian, I can truly sympathize. Oils spills like this anywhere on our beautiful planet are simply devastating. The utter disregard for our environment is heartbreaking and downright criminal.

    Wonderful, heartfelt post, Raymond.


    1. Susan, thanks for dropping in and commenting! Oil spills are happening everywhere as a result of BAD or no pipeline maintenance, cost-cutting on inspections if there are any at all. There is no border with respect to the greed of petroleum companies and their incessant negligence. it IS heartbreaking--AND criminal. The question is, when are our governments going to put a halt to this increasingly severe mess they are creating? The "oil sands" in Alberta and the Bakken shale oil deposits are individually going to be the biggest environmental catastrophes in the history of the modern world.
      Thank you for your wonderful comments, Susan. Perhaps "Super Earthling" can fix it all, or write a post about it....":)) ~R

  11. I remember how sad I was a few years ago when a rig here in Louisiana caught fire and oil gushed into the Gulf for days until they could cap it. It still makes me shudder to think about it, but it does boil down to faulty inspections and bad maintenance.

    1. Hi CYW, I certainly sympathize with anyone that was down close to the Gulf with the last HUGE catastrophe that occurred there. Faulty inspections, bad maintenance, human errors, when will these people admit that this industry will always be the source of "accidents" and do something about it? When will our political -so-called "leaders" step UP and clean up this industry? Apparently never.
      Thank you for commenting..~ R

  12. Well said. There are life trainers and suchlike who think we should never be angry. Anyone not angry at such a thing is betraying God, humanity and the living planet.

    1. Hi Siba, nice to see you! Unfortunately our "leaders" are apathetic and seem to believe there is more political mileage to be made from
      "enriching and soothing the oiled feathers" of the petroleum industry than doing their JOB, which is to provide leadership and take care of the environment and the people and wildlife that depend upon it. Outrage isn't enough by itself; these people should be brought to justice and shown the error of their ways--or resign in shame at their gross failure and criminal acts. There can be, literally, NO excuse allowed for this negligence politically or otherwise.
      Thanks for dropping in and commenting! ~R

  13. Oh, I'm so sorry.

    What is wrong with us? What is wrong with a species that continually craps where it eats?


    1. hi Pearl! That is the question isn't it? Total greed by a thoughtless minority interest coupled with mass apathy from the majority--is a bad combination isn't it. There is a pattern here, and NOT a good one. There is definitely something wrong with this species, as you so accurately put it! Nice to see you! ":) ~R


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