I can honestly say that after reading The Dilbit Disaster, I have questioned my entire existence (exaggeration, of course) and came to this conclusion:
It was truly a disaster—and the Federal Government did an excellent job in keeping it under wraps.
This three-part read has been very informative and has managed to get in and under my skin (no joke, folks). At first I thought that I would doze off on just the second page, proceeding to “not give a damn” as I normally do about most things I am unaware or uneducated about, but I was surprised to find myself intrigued until the very end. To know that the LaForge family, who lived near the Talmadge Creek which was connected to the Kalamazoo river (which was, ladies and gents, where the 6B pipeline ruptured and BOOM, oil spill), was forced out of their home and into a hotel for 61 days had upset me enough. Sure, their safety came first. Sure, the oil spill was harmful since the smell was intoxicating, but the fact that they had lost their home, a place where they laid their three grand children to rest every night, had touched me on a personal level.
Let’s just say that I can relate to this family (yay, story time!). When I was just four years old, my apartment building had burned down, due to some human beings idiocy and failure to properly light a cigarette (and the ‘douchebag of the year 2000’ award goes to—!). Long story short, it was a devastating experience and what me and my family had to endure in the next months to come could never be repaid.
Enbridge, the lovely little company that operated the 6B pipeline, was responsible for the incident. Many alarms went off, warning them that something was wrong, yet this team of “elite” and “sufficient” individuals just couldn’t get the message. What got me so angry was the fact that they chose to ignore the warnings. The signs were there, the alarms were going off just hours apart… so why not do something about it? This irked me to the point that I contemplated on sharing a few words with the company myself. To top it all off, the oil that the pipeline carried wasn’t just crude oil. Oh no, it was something much worse.
Bitumen, also known as diluted bitumen, a.k.a dilbit.
And to clean this sticky, tar-like substance up in just a matter of days? Impossible. Which is why it took them almost a year to at least stabilize the river and have clean water again. The spill was so bad, that they had to invent a new machine that would successfully suck up the substance without causing any damage.
What makes this book so interesting, besides the never ending statistics and brief biology lessons, were the people affected. Some lost their homes, their businesses, which led to the loss of money. Not only were people affected (get your tissues ready, gals), but so were inhabitants of the river. Ducks, mussels, fishes, and birds were all affected by the spill as well. If it weren’t for the rescue teams that picked these little creatures out of the tar and gave them hospitality, many of them would of been lost in the sauce (see what I did there? No? Ugh).
Despite everything unfortunate that had happened because of this spill, kept from the public for obvious reasons (cough, public panic, cough), I am glad to know that Marshall, Michigan is doing swell today and that the pipeline is being better operated (still no kudos for you, Enbridge).
Well, that’s all for now peeps! *tips hat*