Two Pipelines Leaking In Alaska

By Andrew Witzel

The renewed reliance on pipelines in the wake of Trumps fossil fuel, climate change denier mentality is rearing its ugly head again, this time in Anchorage, Alaska.  Oil flowing from an underwater pipeline was discovered in Alaska’s southern Cook Inlet over this past weekend.  Hilcorp Alaska LLC does not know how much crude escaped into the surrounding environment threatening the local wildlife.  An 8-inch pipeline was carrying more than 19,000 gallons of crude oil.  Workers noticed an oil sheen and bubbling from underwater and the flow was halted immediately upon discovery.  No one from the company or the state knows what caused the leak and were starting to assess environmental damage.

I am deeply concerned about the potential impact on the environment, Gov. Bill Walker said on Sunday.

Hilcorps pipeline is 75 feet under the surface of Cook Inlet and links two platforms, and after confirmation, pressure has been lowered to zero following the discovery.  Dozens of species of fish, birds and marine mammals live in the waters including beluga whales, Steller sea lions and humpback whales.  Marine life just isn’t have a good run of luck lately with their habitats they don’t have the luxury of moving away from.

Hilcorp is also the owner of a natural gas pipeline that has been leaking since December in Cook Inlet that has had pressure dropped last weekend following a temporary shutdown of the platform the gas line was supplying.  The sea ice was too thick to safely send divers down to fix the leak and until it melts, the line will continue to leak.  Common sense would dictate that if something is leaking, you would fix it or at the very least, turn it off so it doesn’t continue to leak.  The thirst for oil and natural gas in the United States, during a glut, will only force energy companies to cut corners everywhere they can to maximize their profits.

Fossil fuels’ days are numbered, a few more environmental disasters and the American people will demand something better that is more suited for the 21st century.

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