From Valdez to BP: A Spill on Yellowstone's Doorstep
Across America, oil spills have wrought havoc on our land, wildlife, and the health of our families and communities. March 24 and April 20 represent the anniversaries of the worst oil spills in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez and the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, respectively. Together, these events dumped more than 5.65 million barrels of dirty oil in U.S. waters.
In light of this toxic anniversary, the Sierra Club presents a three-week look at oil companies' poisonous legacy across our nation.
Our favorite safety award winners, Exxon Mobil, are back once again with a 63,000-gallon spill right in the backyard of one of America's greatest treasures: Yellowstone National Park.
During severe flooding along the Yellowstone River, Exxon's Silvertip pipeline ruptured, fouling dozens of miles of riverbank and farmland. The July 1, 2011 spill was likely caused by erosion of the riverbed due to flooding, which exposed the pipeline to the rushing river and the debris moving along it. Exxon Mobil spent $135 million in cleanup fees and involved 1,000 workers at its peak.