There is an oil leak as big as the city of Paris, and it took days for Indonesian oil officials to even admit it was happening. 84 acres of protected Mangroves are covered in oil, and endangered dolphins are dying. A state of emergency was declared in the 700,000 person city of Balikpapan, where residents were given gas masks and told not to light cigarettes. Oh, and the slick caught on fire during attempted cleanups, killing 5 people. Sure does make a GREAT argument for Trump opening up our American coastlines for drilling, RIGHT? Right? right? /sarcasm
Borneo, a popular tourist destination, has gone down the same path Trump is advocating; drilling for short term oil money and ignoring long term risks to the environment, tourism and public health.
In Indonesia, the drilling was done by a state owned oil company, Pertamina, and the leak was first spotted on March 31. The company denied it was their fault, and blew it off as just some oil coming off of boats. As the dirty disaster spread, they couldn’t lie any longer, and on April 4th admitted it was one of their pipes. Oil companies lie and deny, rinse repeat.
During that 5 day period of denial, the busted pipe just kept pouring crude into the vacation paradise. "Dolphins have died from oil spills in Balikpapan Bay. The marine waters are polluted. Until now the impact of oil the spill can not be overcome," said Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management Sutopo Pure Nugroho. Officials are backpedaling after days of denial, as they deal with thousands of health complaints from shoreline residents. I’m so sure that any oil companies Trump approves for drilling on our American shorelines would never ever behave so egregiously.
The pipe in question was over 20 years old, but Pertamina Oil is trying to place blame externally. They say it may have been damaged by “an external heavy force.” The pipeline is in an area with heavy coal barge traffic, and a criminal investigation is ongoing to try and blame something other than their own shortsightedness in drilling. Ironic right? Trying to blame an oil leak on a coal barge, in a Paradise where solar power could work just as well?
The lesson here is that our shorelines are not worth the risk, and that oil companies hold NOTHING sacred. Not a beach or an animal... or even human lives.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca