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Keystone Pipeline Leaked Thousands More Gallons of Oil Than Originally Reported

Keystone Pipeline Leaked Thousands More Gallons of Oil Than Originally Reported

Last week TransCanada shut down a portion of their Keystone pipeline due to an oil leak. They estimated that about 187 gallons of oil had spilled.

After examining soil excavations the company is now reporting that nearly 17,000 gallons of oil spilled. The numbers were reported to the National response Center and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration. (ed. How could the estimate be low by a factor of 100?)

The leak initially happened last Saturday to a portion of the Keystone pipeline located in Hutchinson County, South Dakota. When it was discovered the line was immediately shut down in order to minimize the leak and find the source.

According to Think Progress, because the oil Canadian tar sands oil, it is more difficult to clean than conventional oil.

The Keystone pipeline, which transports Canadian tar sands oil runs from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. Originally there was supposed to be an extension to the pipeline, dubbed Keystone XL. The extension was vetoed last month by President Obama, thanks in part to a massive amount of protest and activism opposing it. TransCanada is fighting the veto in federal court.

The portion of the pipeline affected is expected to be close until at least next week.


The new report of how many gallons of oil were spilled show that initial results underestimated the leak – by 9,000%.

The new report of how many gallons of oil were spilled show that initial results underestimated the leak – by 9,000%.












Source: Nation of Change

By Alexandra Jacobo – April 10, 2016 | News Report



From ThinkProgress:

Oil Leak From Keystone Pipeline 89 Times Worse Than Originally Thought

by Alejandro Davila Fragoso Apr 8, 2016 12:36 pm

Nearly a week after pipeline operator TransCanada shut down a section of its Keystone line over an oil leak, the company reported Thursday thousands of gallons of oil were spilled, not less than 200 as it first said.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik













Based on soil excavations, TransCanada said about 16,800 gallons of oil leaked onto a field in South Dakota, the Associated Press reported. After the leak was discovered Saturday and the line was shut, TransCanada said about 187 gallons of crude oil had spilled, an accident that environmental groups said shows the dangers of shipping oil by pipeline. Though the spill is larger than first thought, it poses no significant environmental effects or threats to public safety, the AP said. However, Keystone transports Canadian tar sands oil, which is more difficult to clean than conventional oil.

The company behind the rejected Keystone XL line has yet to reveal what caused the leak, but it said the spill is being controlled, and reported the new estimates to the National Response Center and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration. The pipeline is part of the existing Keystone network that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have expanded. It runs from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma via the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. TransCanada said the pipeline won’t be fully operational until early next week. So far some 100 workers are at the site, located about four miles from Hutchinson County.

Misreported leak volumes often occur following oil spills as companies investigate accidents and discover oil seeped deeper in the ground or waterways than they first thought. Revised figures are at times much larger than first reported. In 2014, for instance, an oil spill in North Dakota was first reported to have caused a loss of 750 barrels of oil, a figure that climbed to about 20,600 barrels once the soil was further investigated.
Related Post

TransCanada Announces It Will Sue U.S. Over Keystone XL Denial

After the spill was reported earlier this week, environmental groups said Keystone’s spill proves the threat that the Keystone XL expansion would have posed. They also noted that the Keystone pipeline, approved by President George W. Bush in 2008, leaked oil 12 times in its first year of operation. “TransCanada’s Keystone I disaster is a stark reminder that it’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when. This is one of the reasons President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and it’s why he should reject all dangerous fossil fuel pipeline proposals,” Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Oil transportation largely relies on trains and pipelines. Out of those two, pipelines spill more often than trains, yet train accidents can be deadlier as trains are more likely to explode. U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over the period of 2004 to 2012, according to an International Energy Agency study. And last year, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reported 314 “significant” incidents causing damages of more than $305 million, and 10 fatalities.

Despite opposition from environmentalists and mounting leaks, TransCanada is determined to expand its system and refuses to shelve Keystone XL, as it has challenged Obama’s decision under the North American Free Trade Agreement in federal U.S. court.


One Response to “Keystone Pipeline Leaked Thousands More Gallons of Oil Than Originally Reported”

  1. Tom Pendergast says:

    Seven unions in the AFO-CIO are demanding that the labor confederation cut ties with Tom Steyer, the environmental activist and megadonor funding a new super-PAC with the organized labor group.

    In a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, the officials protested Steyer’s opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline, and said they want none of their dues funneled toward the For Our Future PAC, a group backed by the AFL-CIO and Steyer that plans to raise $50 million to elect a Democratic president.

    The letter, signed by Sean McGarvey, the president of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department, and the representatives of seven unions within the confederation, decried the AFL-CIO’s pattern of working with outside groups that sometimes oppose projects that would create jobs.
    They accused the AFL-CIO of having “officially become infiltrated by financial and political interests that work in direct conflict to many of our members’ — and yes, AFL-CIO dues paying members’ lives.”

    The officials said this has had the effect of hurting the building trades workers in particular.

    “Unfortunately, a growing trend within the Federation seems to consistently minimize the importance of Building Trades jobs and our members’ livelihoods in the pursuit of a coalition strategy with outside organizations that has produced mixed results at best and disastrous results at worst for our members and their employment prospects in many instances throughout the country,” the union officials wrote.

    “The latest disturbing example of this dubious big tent strategy that has, in many instances, been detrimental to the economic well being of our members, is the reported formation of the aforementioned Super PAC that will be dominated by funds from billionaire activists Tom Steyer,” they wrote.

    The letter was signed by McGarvey; Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, which represents about 500,000 workers; James Callahan, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, which represents 400,000 workers; and William Hite, president of the United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians, which has about 300,000 members.

    Other signatories on the letter include Frank Christensen of the International Union of Elevator Constructors; Kinsey Robinson of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers; James “Bud” McCourt of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers; and Daniel Stepano, of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association.

    Altogether the unions represent 1.5 million workers, a sizable chunk of the AFL-CIO.

    Josh Goldstein, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, declined to comment.

    Steyer spent more than $70 million in the 2014 midterm elections, according to an analysis by Politico earlier this year. His top issue was fighting climate change and quashing the Keystone pipeline, which would have transported oil from Canada’s tar sands pits to the Texas Gulf Coast for international export

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