Jennifer Conner: Local oil spill a reminder of need for clean energy
The Enbridge Energy spill of 15,000 gallons of crude oil that took place last week in Lawrence County is just one local example of why it is so important to continue on our journey beyond outdated dirty energy to 100 percent clean energy.
It is ludicrous to assume that a pipeline built in 1950, according to Enbridge staff, and housed close to our drinking water is "safe." But that's what pipeline officials urge us to believe. This spill has proven them wrong. Note that Enbridge Energy is the same Canadian company that polluted the Kalamazoo River in Michigan with a catastrophic spill of more than 800,000 gallons of oil, forcing closure of the river.
Crude oil contains known carcinogens, which are cancer-causing contaminants. It also contains teratogens -- contaminants that can cause birth defects and decreased fetal survival.
Our children should not bear the brunt of Enbridge Energy's failing pipeline infrastructure, and clean drinking water should be a basic human right for our families.
Because the Missouri spill occurred in an area characterized by karst topography, a type of fragile geology in which water movement is extremely unpredictable, I call on Enbridge Energy to release the results of their groundwater monitoring to the public so that families in the surrounding area have access to the results. I also call on Enbridge Energy to provide additional protections to our groundwater above and beyond regulatory mandates, given the nature of the sensitive geology in southwest Missouri.
Southwest Missouri is blessed with abundant water resources and we must ensure that our water resources are protected for future generations.
Missouri Sierra Club