Conservative blogger Rob Port, who loves transparency, thinks it’s a good idea for the public to have less information about oil spills in North Dakota.
Port, who works for Forum Communications Co., is endorsing a bill that would let oil companies avoid reporting their “small, contained spills” of 420 gallons or less.
The bill was introduced by state Rep. Roscoe Streyle, a Republican from Minot who received campaign contributions from seven oil industry groups in 2014. They are:
- Continental Resources PAC: $1,000
- Marathon Oil Company Employees PAC: $750
- ND Oil PAC: $1,500
- Newfield PAC: $300
- Tesoro PAC: $400
- Whiting Petroleum: $300
- WPX Energy PAC: $750
Streyle was on Port’s radio show on Friday, arguing that his plan is good because it mimics the federal standard. We believe this is the first time that a North Dakota Republican has looked to the federal government as a model. As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows.
The public doesn’t need to know about smaller spills, Port argued, because they have “pretty much” no impact on the environment. Streyle also said they have “pretty much” no impact. “Pretty much”? Not exactly comforting words.
So what, exactly, is wrong with requiring every spill to be reported? According to Port, the less significant oil spills are causing the total number of spills to be too high: 1,546 last year. “We have to do something to avoid producing misleading data about spills in our state,” he wrote.
Of course Rob thinks facts are misleading. That explains why so few of them appear in his writing.
In other news, an oil spill from 2013 still isn’t cleaned up.