On Monday, March 22, 2014, the British Petroleum Plant in Whiting, Indiana spilled over 1600 gallons of oil into Lake Michigan. BP in Whiting, Indiana is the largest refiner of tar sands in the United States. It took hours before this was reported to the EPA, which requires that you immediately inform them of a spill.
If this was a crude oil spill, it is bad enough. If the spill contained tar sands, it will go to the floor of the lake and continue to poison Lake Michigan.
Many are concentrating on stopping the Keystone XL pipeline from being approved. That is the right thing to do. What many may not realize is that Tar Sands is flowing through pipelines already approved in the U.S. One Enbridge pipeline spilled 877,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River in July, 2010. The cleanup is not complete over three years later.
When I reported about the Kalamazoo spill and protest actions that occurred to make sure this never happens again, little did I know that just three months after that blog, I would be reporting about another blog. This time in Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan is one of the largest sources of drinking water in the Midwest. We have been warned over and over again about the necessity of protecting our natural resources. When will we learn.
British Petroleum was just taken off the no contract list. They were put on this list after the Gulf oil spill. This shows they need to go back on the list. They cannot be allowed access to our water resources.
On March 28, members of Global Climate Convergence Chicago held an emergency response demonstration at British Petroleum America’s Midwest Headquarters. Letters and petitions will be sent to the Environmental Protection Agency and our representatives and senators. Something needs to be done to put back protections that were removed from the Clean Water Act during the Bush administration.
The GCC, in conjunction with multiple environmental organizations, issues the following demands:
- The EPA immediately begins testing our water to ensure that it is safe to drink, and publishes their findings.
- BP is returned to the federal no contract list – which they were removed from only THIS month following their contamination of the Gulf Coast – so that public money does not fund their damage to the ecosystem.
- BP may no longer divert resources from the public – e.g. the use of contracted police officers to prevent citizens from entering the land that has been contaminated- to shield themselves from warranted investigation.
- The city of Chicago becomes a green-energy leader by shifting our energy sources to 100% renewables-based.
Even though British Petroleum has reassured us that the cleanup was successful, based on past history, we have real concerns.
For more information about Global Climate Convergence actions in your area, go to http://www.globalclimateconvergence.org.