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Exxon 1000 Barrel Oil Disaster Pours to Yellowstone Missouri Rivers

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by copythat

copythat's picture
In The News

In a crisis that once again puts oil companies at the forefront of environmental disasters, Montana estimates a just-burst pipeline near Billings has already emptied 1,000 barrels of crude oil from Exxon Mobil Corp. It’s a disaster currently pouring into Yellowstone River, threatening to corrupt its Missouri River tributary.
It's yet another preventable oil disaster that may well be the source of irreparable harm -- damaging the environment, wildlife and endangered species of the region. One sturgeon species -- the "pallid sturgeon" -- is the only sturgeon species native to Montana's Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in Montana. Pallid sturgeons can live more than 50 years -- until Exxon Mobil's crude oil, now destined for the both of the Pallid sturgeon's home rivers, reaches the fish species. The pallid sturgeon, deemed a Montana Species of Concern, hit the U.S. "endangered" list in 1990.
The Exxon Mobil pipeline has been shut down, the initial estimate – which may be low – has been provided by Montana Disaster and Emergency Services division and says at least 1,000 barrels have headed to Yellowstone River since the burst that’s just been discovered. The Silvertip crude oil pipeline sits at the Wyoming-Montana border -- delivering oil to Exxon Mobil’s 60,000 barrel-a-day Billings refinery. That Billing refinery is directly adjacent to the Yellowstone River.
No cause of the Exxon Mobil spill to Yellowstone River has been determined.
Current flooding issues in Montana present a major problem when combined with Exxon's leak. Heavy floodingin the region may have played a part in the oil that ended up in Yellowstone River – but floods are also proving equally bad in trying to stop the catastrophe, with emergency response teams battling the water that's making clean-up efforts nearly impossible. The Exxon Mobil spillage of leaking oil is thought to be heading straight for the Missouri River, a tributary of Yellowstone River – and won’t be able to be stopped.
Emergency responders are having a horrible time with flooding water, a spokesman saying "There's no way to capture [the oil] right now" and that the " further [the Exxon Mobil leaked oil] spreads, the more difficult it becomes" to contain or cleean.
Exxon Mobil says it’s just discovered the leak over the July 4 weekend – found early Saturday morning on July 2, after what is suspected as a burst that occurred July 1.
Exxon’s public statement: it "deeply regrets this release" – claiming local authorities are working to mitigate the spilling oil’s impact. The Exxon Mobil catastrophe involves crude oil that had been pouring through a 12-inch crude pipeline that runs from Silver Tip to Billings in the state of Montana.
A major spill in July 2010 from Enbridge Energy Partners LP sent 20,000 barrels of oil escaping from a pipeline in Michigan only a year ago.
Crude oil in this July, 2011, Exxon Mobil pipeline problem means the oil has already made its way to travel 80 miles downstream within just hours -- visibly settling on the shore line. It’s a situation that had emergency officials calling for residents to evacuate river-side homes in Yellowstone County.
Custer County Disaster and Emergency Services estimates the bulk of spilled oil is headed for the Missouri River.
The environmental impact of crude oil spills and leaks has been far-reaching and it was Exxon's 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster that recently led to the death of the "Holding Hands Otter's" -- a sad death that followed 20 years after the disaster. The "Holding Hands Otter" named Nyac survived the Exxon-Valdez spill -- but ended up dying of cancer 20 years after the oil contaminated the animal's natural environment.
Nyac became one of the two famous otter-holding-hands YouTube video stars, and long-time resident of Vancouver Aquarium. Nyac died September 23, 2008 -- one of the last surviving sea otters from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The otter sustained severe internal damage from effects of the oil in the Exxon-Valdez spill and was diagnosed with chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia--cancer, for short--a few days before she died less than three years ago.
Lymphocytic Leukemia is a cancer that has not been previously reported in sea otters--a cancer associated with contact with petroleum (oil) in other species of animals. It was believed that, in her death, Nyac would continue to provide vital information on the long-term effects of crude oil exposure.
Exxon says not only doesn’t it know the cause of its major, Montana, pipeline oil leak that's contaminating at least two rivers – but also doesn’t know the amount of oil leaked. The oil giant claims: "We recognize the seriousness of this incident and are working hard to address it.”
Apparently Exxon Valdez was not severe enough.


Exxon Mobil Corp - Montana Pipeline
700 Exxonmobil Road
Billings, MT 59101-7300
United States
Phone: (406) 657-5380
45° 46' 59.8296" N, 108° 30' 2.484" W
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