In news that everyone but Donald Trump saw coming, the Keystone Pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota, has leaked 210,000 gallons of oil according to the pipeline’s operator, TransCanada. This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota.
CNN reported that the pipeline was shut down on Thursday morning and the cause of the leak is being investigated. According to Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the leak occurred about three miles southeast of the town of Amherst.
Back in April 2016, the pipeline had a 400-barrel release, which is about 16,800 gallons. At that time, the majority of the oil cleanup was completed in two months, Walsh said. On Thursday morning, about 5,000 barrels of oil spilled.
“It is a below-ground pipeline but some oil has surfaced above ground to the grass. It will be a few days until they can excavate and get in borings to see if there is groundwater contamination.”
Walsh stated that there were no initial reports of the oil spill affecting waterways, water systems, or wildlife. TransCanada said it was working with state and federal agencies regarding the oil spill. In a statement from the company, they said, “The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
As far as the Keystone Pipeline goes, the sections that have been affected by the oil spill stretch from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and to Wood River, Illinois.
Of course, the building of this pipeline was met with much opposition. Protests were held on the land to stop the building of the pipeline and this is why. Environmental activist group Greenpeace said that this oil spill shows that another section of the pipeline in Nebraska should not be approved. Rachel Rye Butler spoke on behalf of Greenpeace.
“The Nebraska Public Service Commission needs to take a close look at this spill. A permit approval allowing Canadian oil company TransCanada to build Keystone XL is a thumbs-up to likely spills in the future.”
In March, Trump’s administration officially issued a permit that approved construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would stretch from Hardisty down to Steele City, Nebraska. This approval followed years of intense debate over the pipeline. There was hefty opposition from environmental groups, which said the pipeline would cut across the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest underground deposits of fresh water.
Native American groups also argued against the pipeline, as they said it would cut across their sovereign lands. None of that mattered to Trump, as he said the pipeline would be a big win for American workers. However, critics said it wouldn’t be, as the jobs it would create would only be temporary.
Despite the opposition, Trump still approved it and now Twitter is giving him the perfect response to this disaster.
So, regarding this South Dakota pipeline break. Remember when this was a VERY valid concern of the Native Americans and many people turned a blind eye. And look where we are now! #KeystonePipeline— Marcellus King (@korrupted) November 17, 2017
We knew it. We protested. They didn't care. #KeystonePipeline— Damon Rhinehart (@geminimoon) November 16, 2017
The #KeystonePipeline just burst in South Dakota spilling 210,000 gallons of oil.— Sean Corcoran (@seacorc) November 16, 2017
Time for President Trump to step up and do what he does best,
Pass The Buck!
[Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]