Creator of the Valdez Catastrophe, ExxonMobil, Tries to Downplay Yellowstone Spill

Sun, 2011-07-03 22:08Emma Pullman
Emma Pullman's picture

Creator of the Valdez Catastrophe, ExxonMobil, Tries to Downplay Yellowstone Spill

The ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River in Laurel, Montana ruptured late Friday night, leaking 1,000 barrels of oil into the river. ExxonMobil estimates that approximately 160,000 litres of oil seeped into the river, one of the principal tributaries of the upper Missouri River. 

The spill has forced hudreds of evacuations, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that only a small fraction of the spilled oil is likely to be recovered. Its unclear how far the damage will extend along the river, but fishing and farming are likely to be impacted. 

Record rainfall in the last month has caused widespread flooding, and compromised spill cleanup efforts. While residents wait impatiently for the arrival of Exxon cleanup crews (who are only now arriving on site), Exxon is engaging in image control by trying to convince people that the spill is not as bad as it seems.

An Exxon Mobil executive said shoreline damage was limited to the Yellowstone between Laurel and Billings. President Gary Pruessing said company observers had seen “very little soiling” beyond Billings, and that the oil appeared to be evaporating and dissipating into the river. Exxon claims the bulk of the damage is contained within 16 kilometres of the spill, but EPA spokeswoman Sonya Pennock confirms oil has been seen 65 kilometres away, with some reports confirming as many as 160 kilometres.

Exxon also claims that no injured wildlife has been found, which is not as of yet verified. 

Exxon’s safety record on their Silvertip pipeline has already been questioned. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a warning letter to Exxon, citing seven safety violations along the ruptured line. Two related to emergency response and pipeline corrosion training.

It has also been revealed that in May, the pipeline was temporarily shut down due to concerns over the rising waters of the Yellowstone. The company decided to restart the line the following day, deciding the risk was low. More like they wanted to keep their profits soaring. 

Up to 100 emergency response workers from Exxon Mobil are expected are expected to arrive late today. 

Head over to CBS to read their coverage, and check back for more on this story.

Previous Comments

And you’ll see that this Desmogblog “article” is just the CBS report, except re-written and embellished to make it sound more sensationalistic.

That’s what you get when a so-called “environmental” website is actually run by PR shills.

Spilling 40,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone river IS no joke. Perhaps you have not seen or heard the explanations of how far reaching the effects of even a quart of motor oil can have on a body of water and its inhabitants.

Shills for what? For life itself? For science? For all the intelligent and aware people in the world, who are concerned about what we are doing to the environment?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandiose_delusions

(LOL! Not only is desmogblog desperately deleting comments, now they’re trying to ban IP addressess as well. I guess the truth stings?)

We went from 1,000 barrels to 40,000 gallons to 160,000 liters, but missed opportunities to go to pints, cups, ounces and even smaller to make the numbers appear even larger. The same thing happened with the distance the oil could/did travel.

Its as if they ignore actual experience with similar spills, how far they actually can move in a few hours/days, how well moving water dissipates spills, and how much is lost due to evaporation.

But, its always better to exaggerate the impacts to get the fearful message across.

WE’RE DOOMED!!!! MAN IS SO IRRESPONSIBLE! WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT MA…err EXXON.

A lot of readers dont compute in gallons and barrels. A litre is a measurement they understand. Sure the number looks large - 160,000 litres - but thats because it is. I would not want any amount of oil spilled into one of the most pristine lakes in the world, particularly if i was a farmer who relied on the water for irrigation. These stories need to be told - not to be scoffed at. Shame on you for saying this is sensationalized.

Since few DeSmog readers of the “true believer” cult will not see this article and its video: “Solar Max 2014, then Grand Minimum for perhaps 100 years” Fro here: http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/solar-max-2014-then-grand-minimum-for-perhaps-100-years/#comments

It contains this thought: “A very interesting presentation. Based on prior patterns of solar magnetic field, the predictions are that this Solar Cycle Maximum will come between 2013 and 2014, will be about 40 to 60 sunspot number, and then we will enter a Grand Minimum until perhaps as late as 2100 AD.”

and ends with this:

“This is now a third major scientist, from a third line of evidence, all ending up at the same conclusion. This one from solar magnetic history. One based on a Fourier Transform analysis of past solar cycles. And Habibullo Ismailovich Abdussamatov based on observations of changes of the solar size (the diameter changes slightly with activity).

