Local oil spills amount to 19,000 barrels since 2000by Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Oil spills happen too often around the country, according to an environmental protection group.
In a report being released today, the National Wildlife Federation said there were 57 pipeline spills in Minnesota between 2000 and 2009, releasing more than 19,000 barrels of oil and causing more than $36 million in damage.
"Fossil fuel disasters are common in America, even in Minnesota, even in Edina, where a spill occurred week or so ago. So we as Americans continue pay the price for this dependence on fossil fuels and dirty fuels," Gary Botzek of the Minnesota Conservation Federation said.
Botzek said most of the oil coming in to Minnesota is from the oil sands of Canada.
"That's a plus for national security and independence, it's not foreign or Middle Eastern oil, but it's still a problem or a disaster waiting to happen," he said.
Recent spills in Minnesota include one near Cohasset in 2002, where 250,000 gallons of crude spilled from an Enbridge Energy pipeline, and one near Clearbrook in 2007, where two workers were killed.
Clean-up crews are working this week on a spill of more than 800,000 gallons of oil near Michigan's Kalamazoo River, which flows into Lake Michigan.