Crews were working Tuesday [27th July 2010] to contain and clean up more than 800,000 gallons of oil that poured into a creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan, coating wildlife. Battle Creek and Emmett Township authorities warned residents about the strong odor from the oil, which leaked Monday from a pipeline that carries about eight million gallons of oil a day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario. The pipeline company, Enbridge Energy Partners, said the oil spilled into Talmadge Creek. As of Tuesday afternoon, oil was reported in about 16 miles of the Kalamazoo River downstream of the spill. Representative Mark Schauer, Democrat of Michigan, called the spill a “public health crisis,” and said he planned to hold hearings to examine the response. The spill’s cause is under investigation.
Public sensitivity to the words oil and spill in the same sentence runs high. The story almost writes itself. President Obama will have to show his awareness and empathy to those affected. The story broke within 24 hours of Tony Hayward being removed as CEO of BP after the Gulf Oil-Spill disaster. It will be interesting to see how the CEO of Enbridge Energy Partners reacts to the Kalamazoo spillage. And will his fate be influenced by the events thousands of miles down-stream?