IMHO “Third Times The Charm”…

With this much all stacking up the same way, the present “cold winter” aint nothin’ yet. We’re only 1/2 way into the Major Minimum and still have about a dozen years of “dropping” to go. At that point, we’re one large volcano away from The Year Without A Summer.

Plan accordingly… ”

So you guys keep exaggerating the impact of a minor oil spill while ignoring evidence of some other potential.

‘Since few DeSmog readers of the “true believer” cult will not see this article and its video: “Solar Max 2014, then Grand Minimum for perhaps 100 years” Fro here: http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/solar-max-2014-then-grand-minimum-for-perhaps-100-years/#comments’

Ah! Ha! This article is the musing of Chiefio aka E.M.Smith who has that real crazy ‘the well Lubed Motly and his crew’ for fans and who has been well trounced at Tamino’s, Deltoid and RealClimate. Chiefio being one of the pedlars of Watt’s and D’Aleos temperature station nonsense, and much else we see.

We should welcome another deep solar minimum, particularly if there is an active max coming betwixt now and then.

You should review this:

http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

Whatever, interesting discussions from people who understand the issues here and also how Chiefio et. al. are distorting is to be found here:

http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=529

and on the past erratics of Chiefio the portal is via Watt’soup:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/tamino_calls_out_anthony_watts.php

and

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/message-to-anthony-watts/

<—quote—>

‘The posts by E.M. Smith are so incoherent they resemble the ravings of a lunatic more than the results of a qualified analyst.’

<—endquote—>

Just like his pal Motl.

The activities of these shills for fossil fuel interests and commentators like yourself are ensuring that GHGs continue to build up at an accelerating rate and condemning millions to die from lack of potable water and malnutrition. You are nothing short of environmental criminals by aiding and abetting in crimes against humanity. And it isn’t only in the Horn of Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South America that the bills are becoming due for thousands of Americans have already paid a price for accentuated climatic events as have thousands in Europe and Australia.

You just nailed it. Well put - thank you.

Thanks LionelA, your NASA reference had this to say: “The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 69 in June of 2013….
The predicted size would make this the smallest sunspot cycle in over 100 years.

Predicting the behavior of a sunspot cycle is fairly reliable once the cycle is well underway (about 3 years after the minimum in sunspot number occurs [see Hathaway, Wilson, and Reichmann Solar Physics; 151, 177 (1994)]).”

While the ChiefIO said this: “the predictions are that this Solar Cycle Maximum will come between 2013 and 2014, will be about 40 to 60 sunspot number, and then we will enter a Grand Minimum until perhaps as late as 2100 AD.”

So we see confirmation of the estimated sun spot numbers and time frame for them, but we also from ChifIo we see some potential for exaggerated predictions. Just as this news (not scientific) article about a minor spill.

I won’t even go to RealClimate and Tammy’s links. They are as bad and for many worse than those sites you claim misrepresent reality.

And when scientists make alternative predictions to their beliefs/ world views, we see the believer CaCO2/CAGW crowd go into hard denial.

As the evidence shifts we can expect more denial from the believers?

For the DeSmog staff: thanks for relinquishing your prior strict control over comments. I am sure you are already seeing more traffic and comments. Its a much better way to get out a controversial message.

For the readers unused to active discussions, welcome to the real world. Its much nicer and a fuller experience than an echo chamber.

‘Thanks LionelA, your NASA refernce…I won’t even go to RealClimate and Tammy’s links.’

Oh Dear. Frightened that you may have to face the reality if you visit RealClimate that cooling is unlikely to happen even if the sun sulks for awhile. That was the main message that you missed.

Now I have already raised awareness of this:

What if the Sun went into a new Grand Minimum?

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/06/what-if-the-sun-went-into-a-new-grand-minimum/

So stop being such a denier.

Seems that ‘CAGW crowd’ is another one for our list PhilM

LionelA, what makes you think I am in denial? Denial of what? I see many here who have closed minds. If you have no argument you just start calling names?

