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Second Oil Spill in a Week Sparks Outrage Among Environmentalists

As cleanup crews in California continue to mitigate the damage caused by an oil spill off of its Pacific Coast, emergency services are now rushing to contain another leak that has occurred at a facility in Texas.

Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A torrent of refined crude gushed out of a holding tank after a pump seal failed at the Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery on Wednesday morning, leading to road closures along Loop 197 between 4th Avenue and FM 519. The breach is contained within Marathon’s storage complex, which has a refining capacity of 593,000 barrels of oil per day, Houston’s ABC 13 reported.

Watch below courtesy of KPRC Houston, an NBC News affiliate:

“There is an incident in progress at Marathon on the South Loop. The South Loop is closed at the present time. We anticipate it will last 4-6 hours. The loop will be closed for the duration of the incident. Thank you,” the City of Texas, City, Texas announced in a Facebook post shortly after the pipe burst.

“The refinery has deployed air monitoring in the community as a precaution, and there is no indication of risk to the community,” Marathon Petroleum Corporation communications manager Jamal Kheiry said in a statement. “Cleanup is underway, and regulatory notifications have been made.”

So far, the company has not disclosed the amount of oil that has escaped into the environment.

Environmentalists quickly took to Twitter to reemphasize the ecological dangers posed by fossil fuels and to remind the public why breaking our collective addiction to oil is of the utmost importance.

“The crazy thing is to expect that this won’t keep on happening every damn day until we just keep the oil in the ground,” tweeted Nathaniel Stinnett, the executive director of the Environmental Voter Project.

“Fossil fuels pollute. First the California spill, now this. We must transition to a renewable energy future as fast as we can. That’s why we need climate investments in the Build Back Better bill,” said the Northwest Progressive Institute, referring to President Joe Biden’s behemoth spending plan that includes investments in sustainable sources of power.

“BREAKING: Another day, another catastrophic oil spill that will massively harm local wildlife and environment,” Friends of the Earth Action Inc. added. The Biden Administration “claims to care about the climate crisis — yet it continues to open up public lands & waters to Big Oil. This is why that cannot continue.”



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