Props to Think Progress for flagging Governor Gary Herbert (R) and Senator Bob Bennett (R) still riding the drill baby drill wave 4 days ago:
“Why are we drilling in the middle of the ocean where there is extreme environmental risk when we could be meeting the demand for domestic production from on?shore development in areas with minimal environmental risk such as Utah?”
Here is what minimal environmental risk is:
The spill, in the well-to-do neighborhood surrounding Salt Lake’s largest park, was gushing 50 gallons of crude per minute when responders arrived in the morning.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that residents 3 miles away smelled oil at 4am, the spill was officially reported at 6:45am, and the pipe was successfully shut-off by 8am. By then the oil had reached Liberty Pond (shown above) and was reported flowing into the Jordan River.
“In Liberty Pond the geese were brown – they’re normally white – I’ve probably known those geese for years, because I’ve gone to that park all the time,” said Ashley Anderson, a local climate activist.
Anderson gave me this account of the ground-zero-like scene at Liberty park during the press conference. “There were 25 firetrucks and hazmat suits everywhere. It smelled like the inside of a garage with a diesel truck running. The air was pretty bad.”
Chevron officials told the media what had happened and promised to clean it up. “One resident had gathered up a bucket of rocks from the creek that were coated in oil. He brought them with him to the press conference and got in Chevron’s face, saying ‘you’re going to pay for all this.’ The Chevron spokesperson said ‘of course we are’.”