Major Michigan oil spill hits as Congress debates drilling reforms

Another day, another onshore oil spill somewhere in America.

Officials in Michigan, according to our sister site, the Michigan Messenger, are streaming into the small town of Calhoun to assess the growing aquatic devastation from what may wind up being the biggest oil spill in state history.

The CEO of Canada-based Enbridge Energy claims nearly 800,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a pipeline Monday and streamed into Talmadge Creek and then into the Kalamazoo River. Democratic state Rep. Mark Schauer says the EPA put that number closer to one million gallons.

Local officials Tuesday declared a state of emergency, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared the region a disaster area.

All of this comes as the U.S. House takes up the CLEAR Act, a piece of federal legislation meant as an alternative to a failed comprehensive energy and climate bill, and the Senate considers a similarly watered down version introduced Wednesday by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.. It is focused mostly on preventing future offshore drilling disasters like BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but there are still some provisions in the bill directed at onshore reform.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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