Oil Spill Strikes Yellowstone River
With over three and a half million individuals visiting Yellowstone National Park each year, it is one of the most popular destinations to enjoy the great outdoors. Yet, this pristine escape into nature is under threat. Just a few miles up the river, an appalling oil spill has occurred. Around 42,000 gallons of crude oil has spilled into the Yellowstone River downstream from the park. Pictures of oil drenched wildlife and individual seeing there fishing livelihood under threat seem oddly familiar.
Time and time again, we see our rivers, lakes, and oceans covered in oil from these spills and each time it seems that it was from a simple error overlooked. This pipe was twenty years old and only buried a few feet under the water. As the river deepened by a few feet, debris was able to hit the aging pipe, causing the explosion. Most of the pipes within the United States are even older, some as much as a hundred years old. Additionally, the State Department is considering a new pipeline, called the Keystone XL, which would take oil from Canada all the way down to refineries in Texas. This pipeline would carry some of the dirtiest and heaviest oil throughout the heart of America. The danger of this pipeline, without careful oversight and safety regulations, is exponentially greater to our environment, our health and, even our security.
The Obama administration has taken a critical step towards reducing our dependence on oil by proposing a new rule to require cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025. If this rule goes through, it will be a great step forward in reducing our dependence on oil. Yet while we work towards that future, it is critical that we assure proper standards are in place so we don't see anymore innocent animals drenched in oil.