On the Radar: Yellowstone River spill, Strauss-Kahn troubles, missing student
Leaked oil floats in pools caused by recent flooding around the Yellowstone River.
July 5th, 2011
06:19 AM ET

On the Radar: Yellowstone River spill, Strauss-Kahn troubles, missing student

Three things you need to know today.

Yellowstone spill: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer will get a close-up look Tuesday at damage done to the Yellowstone River when an ExxonMobil pipeline ruptured last week and leaked tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the river, CNN affiliate KTVQ reports.

ExxonMobil reported Monday night that more than 280 people have converged on the area near Billings to clean up the spill, including workers from the Texas-based oil company and the Clean Harbors environmental firm.

But ExxonMobil officials told the Billings Gazette that workers have yet to reach the site of the rupture and determine its exact nature.

Historically high water levels and rapid currents have made things difficult. On Saturday, for instance, levels near Billings reached their peak for the season at 13.95 feet, nearly a foot above flood stage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“It’s not a safe place to be right now,” ExxonMobil spokesman Alan Jeffers told the Billings newspaper.

The rupture occurred on a pipeline that brings oil from Wyoming to a refinery in Billings, the Gazette reported.

More trouble for former IMF chief: A lawyer for French writer Tristane Banon said he will file a criminal complaint Tuesday against former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn over an alleged attempted rape eight years ago.

The development comes days after charges against Strauss-Kahn in New York appeared to be on shaky ground.

In anticipation of the new claims, a Strauss-Kahn lawyer in France said he had filed a counterclaim against Banon for "false declarations" after the 32-year-old journalist and writer alleged the ex-IMF chief assaulted her.

The filing by Strauss-Kahn's lawyer was announced shortly after Banon's lawyer, David Koubbi, said he will file the criminal complaint Tuesday with prosecutors, who will determine whether there is enough evidence to file charges.

Missing student case: An autopsy Tuesday may shed some light on the case of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.

The autopsy will be conducted on a decomposing female body found in a creek Monday north of Indianapolis, CNN affiliates reported.

Bloomington police have been searching for Spierer, 20, since June 2, when she was last seen leaving a sports bar in the city after a night out with friends.

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Filed under: Crime • Energy • Environment • Indiana
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. sick n tired

    Drill baby, Drill..............to he!! with the environment and the wildlife. If the frogs and birds are too stupid to get out of the way..........typical republican physcology......

    July 5, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • jerry

      we truly are the most dangerous on the planet........ this is disgusting

      July 5, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • BOOyah outtahere

      yeah and liberal democrats solution, stop airport traffic so turtles can F$ck and cause millions in loss revenue just so you can blame it on Bush...you tools make me sick

      July 5, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Teddy Watson

      @BOOyah outtahere - You aren't very bright. Sad to see the ignorance of this generation.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Diether

    Was ist "physcology?"

    July 5, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Darwin

    See the oil companies need more subsidies and tax breaks. How else are they going to pay for spills that come from lack of concern for following safety regulations?

    July 5, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Diether

    Ja. Freude durch Kraft.

    July 5, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Whe will the Republicans put Rep. Joe Barton on TV to apologize to ExxonMobil for causing this??

    July 5, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Pipeline Integrity

      You, Sir are a moron!

      July 5, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @Pipeline Integrity – excellent post. A clear, concise, and to-the-point demonstration of your critical thinking and writing skills. Keep up the good work.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Are there shut off valves on these pipelines, and if so, how far apart are they on this particular pipeline? I know this would not solve the problem of the break itself, but the amount of oil leaked could be drastically lowered.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Mike, I can't speak for this particular pipeline, but there are valves in cross-country pipelines, but they can be several hundreds of miles from where a leak occurs. What's in the pipeline may still drain out.

      July 5, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • slushy

      They have shut off the oil, Yesterday I believe. and it was neither a republican or democrate, just an oil worker.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. RVT1K

    So how do you think the electricity that is powering the laptop you're typing on right now was generated? Did you pull it out of your a**? Because if you didn't it was probably generated using oil or coal. Stop your self-righteous whining and come up with a real solution.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      RVT1K – I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the energy for my computer didn't come from the oil now in the Yellowstone River.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      It isn't being self-righteous, a single person can't really control what kind of energy source is powering their computer. Now, if we want to get a cure for one of humanities biggest ailments, THEN WE BETTER START NOW!!! And stop bi*ching at each other. Republican, democrat or monkey we need to work together on this one and get over ourselves.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    This is because there are too many job-killing regulations on the oil industry. The oil industry would do the "right" thing if government didn't keep getting in the way.

    July 5, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • gman21

      So you mean to say that the oil spill is not due to the lax on oil companies' part, but is a govt fault?

      July 5, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Edie Walker

      Yes, just like the Banks did the right thing when they were bailed out...keep on giving those big salaries, bonus's and retirement packages! That is why you need regulations! Big Business is all about profit!

      July 5, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Anoilcompanysupporter

    I would agree to allow ExxonMobile, BP and the other oil companies to drill in the ANWR when their CEO's agree that they and their families will be required to drink any oil that is recovered from the inevitable spill.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. gman21

    Provide more tax breaks to Exxon and allow them to drill whereever they want.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. Trish

    Hey, will you guys visit HelpFaye.ORG , a friend fighting for her life needs our help... Thank you

    July 5, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jay Horn

    I hope all of you left wing idiots like trickle up poverty because thats whats coming with Obama.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Phil

    The reality is that our country has a large and ever increasing thirst for energy. And yes, the oil that spilled is part of what meets that need. As long as we need oil (and we will for quite a few years in the future) we will have to find a way to transport it safely.

    Spills and leaks are an inevitable part of transporting oil. You will never stop them. But technology and regulation is improving to help stop minimize the frequency and size of ruptures and failures. Hopefully in the not to distant future these types of situations will be few and far between.

    I think the focus should be on the technology to prevent these failures. Saying that we need to stop using oil is not realistic in my mind. We absolutely need oil, no matter how much renewable energy we are able to utilize. If you have an issue with this then help do something about it.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Mechanical Integrity Engineer

      Well said....
      But the technology does exist. The costs associated with a pipeline inspection are often high, and more to the point, time consuming. The time it takes to inspect the pipeline is outage time for the refinery, which could be millions of dollars. Oil producers are making money hand over fist, but refiners are suffering from tight margins and high operating costs.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mechanical Integrity Engineer

    I was a Line Integrity Engineer for an oil refinery for years, and this is more common that I’d care to admit. Oil is a nasty business. America’s infrastructure is aging, and labor costs have made replacement impractical. More and more of our refined products will be coming from overseas, as refineries across America shut down. I’m speculating that China and India do not have the robust emissions standards that are found in the USA.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Anoilcompanysupporter

    Jay, what is a left wing idiot? Is that simply something that spills out of your mouth to represent any political idea that is contrary to your own? If so talk to me on August 3, 2011 when the economy goes over the cliff due to the Republican refusal to act in manner that politicians are expected to act. Compromise is not a dirty word. Perhaps it is time to bring back the guillotine and introduce it to the Republican leadership. France, made a great deal of "headway" with that device on its leadership.

    July 5, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
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