On October 4, 2001, Mr. Lewis proved, while his parents may have been connoisseurs of baby names (or, at least, pairing first names with the family surname), that wisdom skipped a generation. His rap sheet already included charges of theft, burglary, drunk driving, and weapons violations. But that day, he'd accidentally add criminal mischief and oil pollution to that list. At roughly 2:30 in the afternoon, Daniel Carson Lewis defiled his good name (or, what was left of it) and took five shots at the pipeline with his rifle. One of his bullets hit a weld -- a joint where two pipe sections had been welded together. While the pipeline is covered by a layer of galvanized steel which is typically resistant to gunshots, the joint was a weak point. It burst open and oil came rushing out, at the rate of 140 gallons per minute according to the Associated Press.
In total, over six thousand barrels leaked out of the pipeline due to Lewis's crime; roughly 4,000 of them were recovered. The damage to the pipeline required it to be shut down for two and a half days, delaying nearly three million barrels of oil. Two acres of tundra were damaged by Lewis's drunken riflery. Lewis was sentenced to sixteen years in prison and ordered to pay for the cleanup costs, totaling $17 million, which, of course, he will almost certainly never be able to afford.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Alaska Pipeline Damaged by Gunfire
via Now I Know