Warning sign denoting the location of a 12-inch oil pipeline that leaked, spilling oil into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana.

Traces of oil found in Montana town's water supply after spill

Calamur, Krishnadev. "Traces of Oil Found in Montana Town's Water Supply after Spill." MPR News. Minnesota Public Radio, 20 Jan. 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

This article is a news report on the oil spill that occurred on Saturday, January 17th near Glendive, Montana. A pipeline owned by Bridger Pipeline Co. of Wyoming leaked on Saturday, spilling about 50,000 gallons of oil along the Yellowstone River. Tests by officials in the area have shown that unusually high levels of benzene, a carcinogenic compound, are present in the water supply that provides for around 6,000 people, and bottled drinking water is currently being shipped to Glendive. Bridger Co. reports that it has no timeline to reopen the pipeline. This is the second spill involving the Yellowstone River; the first was the ExxonMobil spill in July 2011, which deposited 63,000 gallons of oil into the river.

Several ethical issues are involved in this incident: whether the pipeline company should take responsibility for making sure that the parties involved—both human and non-human—receive the least damage possible from the accident; what should be done to clean up the spill and who should do it; whether the pipeline should be opened again or not; and what effects the spill will have in the future, among many other issues. Questions come up, therefore, about sustainability, sufficiency and compassion, and even participation. Will the continued use—and possible failures—of pipelines to transport crude oil around the country be sustainable for future generations, or will it result in the eventual destruction of habitats? How will the pipeline company deal with the individuals—both human and other animal—who are not receiving their basic needs, i.e. clean water and even a clean habitat in which to live? Though monetary stakeholders in the pipeline company and the individuals who are not receiving clean drinking water are represented in this issue, what about the animals, and even nature, who are not getting a voice in the matter, and how will they be given a voice?

I think that the pipeline company should be held fully accountable for the incident. Oil companies take too long to take action in situations like this, as was seen in the ExxonMobil spill nearly four years ago. By the time action is taken, it is too late and hundreds of thousands of living things have been killed, either directly or indirectly, by the spill, and the natural environments of these creatures are forever altered and often rendered barren and lifeless. The blood of these acts should be on the pipeline company's hands. But we do also need to take into consideration the practical aspect of the situation. America is utterly dependent on oil and it therefore must be transported in some manner. Therefore, do you think we should continue to use pipelines and allow future generations to bear the consequences when they fail and until they fail, or should we look for a more environmentally-friendly way to transport oil around the country—or should we work towards eliminating the nation's dependence on oil altogether? Why and/or how?

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2 years ago
0

We should look for a more environmentally friendly way of transporting oil because as of today, oil is still a primal version of fuel and until we come up with a different fuel solution we need to maintain it.

2 years ago
0

I believe that we should find an alternate way to transport this oil around because if something like this happened once, it's bound to happen again. We shouldn't not just rely on future generations to fix the issue.

2 years ago
0

It is obvious that ExxonMobil should hold responsibility for the oil spill, but there are probably laws that allow oil companies to find loopholes. The government should create laws that require oil companies to have responsibility over these incidents.

2 years ago
1

To some extent, I feel like the company should take responsibility, but natural occurrances make this difficult. There comes a time when blame shouldn't even be important, and where a solution to solve the problem and prevent it from further damage becomes the main, and sole priority.

2 years ago
1

I think that the oil company should take more responsibility as well. They need to realize that transporting oil is less important than having clean drinking water.

2 years ago
1

Our nation's dependence on oil will most likely continue for many years and I feel that we have the capability to avoid and prevent future spills from happening.

2 years ago
1

Ultimately, I think that it would be ideal for Amercia to stop using oil as a way of energy, however, that is something that I d onot see happening in the near future. Considering that, we definetely need to think of a new way to transport the oil that would ensure the end of oil spills. Again though, I do not see that as being something manageable in then near future. We should look to strengthen the current system that we have.

2 years ago
1

I think that we should try to find a way to move away from oil, but until we get to that point, we have to stick to the pipelines that we currently have.

2 years ago
1

Most ideally, not most realistically, I believe that we should eliminate our dependence on oil altogether. Not only will that stop oil spills and the potential contamination and hazards that go along with it, stopping oil usage will pave the path for an overall sustainable society (as long as we replace oil with a sustainable form of energy). The number one way of making the world sustainable is weening ourselves off of oil and other non renewable resources.

2 years ago
0

The government should take full responsibility for allowing a pipeline to be that close to a natural resource. We know that oil and water do not mix well so they should have been smart enough to figure out a way to put certain limitations on the land near the river.