The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Michigan Oil Spill—Profits before Safety

Aug 2, 2010

An oil pipeline ruptured near Battle Creek, Michigan, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River and spreading downstream for more than 25 miles to a nearby lake. The spill forced residents from dozens of homes to be evacuated, contaminated wildlife on the river, fouled fishing and recreation areas and could lead to toxic waste entering the food chain.

Enbridge Pipelines, the company that owns the ruptured pipeline, is huge–the world’s largest crude-oil pipeline company. It has had other spills and accidents, including an explosion at a pipeline in Minnesota that killed two workers in 2007.

Like the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, this pipeline rupture was a disaster waiting to happen. Since 2002, Enbridge has been given more than a dozen warnings or citations for violating safety and other standards and has been fined tens of thousands of dollars–a slap on the wrist.

Just like BP, Enbridge is a company that is making huge profits while skimping on maintaining the safety of its pipeline. Now, in addition to the largest release of oil ever in the Gulf of Mexico, we also have one of the largest oil spills in Midwest history.