Keystone Pipeline Dumps 400,000 Gallons Of Oil In Spill, Enraging Environmentalists

The fossil fuel industry will stop at nothing to construct the Keystone XL pipeline across the entire Midwest, all while claiming that it’s perfectly safe and won’t endanger the environment. Well, they clearly lied because the pipeline just spilled nearly 400,000 gallons of oil.

It is the eighth largest pipeline oil spill in the last decade, so it’s a big one. 383,000 gallons of tar sands are contaminating the environment in North Dakota. In fact, this is the third such spill in the last three years even though proponents of the Keystone pipeline have been insisting for years that the pipeline won’t spill. Environmentalists, on the other hand, have been warning that this pipeline is a bad idea because the fossil fuel industry is irresponsible and these pipelines spill oil all the time.

As news of the spill spread, those same environmentalists were outraged but not surprised.

“I wish I could say I was shocked, but a major spill from the Keystone pipeline is exactly what multiple experts predicted would happen,” Greenpeace USA senior research specialist Tim Donaghy said in a statement. “In fact, this is the fourth significant spill from the Keystone pipeline in less than ten years of operation. History has shown us time and again that there is no safe way to transport fossil fuels, and pipelines are no exception.”

Indeed, whether it’s by ship, train, truck or pipeline, transporting oil by any method carries significant risk that cannot be eliminated, putting our environment in the crosshairs every time.

And this isn’t even the only oil spill being dealt with in the world right now. A spill in India spells catastrophe for the endangered river dolphins of the Ganges. And a recent spill in Brazil has contaminated 1,300 miles of coastline.

So far, the company that owns the pipeline, TC Energy, won’t disclose just how bad the spill is, and security on site has been authorized to fine anybody who drives up to survey the damage.

“The roads around the spill area have been closed to assist with the cleanup,” the Grand Forks Herald reported. “Walsh County Sheriff Ronald Jurgens asks the public to avoid the area so the cleanup process can proceed. On-site security will stop and fine any driver ignoring the closed road signs.”

In other words, the local police are happily helping TC Energy cover up the extent of the spill and the damage it has caused by making sure no one but authorized personnel can access the site.

Again, this company wants to build the Keystone pipeline across the whole Midwest from Canada to Louisiana, and would just so happen to cross over the crucial Ogallala aquifer, which provides fresh water to the breadbasket of America.

If an oil spill were to poison that underground water source, it would be one of the worst disasters in American history that would have serious ripple effects starting with the food supply since crops and livestock rely on the aquifer.

And experts already predict that the pipeline will spill again.

“This is not the first time this pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last,” Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels initiative associate director Catherine Collentine said. “We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and once again TC Energy has made our case for us.”

That’s for sure. It’s clear that the oil industry can’t be trusted to protect the environment. Oil pipelines are not safe and should not be allowed to be constructed. There’s just too much at stake to continue letting these spills continue.

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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