PR Should Be The Last Concern Here

I have to admit to being a little surprised when I checked the site this morning to find that there was no post about the oil spill yesterday, not to mention how completely stupid it is that both the contractor and the pipeline owner are pointing fingers at each other as to who’s at fault here.

It doesn’t matter, who’s fault it is – just contain the damn spill and start the cleanup.  You can both sue each other into oblivion AFTER you get the oil off the ground, and out of the water, and people back into their homes. 

Although I do have to do a little finger pointing myself.  WHY did it take, if the reports are to believed, so long for the spill containment to begin?  Certainly the ShellBurn Refinery would have known almost immediately that something was wrong when the amount of product coming into their facility dropped so dramatically.  And I know that they have spill containment procedures and product onsite (I used to work in the liquid handling equipment industry, primarily dealing with the oil companies.  This included the sale of spill containment material).  Why couldn’t they have gotten what was needed to the spill site considering how close they were? 

Of course they’re not obligated to do any such thing, but when an environmental disaster such as this occurs, shouldn’t you just do what’s right first, and worry about it later?

Anyway, I’ll get off the soapbox now, and repeat what I said earlier – it doesn’t matter who’s fault it is.  Just do something about it.

2 Comments so far

  1. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    In fairness, they had a containment boom in the water by the time my wife rolled past on the WCE. The report says the leak was stopped within 30 minutes, which sounds about as quick as humanly possible, for a leak that wasn’t actually within the refinery walls.

    I defer to you on the question of whether that was quick enough, but I assume you’d confirm that the usual protocol in these cases is 1. stop oil from spewing, 2. initiate evacuation if necessary, 3. clean up.

    Traffic was backed up substantially on Clarke Road, as the Barnet was closed this morning, and the alternate route would be Clarke-to-Burnaby and thus to Vancouver.


  2. keith lim (unregistered) on July 26th, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    But why, why are you surprised about no mention of the oil spill here? This site isn’t a news site. There’s no particular reason for any news item to make an appearance here at all, unless one of the authors just happens to be on-scene when something happens (or makes a special visit later, q.v. Kwik-E-Mart).

    Obviously, you (the contributing writers) could stalk a bunch of actual news sites and post a continual stream of comments and opinions on the news stories of the moment (which, if nothing else, would let you fulfil your three-posts-per-week quota easily)–but would doing that be either useful or interesting in the long run?

    But basically, Metroblogging Vancouver isn’t a news site, so I don’t really understand your surprise that some particular event, unusual and newsworthy though it was, had failed to be mentioned on the site.



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