US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Onto the next...oil spill

Meghan Murphy-Gill | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Yup, folks. We've got another major oil spill on our hands. This one's in U.S. Catholic's own backyard, Marshall, Michigan, about a two or so hour drive from Chicago. 

The Detroit Free Press reports that the leak was reported at a pumping station located along the 1,900 mile pipeline on Monday, but by Tuesday evening oil had reached  Ft. Custer State Recreation Area, located between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, which most Chicagoans know as the home of the very fine Bell's Brewery. The cause of the spill is still unknown, and the amount of oil leaked so far is "enough to cover a football field to a depth of more than 2 feet." 

Good news though: "Industry experts said the pipeline closure wouldn't disrupt supplies or affect gas prices."

Phew. Because that was my initial concern, whether or not I have to pay an extra 25 cents per gallon when I fill my car up this week. Nevermind the oil-drenched fish and wildlife. No big deal about a river that flows into Lake Michigan now containing at least 840,000 gallons of oil.  

Nope, my biggest concern was gas prices.

In all seriousness, why does this keep happening? Why is the most profitable industry in the world (remember Exxon Mobile's record breaking quarterly prophet margins in 2008--$11.7 billion?) failing to take the necessary precautions to prevent these sticky, stinky, lethal messes? Shouldn't oil leaks be the least of our worries? Shouldn't these oil giants be running such tight ships that our biggest problem is, not leaky pipelines, but what happens when we refine and burn oil for energy?