BTW, I stopped commenting at RC and Tammy when alternative comments/views were either edited or moderated out of existence. That was true for DeSmog Blog also, until recently. You can guess why.

well nobody likes oil in the water stories.

Hard to get worked up about it though.

After the BP gulf disaster this looks like nothing and whatever happened to that BP disaster anyway? - seems mostly forgotten.

Another tidbit of contradictory information for the believers.

“The Kaufmann et al 2011 paper (Mike Mann is a co-author) is embargoed until 8PM GMT (12PM PDT) today, and we have an advance copy thanks to Dr. Benny Peiser .

Here is the PDF file: pnas.201102467

The headline from the abstract:

Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.”

This was from that ole numb er one science blog.

I don’t need to spin this as you, and Benny probably, already have done just that. If it is echoed at WUWT then take with a pinch of salt, no a truck load.

‘ “The Kaufmann et al 2011 paper (Mike Mann is a co-author) is embargoed until 8PM GMT (12PM PDT) today, and we have an advance copy thanks to Dr. Benny Peiser .’

No. The Michael L Mann is one of the authors and not Michael E Mann of the ‘hockey stick’ (but I will have to check when the official version is released), so your point is…..?

As for Peiser I would not trust anything from him and prefer to wait and see an officially authorised version before coming to any conclusions where Peiser is concerned if it smells like a rat then it is very

Let me see Peiser cannot even be trusted to keep a paper under embargo in that state. Peiser is behaving like a bottom feeder here just like The News of The World and their ‘phone hacking.

Meanwhile on silly stories about a cooling ahead because of reduced solar activity here is an antidote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adAvYK1O-ic&feature=channel_video_title

Good ol’ Rush, good ol’ Daily Mail, good ol’ James ‘interpreter of interpretations’ Delingpole (who clearly needs a brain transplant in order to learn how to comprehend scientific papers) you can always trust them to tell porkies.

And you anymouse2 entered with this:

‘Another tidbit of contradictory information for the believers.’

Another little word to add to our list of denier memes i.e. ‘believers’ thus you seem to be confused. You are a denier.

Whatever this is rather off topic.

The point is that even the “Real” scientists (the cult approved propagandists) are now admitting that the warming stopped a long time ago.

The quest now is to find a way to spin that so that CO2 can still be seen as evil…

Good luck…

‘The point is that even the “Real” scientists (the cult approved propagandists) are now admitting that the warming stopped a long time ago.’

Oh! Really?

You must be really stupid if you believe that considering the events around the world over the last decade of which some are still making headlines.

Here is glimpse of a part of the truth:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Over-the-tipping-point.html

<–extract–>

Over the tipping point

A debate is taking place in a small specialised section of the scientific community that has profound implications for the planet’s climate, but you won’t hear it mentioned in Parliament any time soon.

The argument is about the Arctic sea-ice and its precipitous decline over the past couple of decades. Those who are up to speed on the issue recognise that the poles are the coalface for climate change, heating up faster than anywhere else on Earth.

Although the polar ice-sheet is thin - in some places less than 1m - it acts like a giant mirror, reflecting the sun and keeping the region cool. Once it’s gone, the dark ocean will heat up faster, accelerating the effects of climate change. If the poles are the coalface, then the Arctic sea-ice is its canary.

Until recently, the conventional wisdom was that once the sea-ice disappears in summer - possibly as early as 2030 - it stays gone, but a study came out recently challenging that view. It concluded that the ice may come and go in somewhat dramatic fits and starts, until it eventually peters out in the second half of this century.

In other words, whichever way you look at it, the canary is dying.

The director of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, Mark Serreze, and his team have studied the Arctic for over 20 years. He explains: “We’re now committed to an ice-free Arctic in the summer – there’s just too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the planet’s getting too warm. We’ve crossed a tipping point.”

<–endextract–>

Now here are some more suggestions for your education:

http://theconversation.edu.au/pages/clearing-up-the-climate-debate

Don’t remain ignorant.

CO2 is neither evil or virtuous, it just is. However the science of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics tell us that CO2 in the atmosphere interacts with the infra-red region of the electromagnetic spectrum in a way which is out of all proportion to its proportions.

