Last Thursday, November 16, 2017, the Keystone Pipeline spewed 210,000 gallons of crude oil into the ground of South Dakota. TransCanada, the company that owns the pipeline reports that crews shut the pipeline down within 15 minutes after noticing a drop in pressure.
This leak happened days before a decision from Nebraska lawmakers regarding the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. They saw the detrimental impacts of underground oil pipelines and decided to vote against it….Just kidding. THEY APPROVED IT. Yes, following a 5000 barrel oil spill from a TransCanada pipeline they awarded that same company the approval to put another one in the ground.
Need a refresher on Keystone?
The Keystone Pipeline is an underground metal pipeline that transports crude oil at high pressure. The pipeline runs from Alberta, Canada, and down through both Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and into Texas. The Pipeline is owned and operated by TransCanada, the company that is developing Keystone Xl, a sister pipeline.
This leak comes less than a year and a half after a leak in April of 2016. The spill in 2016 resulted in a 400 barrel contamination or about 16,800 gallons of crude oil leaching into the surrounding ground. In April of 2017, the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline spilled 84 gallons of oil before it was even operational. One should see the pattern here that underground oil pipelines are dangerous and cause severe detriment to the natural environment they are put in.
Readers might remember the recent protests in Standing Rock over the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines. “In honor of our future generations, we fight this pipeline to protect our water, our sacred places, and all living beings,” says the Stand With Standing Rock website. These are the very oil spills that protesters were worried about. Their concerns for their drinking water, sacred land, and place they call home were well founded.
This trending tweet sums up the recent spill nicely: