States across the Southeast are experiencing sharp jumps in gas prices after a major gasoline pipeline ruptured in central Alabama, spilling as many as 336,000 gallons of fuel upstream from a national wildlife refuge. But thanks to a few strokes of luck, the environmental damage is minimal.
The pipeline breached near an old coal mine pit, and much of the fuel flowed into a water retention pond.
With local streams dry -- much of central Alabama is suffering from moderate to severe drought -- the gasoline did not find its way down into the Cahaba River, home to 64 rare and endangered plant and animal species, including the Cahaba lily.
“We really did bypass the...