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From Valdez to BP: Big Oil's Promises of Safety Derailed in Minnesota

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.


D3 - MN Spill - MN pollution agency                                Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


While the aim of this month's "From BP to Valdez" series was to review oil companies' historic legacy of spills and serious accidents, we're still stuck reviewing the past week's spills. On March 27, a mile-long train carrying oil from Canada through western Minnesota partially derailed, spilling 30,000 gallons of oil. Cold weather has made the oil thicker, complicating and slowing clean-up. This makes two spills in a week, which, together with the Mayflower pipeline spill, have polluted our land and water with 42,000 gallons of dirty fuel. 

In just one week, Big Oil has made it clear that it can't safely transport toxic crude, whether through pipelines or on railroads.


--By Claire Price, Lands Team Intern

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