Pipeline breach spills 50,000 gallons of oil into Yellowstone River

(from billingsgazette.com)

Montana officials said Sunday that an oil pipeline breach spilled up to 50,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, but they said they are unaware of any threats to public safety or health.

The Bridger Pipeline Co. said the spill occurred about 10 a.m. Saturday. The initial estimate is that 300 to 1,200 barrels of oil spilled, the company said in a statement Sunday.

Some of the oil did get into the water, but the area where it spilled was frozen over and that could help reduce the impact, said Dave Parker, a spokesman for Gov. Steve Bullock.

“We think it was caught pretty quick, and it was shut down,” Parker said. “The governor is committed to making sure the river is cleaned up.”

Bridger Pipeline Co. said in the statement that it shut down the 10-inch-wide pipeline shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday. “Our primary concern is to minimize the environmental impact of the release and keep our responders safe as we clean up from this unfortunate incident,” said Tad True, vice president of Bridger.

The EPA and state Department of Environmental Quality have responded to the area about 9 miles upriver from Glendive, Parker said.

An ExxonMobil Corp. pipeline broke near Laurel during flooding in July 2011, releasing 63,000 gallons of oil that washed up along an 85-mile stretch of riverbank.

Montana officials are trying to determine if oil could have been trapped by sediment and debris and settled into the riverbed.

ExxonMobil is facing state and federal fines of up to $3.4 million from the spill. The company has said it spent $135 million on the cleanup and other work.

(keep reading at billingsgazette.com)

Unbelievable Photos Show Factory Farms Destroying The American Countryside

(from filmsforaction.org)

Food production has become a race for maximum efficiency. When it comes to producing meat, whether chicken, beef, or pork, that race has fallen at the feet of the so-called factory farm and its hallmark feature — the feedlot.

Feedlots, officially called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), house thousands of animals in tiny, confined spaces before they’re slaughtered. Critics call the practice inhumane and say it breeds environmental problems and disease.

“A feedlot is very much a pre-modern city … teeming and filthy and stinking, with open sewers, unpaved roads, and choking air rendered visible by dust,” Michael Pollan writes in his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

There are currently about 15,500 CAFOs in the U.S. According to FarmForward — which used numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — 99% of farmed animals in the U.S. are raised on feedlots.

For the last several years, British artist Mishka Henner has collected images of the feedlots via satellite, to document a largely hidden phenomenon. Initially, he was searching satellite imagery to look for oil fields. When he came across the feedlots, Henner was shocked he didn’t know about about such a central part of our food production.

“The feedlots are a brilliant representation of how abstract our food industry has come,” Henner told Business Insider. “It’s an efficient system for extracting the maximum yield from animals. That’s the world we live in now. We want to extract the maximum yield from everything, no matter what business you are in.”

As you can see from these photos, the chemicals in animal waste turn feedlots into oddly beautiful, multicolored cesspools. Henner’s work has been collected into a study called Feedlots, prints of which can be purchased here. Henner will be displaying the work with the Carroll/Fletcher Gallery at ArtExpo in Chicago from Sept. 18-21.

(keep reading at filmsforaction.org)

Massive Toxic Fracking Dump Finishes Off California Aquifer

(from winteractionables.com)

If anything typifies slash-and-burn, psychopathic, corporate rule in America it’s the story of 3 billion gallons of toxic fracking sludge dumped into what is left of the Central Valley aquifer in California.

Beyond effectively putting a nail in the coffin for an entire region, what is extra-sickening is the near total blackout of U.S. mainstream media coverage. In a normal society, this story would be breaking news in all of the mainstream media outlets, and the perps would go to prison for life.

If you Google sources for “California aquifer fracking” you will find some stories from the alternative media but even the larger publications (minus Pro Publica) among this group have missed it. There are stories of the State finally banning all injection fracking waste last July, obviously too late. Makes one wonder if the BP spill would be covered up if reported today.

From RT.com:

Industry illegally injected about 3 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into central California drinking-water and farm-irrigation aquifers, the state found after the US Environmental Protection Agency ordered a review of possible contamination.

According to documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity, the California State Water Resources Board found that at least nine of the 11 hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wastewater injection sites that were shut down in July upon suspicion of contamination were in fact riddled with toxic fluids used to unleash energy reserves deep underground.”

The documents also show that the Central Valley Water Board found high levels of toxic chemicals — including arsenic, thallium and nitrates — in water-supply wells near the waste water disposal sites.

(keep reading at winteractoinables.com)

Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn’t compete

(from theguardian.com)

As early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the same place it’s used. Centralised, coal-fired power is over

Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day.

For several days the price, normally around $40-$50 a megawatt hour, hovered in and around zero. Prices were deflated throughout the week, largely because of the influence of one of the newest, biggest power stations in the state – rooftop solar.

“Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon. But they are only supposed to happen at night, when most of the population is mostly asleep, demand is down, and operators of coal fired generators are reluctant to switch off. So they pay others to pick up their output.

That’s not supposed to happen at lunchtime. Daytime prices are supposed to reflect higher demand, when people are awake, office building are in use, factories are in production. That’s when fossil fuel generators would normally be making most of their money.

(keep reading at theguardian.com)