Cable News Silent as Two States Declare Emergency After Pipeline SpillUS Uncut
September 16, 2016
More than a quarter million gallons of gasoline have spilled in Shelby County, Alabama, after a major fuel pipeline ruptured this week. While the spill has received attention from local media outlets, national cable news networks have largely ignored the story.
According to local media, the fuel line, which carries refined gasoline from Houston to the East Coast, has leaked roughly 6,000 barrels of gasoline since Monday. The leak is expected to drive up fuel prices across the Southeast, and the governors of both Alabama and Georgia have declared official state emergencies, preparing residents for fuel shortages.
"Based on current projections and consultations with industry partners, parts of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina will be the first markets to be impacted by any potential disruption in supply," the company stated.
In a public statement issued Thursday afternoon, fuel line operator Colonial Pipeline said it has briefed officials in every state where fuel shortages are expected. Colonial also said the health and safety of the roughly 500 first responders at the site of the cleanup. is their primary concern. Colonial spokesman Bill Berry said the fuel spill spanned an area roughly two acres in size, and that gasoline is being contained in one of three water retention ponds.
"It"s not safe for our workers to recover much product off of the pond due to gasoline vapors," Berry told WDRB. "It"s a challenge for us to do much because the vapors are not at safe levels for human health."
According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board, the spill is Colonial"s largest since 1996, when 22,800 barrels of gasoline leaked in South Carolina. The pipeline spill comes at a critical time for the industry, as protesters continue to put their bodies in the way of pipeline construction equipment in North Dakota, claiming the Dakota Access Pipeline would pollute water supplies that millions of people and animals depend on for survival.