See Archer, University of Chicago series of lectures:

http://www.youtube.com/user/UChicago#g/c/FA75A0DDB89ACCD7

Also isotopic analysis tells us that the build up of CO2 in the atmosphere is mostly from human sources, fossil fuel burning, land use changes and cement production.

These are scientifically proven facts which no amount of denial can wish away.

Now no more ignorant nonsense eh!

the true nature of the study that Peiser ejaculated because he couldn’t keep shtum. Despised should now be rewritten as despeised and such acts despeiscable rather than despicable.

anymouse2 offered:

‘The headline from the abstract:

Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.”’

No, that is a part leader from the abstract, in reality the headline, or title was:

Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008

and the full leader was this:

‘Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising
greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global
surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find
that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase
in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar
insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical
change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of
anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur
emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations.
As such, we find that recent global temperature records are consistent
with the existing understanding of the relationship among
global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative
forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known
warming and cooling effects.’

Rather different conclusion to be drawn eh? Here is the real conclusion from the real paper:

‘The finding that the recent hiatus in warming is driven largely by
natural factors does not contradict the hypothesis: “most of the
observed increase in global average temperature since the mid
20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations (14).” As indicated in
Fig. 1, anthropogenic activities that warm and cool the planet largely
cancel after 1998, which allows natural variables to play
a more significant role. The 1998-2008 hiatus is not the first period
in the instrumental temperature record when the effects of
anthropogenic changes in greenhouse gases and sulfur emissions
on radiative forcing largely cancel. In-sample simulations indicate
that temperature does not rise between the 1940’s and 1970’s
because the cooling effects of sulfur emissions rise slightly faster
than the warming effect of greenhouse gases. The post 1970 period
of warming, which constitutes a significant portion of the
increase in global surface temperature since the mid 20th century,
is driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid
deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline
while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise (7).
The results of this analysis indicate that observed temperature
after 1998 is consistent with the current understanding of the
relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability,
and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors
that have well known warming and cooling effects. Both of these
effects, along with changes in natural variables must be examined
explicitly by efforts to understand climate change and devise
policy that complies with the objective of Article 2 of the 1992
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to
stabilize “greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a
level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference in
the climate system.”’

Joe Romm put it well over at:

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/05/260177/study-hottest-decade-chinese-coal-plant-sulfr-pollution/

<–quote–>

That’s the UK Guardian headline for a half-clever new study, “Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008.”

<–endquote–>

In particular the bit about a ‘half-clever new study’.

You see a2 no need for spin just a degree of de-spining after keeping powder dry so as to study the real paper rather than anything you or Peiser may have popped out prematurely.

Sigh…..

Lionel, Lionel…..

still trying to get people to believe that natural “Weather” events prove something about climate?

The scientific community gave up on that scam a long time ago, leaving it to the still desperate religious community.

Keep trying though… It does help people realize that CAGW is a farce.

Yup! LionelA is forced to quote portions which show that “natural factors” can dominate the climate. It’s a start to realizing that nature is probably in control and not man. Both have impacts, but to assign overwhelming values of control to man’s expansion of a trace gas in the atmosphere over nature always was a high risk short sighted position.

Take a longer look than the past 150 years, and the pattern of natural impacts is obvious. To believe the power of those few ACO2 molecules can over power nature is ludicrous. If you believe that, then you also must believe that the next glaciation will be … (fill in your belief here.)

‘I see a crack

‘Yup! LionelA is forced to quote portions which show that “natural factors” can dominate the climate.’

Sure they can but that isn’t the conclusion of this paper now is it.

There is still a net positive radiative forcing from anthropogenic sources. This is well understood. The temperatures in large sections of the fluid systems of the earth’s surface, especially in oceans is rising.

Water takes a large quantity of heat energy to raise its temperature by one degree Kelvin. Then there is the matter of accelerating ice loss from Antarctic, Arctic and Greenland and most glaciers around the world.

Do you understand the concepts of heat capacity of various materials and of latent heat? In other words, do you appreciate how much heat is required to raise the temperature of one gram of ice to its melting point and then how much heat energy is required to change the phase of one gram of H2O from ice to liquid water? How does that compare to the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water through one degree Kelvin?

