The Keystone XL pipeline springs a leak

Nearly 400,000 gallons of oil gush onto the ground in North Dakota.

The Keystone XL pipeline was the object of protests by Native Americans (see photos) and environmentalists who feared the potential for pollution of their water supply, treaty lands, and sacred sites by oil spills. Pipeline promoters insisted the pipeline is safe. They were wrong.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, a pipeline leak dumped over 383,000 gallons of crude oil onto the ground in North Dakota. (Read story here.) That’s not this pipeline’s first big spill — in 2017, it leaked 210,000 gallons of oil onto farmland in South Dakota — and it very likely won’t be the last.

Pipelines leak. Period. I’m not saying abolish pipelines. I accept some of them as necessary (you may disagree). But this one contributes nothing to the American economy. Its function is to transport dirty Canadian oil sands crude to the Gulf coast for shipment abroad. That’s one of the reasons why it was exceptionally controversial — and why President Obama gave it a thumbs down. It took a Donald Trump to approve its construction.

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