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Massive Keystone 1 Pipeline Oil Spill

November 20th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

All pipelines spill, when transporting oil or gas, environmental damage to land, waterways and human health is inevitable.

On Thursday, Friends of the Earth issued the following statement, saying:

“Today, TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline spilled more than 200,000 gallons of tar sands - the world’s dirtiest oil - in South Dakota. This spill will contaminate the environment and threaten local communities.”“This is a sign of what’s to come if Trump succeeds in forcing construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil every day from Alberta, Canada to the US Gulf Coast.”

“We’ve taken Trump to court to stop Keystone XL. But it’s going to be a long fight. We need to make sure we have the resources to win. Can we count on you?”

Straightaway after taking office, Trump said “(w)e are going to renegotiate some of the terms. We will build our own pipelines (and) pipes.”

“We’re going to make the process much more simple for the oil companies and everybody else that wants to do business in the United States.”

In March 2010, the Canadian National Energy Board of Canada approved construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline. In March 2017, Trump approved it in America by presidential permit.

It risks enormous environmental pollution, passing through hugely ecologically sensitive areas in six states, including the Missouri and Red Rivers, as well as the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest, supplying about 30% of America’s irrigation ground water.

Possible spill damage is enormous. Tar sands oil sinks, making cleanup much harder and extremely costly.

Canadian tar sands oil lie beneath the world’s largest intact ecosystem, Alberta’s Boreal forest.

It’s an important carbon sink, rich in biodiversity and unspoiled bodies of water. It supports large populations of numerous species.

It serves as a buffer against climate change. Extracting tar sands oil destroys forests, endangering indigenous populations.

Big Oil wants it. What it wants, it gets, especially with anti-environmentalist Trump as president.

TransCanada Corp. promised Keystone 1 would leak at most once every seven years. It’s leaked on average monthly, Thursday’s spill one of the worst, much more certain if KXL is built.

Friends of the Earth political strategist Ben Schreiber said “(w)ith their horrible safety record, today’s spill is just the latest tragedy caused by the irresponsible oil company TransCanada.”

“We cannot let the world’s fossil fuel empires continue to drive government policy toward climate catastrophe. The only safe solution for oil and fossil fuels is to keep them in the ground.”

Greenpeace anti-tar sands campaigner Rachel Butler explained Thursday’s spill came days before Nebraska’s Public Service Commission intends approving KXL construction in the state.

With administration backing and Big Oil lobbying, KXL and other oil and gas pipelines will continue being built, ravaging the environment and harming human health for big profits.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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