Three Exxon Valdez's Worth of Oil and Gas Spill Every Year in the U.S. Three Exxon Valdez's Worth of Oil and Gas Spill Every Year in the U.S.
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Three Exxon Valdez's Worth of Oil and Gas Spill Every Year in the U.S.

by Ben Jervey

April 16, 2011

We all notice when something on the scale of Deepwater Horizon happens, but according to a bombshell new CBS News special report, hazardous spills of oil and gas are happening "all the time," The six-month investigation found "at least 6,500 spills, leaks, fires or explosions nationwide—that's 18 a day. Overall, at least 34 million gallons of crude oil and other potentially toxic chemicals were spilled." That's triple the size of the Exxon Valdez spill. 

These spills are literally happening every day, and very often making victims out of innocent citizens who just happen to live in the unfortunate path of Big Oil and Gas. You can watch video of the report (we can't embed it) here.

It's important to note that CBS News researchers were only able to collect information from 23 of 33 oil- and gas-producing states, and from the wells and pipelines under the jurisdiction of three federal agencies, so these numbers are likely low.

Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the Niger Delta, where more than a Deepwater Horizon's worth of oil spills out of Dutch Royal Shell's bleeding pipes every year.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
Some recent articles by Ben Jervey:
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Three Exxon Valdez's Worth of Oil and Gas Spill Every Year in the U.S.