Toxic Keystone Leaks Show Need to Halt New Pipeline Construction, Advocates Say

The Keystone pipeline system has now spilled extra crude oil within the U.S. than some other pipeline in 12 years.

With its newest leak of practically 600,000 gallons in northern Kansas, the sprawling Keystone pipeline system has now spilled extra crude oil in the USA than some other pipeline since 2010, in line with a brand new analysis by Bloomberg.

Together with final week’s spillage of roughly 14,000 barrels of crude — a risk to the setting, consuming water, and public well being — the pipeline system that runs from Alberta, Canada to Texas has leaked 26,000 barrels of the poisonous substance within the U.S. over the previous 12 years, the Bloomberg famous Monday, citing preliminary information from the Pipeline and Hazardous Supplies Security Administration.

“Whereas Keystone is the biggest spiller of crude oil since 2010, the refined gas pipeline Colonial Pipeline’s Line 1 has spilled extra liquid hydrocarbons than Keystone,” the outlet reported.

Bloomberg’s evaluation got here as the complete extent of the injury brought on by the most recent spill, together with the impression the leak might have on local water supplies, stays to be seen as Keystone proprietor TC Power continues its clean-up efforts. Residents of Washington County, Kansas have reported smelling oil within the wake of the spill, which is believed to be the biggest in Keystone’s historical past.

In line with the Sierra Membership, the Keystone 1 pipeline that leaked in northern Kansas has leaked 22 times in its historical past — together with a dozen spills throughout its first 12 months of operation in 2010. The Authorities Accountability Workplace warned in a report final 12 months that “the severity of [Keystone’s] spills has worsened lately as a result of two giant spills in 2017 and 2019.”

“The newest spill is one other tragic reminder of the prices of our reliance on fossil fuels,” Matt Casale, director of the U.S. PIRG Training Fund’s setting campaigns, stated in a press release late Monday. “At each stage, from extraction, to transportation, to burning, fossil fuels put the environment and well being in danger. Not solely are they the driving pressure behind local weather change, however when the pipelines spill — they usually all the time spill — the injury is extreme. The trail to a clear and wholesome future is evident, and it doesn’t journey in an oil pipeline.”

John Rumpler, senior director of the Clear Water for America Marketing campaign at Atmosphere America, agreed, including that “as soon as once more, an enormous spill has reminded us of a easy reality: oil pipelines put clear water in danger.”

“Oil is poisonous to people and wildlife alike, and heavy crude, particularly, is exceedingly troublesome to scrub up as soon as it has contaminated our rivers and streams,” Rumpler added. “Pipelines additionally usually cross our nation’s wetlands — a danger that could possibly be drastically magnified if the Supreme Courtroom strips away their federal protections in Sackett vs. EPA. For the sake of fresh water, it’s time to cease constructing new oil pipelines, and implement extra stringent security requirements on present ones.”

President Joe Biden received applause final 12 months for killing a proposed enlargement of the Keystone pipeline referred to as Keystone XL, however the administration has gone to bat for different main fossil gas tasks in courtroom, together with the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. Biden has additionally resisted calls to difficulty an government order shutting down present oil pipelines and different harmful fossil gas infrastructure whilst planet-warming greenhouse gasoline emissions continue to surge.

A September analysis by the World Power Monitor estimated that, total, round 1,700 miles of oil pipeline capability have been proposed or are already below building within the U.S., greater than some other nation.

“It’s not a query of if a pipeline will leak, however when,” the advocacy group Meals & Water Watch tweeted Monday. “To cease future leaks, we have to transfer away from pipelines and towards a 100% renewable power transition.”

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