‘It’s a start to realizing that nature is probably in control and not man. Both have impacts, but to assign overwhelming values of control to man’s expansion of a trace gas in the atmosphere over nature always was a high risk short sighted position.’

Not at all. I have explained in a post up-thread, and elsewhere here, that the science of the so called greenhouse effect (bad analogy but that term is now common currency - unfortunately) is well understood. I repeat:

CO2 is neither evil or virtuous, it just is. However the science of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics tell us that CO2 in the atmosphere interacts with the infra-red region of the electromagnetic spectrum in a way which is out of all proportion to its proportions.

See Archer, University of Chicago series of lectures:

http://www.youtube.com/user/UChicago#g/c/FA75A0DDB89ACCD7

Also isotopic analysis tells us that the build up of CO2 in the atmosphere is mostly from human sources, fossil fuel burning, land use changes and cement production.

These are scientifically proven facts which no amount of denial can wish away.

The paper that you introduced has an element of cherry picking, like many a denier argument, in the choice of the start and finish of the period. By using the high of 1998 as the start guarantees, by knowing after the fact how the succeeding years played out, that conclusions can be used to confuse those with simple minds. It would appear that the authors have succeeded.

When the sulphate etc. particles that have helped to mask the warming effect (note: not totally hidden) rain out the elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere from those same ten years will still be in the atmosphere to continue the enhanced radiative imbalance that has caused an increase in warming.

‘Take a longer look than the past 150 years, and the pattern of natural impacts is obvious.’

Well yes, I am aware of that as are David Archer (mentioned above), Richard Alley, Walley Broecker and the many other climate scientists the works of whom I have read. Thus Milankovich Cycles, Dansgaard-Oeschger events and Heinrich Events are not unfamiliar to me. Neither is the geological history of this planet and how it interplays with climate through formation and breaking up of continents with the resultant impacts on the CO2 cycle (orogenic events and subduction), oceanic currents and weather system changes (extreme continental v extreme maritime) and also the biota supported.

It is a complex topic with input from many scientific disciplines and this is why I find studies in oceanography valuable and also books such as William James Burroughs ‘Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Approach’ a useful reference to point the truly curious at.

So, all in all, no cracks here bud. On the contrary events unfolding in the US are pointing to the fact that large areas of the US will come to resemble conditions in The Horn of Africa or The Sudan, another few million displaced climate refugees from there. Here is a taste:

NBC: “The Dust Storm that Swallowed Up an American City”

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/06/262270/dust-storm/

Now, you really should read, if honest and open minded:

Study: Hottest Decade on Record Would Have Been Even Hotter But for Chinese Coal Plant Sulfur Pollution

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/07/05/260177/study-hottest-decade-chinese-coal-plant-sulfr-pollution/

<–quote–>

Last decade was easily the hottest on record, as were the 1990s and, before that, the 1980s — all part of a multi-decadal trend driven primarily by human-caused emissions.

We’ve known for a while that warming appeared to slow over a short, cherry-picked time frame of 1998 to 2008 because:

1 The starting year (1998) was a very strong El Niño, which temporarily boosts global temps, and the ending point (2008) was a moderate La Niña, which lowers them.

2 The end point was near the bottom of “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.”

3 One key global temperature dataset, the Hadley/CRU one used by the UK’s Met Office, had numerous flaws that led to a slower warming trend than most of the others.

Even so, as we’ll see the land and the oceans just kept warming. It is just hard to stop the radiative forcing of the CO2 humans have put in the air, which equals 1 million Hiroshima bombs a day.

What’s clever about the new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study is it demonstrates that sulfur pollution from China’s massive buildup of coal plants also helped slow the warming:’ (quote included in post up-thread followed).

<–quote–>

What’s not clever about this study is that it repeats the myth that there was a ‘hiatus’ in the first place. The top figure, from John Cook’s Skeptical Science website, makes that clear.

And that’s without even discussing the oceans, where climate science says the vast majority of the warming goes:

<–unquote–>

Now as I indicated read the full article and follow links, if you are truly honest about this that is.

So. Once again no cracks here.

[x]

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