Workers cleaning up an oil spill in North Dakota that is officially listed as 10 gallons recovered 240,000 gallons, but the actual number might be larger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 which released about 11 million gallons of crude.
The discrepancy in the numbers, first reported by the environmental blog DeSmog, shows how inadequate North Dakota’s policy is for reporting spills. The state doesn’t update initial public reports on spills.
“I have seen many instances where it appears spills are being covered up, and there appears to be a pattern of downplaying spills, which makes the narrative surrounding oil and gas development look rosy and makes the industry look better politically,” said Scott Skokos, executive director of the Dakota Resource Council.
A U.S. House subcommittee has been holding hearings on the impact of oil and gas development on local communities and the environment.
North Dakota farmer Daryl Peterson told the committee more than a dozen brine spills over the past 25 years have ruined parts of his farm.
“Regulators were made aware of all spills, but did not hold the companies accountable,” Peterson told the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House’s Natural Resource Committee.
North Dakota regulators were not required to tell the public about oilfield-related spills until 2013 after a wheat farmer in northwestern North Dakota discovered a massive spill that has been called one of the biggest onshore spills in U.S. history.
The North Dakota spill, which could take another decade to clean up, is in Watford City in the northwest part of North Dakota at the Garden Creek I Gas Processing Plant. Workers noticed a leak in July 2015. Garden Creek processes natural gas and natural gas liquids from Bakken wells.
Reported DeSmog: “Neither the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which monitors coastal spills, nor the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could provide records to put the spill’s size in context, but according to available reports, if the 11-million-gallon figure is accurate, the Garden Creek spill appears to be among the largest recorded oil and gas industry spills in the history of the United States.”
Regulators said some groundwater was affected at the Garden Creek site, but the spill didn’t reach beyond the facility’s boundaries.
Dave Glatt, the state environmental quality chief, said the spill at the gas plant in 2015 would still need to be reported because it doesn’t involve an oil production facility.
Is it an impeachment inquiry, an investigation or something else?
There has been a gymnastic drama going on in the Capitol, where fans of impeaching Donald Trump and those who think that process is not the best way to confront the president are writhing in definitional arm-wrestling.
Weirdly, any value you might assign to the actual words used, you can expect a lot more confrontational congressional committees towards Trump’s White House in the next weeks. Those hearings may or may not add up to impeachment efforts, which has been true until now, of course.
The House Judiciary Committee, newly driven by the extraordinary efforts to land government meetings at Trump properties and to promise pardons for illegal acts to promote his agenda, has wanted to broaden the basis for impeachment, essentially to argue that profiting from the presidency is unconstitutional.
Trump is all for preventing unintentional suicides — but not intentional homicides of Americans
How revealing that just six deaths from vaping prompted Donald Trump to move Wednesday against e-cigarettes, while at least 276 deaths in massacres since he took office haven’t prompted any presidential move against assault rifles and other guns.
Even applying the twisted logic of the Second Amendment absolutists, Trump’s action is surprising since e-cigarettes don’t kill, people who vape kill.
Vapers kill only themselves, while people firing military-style assault rifles and other guns massacre innocents—school children, people at prayer in houses of worship, shoppers in malls and concert-goers.
Longtime Fox News producer: ‘I can’t tell you how unpopular Trump is here’
Does Fox News need President Donald Trump? Or does President Trump need Fox News? If former Fox News strongman and Trump supporter, the late Roger Ailes, were still running the network, those questions might never come up.
But as Trump himself tweeted in June after Fox reported that Trump was trailing five presidential candidates in the polls, “Something weird is going on at Fox News.”
True enough – and Trump seems unable to stop it. And it’s not just that his longtime ally Rupert Murdoch turned the leadership of Fox over to his son Lachlan last year. “I can’t tell you how unpopular Trump is here,” a longtime Fox News producer told DCReport, “and people are getting bolder about saying so.”