March 22, 2014, witnessed another oil spill in U.S. waters when a tanker full of marine fuel oil crashed into a barge in the Houston Ship Channel. The spill closed all traffic through the channel for three days. Nearly 12% of the U.S. refining capacity came to a halt during the closure. The spill came as the nation marked the 25th anniversary of the catastrophic Exxon Valdez spill that dumped 11 million gallons of oil on the Alaska coast.
Just a month before, on February 23, an oil barge collided with a tugboat Near Vacherie, Louisiana. The resulting oil spill closed a 65-mile run of the Mississippi River and endangered water supplies for communities along the river. Dozens of critical shipments backed up behind the spill location.