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Oil Spill in South Dakota

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TransCanada faces a major leak days before the decision of Keystone XL

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TransCanada pipeline in Nebraska

TransCanada pipeline in Nebraska

Provided by Flickr User: shannonpatrick17

Provided by Flickr User: shannonpatrick17

TransCanada pipeline in Nebraska

Just yesterday, caused by unknown circumstances so far, a leak was discovered in the Keystone pipelines in South Dakota. An estimate of 210,000 gallons, or about 5,000 barrels, of oil had spilled before it was found. Thankfully, none of the spill has reached nearby lakes or ponds.

Coincidentally, this incident occurs just a few days before an official decision was to be made on whether another pipeline, this one named Keystone XL, should have a permit to be built. The decision on the controversial building will still be announced on Monday in Nebraska despite the accident in South Dakota.

This has not been the first time the owner company, TransCanada, has experienced leaks in the pipeline. The reason why Keystone XL is receiving debate is because TransCanada is seen as unable to be trusted to handle their pipes and prevent incidents such as this.

In 2011, TransCanada experienced a similar mishap. Although the 400 barrels leaked in that event seems meager compared to today, many people are using it as an example. At the time, TransCanada said that the 2011 spill was caused by an improper installation on a small piece of pipe that had weakened over time.

In 2016, TransCanada said there was a weld anomaly that had caused a small leak that spilled slowly but long enough to lose 400 barrels.

The company has expressed that the creation of the Keystone XL would create jobs and help the economy, but with TransCanada’s reputation and other environmental concerns combined, their project has received backlash.

Yesterday’s incident has only strengthened the public’s opinion that TransCanada has not proven themselves capable of keeping pipelines safe and clean, and that they should not be trusted with another.

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Oil Spill in South Dakota