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04/10/2013

From Valdez to BP: When Will We Learn?

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.

D10 - Houston Spill                         Photo credit: AFP

Once again, we find ourselves unable to report on historical spills while modern ones continue to occur. As oil spill cleanup continues in Mayflower, Arkansas and western Minnesota, the third spill in a week occurred on April 3 outside of Houston, Texas.An unknown cause triggered a leak in a Shell pipeline, spilling 700 barrels of oil. Up to 60 of those barrels (1,890 gallons) ended up in the Vince Bayou, a waterway that connects to the Houston Ship Channel, eventually emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

In just one week, these three spills total 64,000 gallons of oil leaked into our waters and our communities.

--by Claire Price, Lands Team Intern


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