Skip to comments.AP Enterprise: Russia oil spills wreak devastation
Posted on 12/17/2011 10:04:12 PM PST by quantim
USINSK, Russia (AP) -- On the bright yellow tundra outside this oil town near the Arctic Circle, a pitch-black pool of crude stretches toward the horizon. The source: a decommissioned well whose rusty screws ooze with oil, viscous like jam.
This is the face of Russia's oil country, a sprawling, inhospitable zone that experts say represents the world's worst ecological oil catastrophe.
Environmentalists estimate at least 1 percent of Russia's annual oil production, or 5 million tons, is spilled every year. That is equivalent to one Deepwater Horizon-scale leak about every two months. Crumbling infrastructure and a harsh climate combine to spell disaster in the world's largest oil producer, responsible for 13 percent of global output.
Oil, stubbornly seeping through rusty pipelines and old wells, contaminates soil, kills all plants that grow on it and destroys habitats for mammals and birds. Half a million tons every year get into rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean, the government says, upsetting the delicate environmental balance in those waters.
It's part of a legacy of environmental tragedy that has plagued Russia and the countries of its former Soviet empire for decades, from the nuclear horrors of Chernobyl in Ukraine to lethal chemical waste in the Russian city of Dzerzhinsk and paper mill pollution seeping into Siberia's Lake Baikal, which holds one-fifth of the world's supply of fresh water.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Closed and semi-closed societies have more problems like this. Nature will eventually deal with the crap, but it could take centuries at the low temperatures encountered here.
As I’ve said many times before, if the environmentalists really cared about Mother Earth they would WANT drilling in Alaska’s wildlife preserves, mining outside of Yellowstone, etc. Places where the governments and citizens actually care about being good stewards (and good businessman).
The only reason Russia got like this is because America stubbornly clings to the capitalist model.
/liberal thought process
In the US it would be exceedingly unlikely to be a problem in Alaska. It’s been done time and again and everybody knows how to do it right. The Gulf deep well affair was riskier, but even there we caught Bummer & Co. cutting corners.
Sure accidents happen, but at least we bust our butts as fast as we can to fix them. (Usually). Although BP, by cutting corners, showed that they were bad businessmen.
I didn’t read the entire article, but it sounds like this leaking well is just left alone with no attempt made to repair/seal it.
Safety precautions in China’s vast coal mines are terrible, and fires occur often and then can’t be put out. More CO2 (a main concern of the environmentalists - not me) is emitted by Chinese coal mine fires every year than the output of the U.S. car and truck emissions.
These countries have a total lack of concern for the workers, the environment, the local citizens, and even a lack of concern of the waste of the valuable resource they are recovering.
The reason it’s like this is because the environmental movement is not about protecting the environment, but about tearing down the free market.
Thus, Communist countries are allowed to pollute and wreak the environment to whatever extent they wish.
China is even worse! Waiting to hear from Greenpeace, the Sierra Club.............chirp, chirp.
Call Occupy Usinsk !
Call Greenpeace !
Call the Sierra Club !
In the US we try to avoid such waste (not only because of regulations and lost profits either, many of us are local folks who live near where we drill).
When property is owned by the state, no one cares for property.
Here is an interesting article on the recent Arctic Ocean drill rig disaster in Russia, with 50 people missing.
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