Remember that time when people were screaming and hollering about the Keystone Pipeline? You probably do, because when it comes to environmentalists putting up a stink, there hasn’t been a bigger stink put up. Oh, how they screamed! Oh, how they hollered! They screamed and hollered and yelled and gnashed their teeth and shook their fists. They were mad because some rich oil men–I picture them (wrongly, I’m sure) wearing white cowboy hats, hooking their thumbs in their belts, spitting tobacco on the ground, and complaining about “them gad damn libtarded greenies”–wanted to make the Keystone Pipeline into the Keystone XL. And guess what? The Keystone Pipeline vomited some 210,000 gallons of oil into the ground! Ha ha! Them gad damn libtarded greenies never saw it coming!
TransCanada, the owner of the Pipeline dropped the news that 5,000 barrels of oil leaked. When it comes to oil spills, the government says that anything over 50 barrels is a “significant” leak. Five thousand has way more zeros than fifty.
Keystone, for those of you living directly under a lead-lined rock with your eyes closed, cotton in your ears, and no access to the internet, moves oil from Alberta’s tar sands to refineries as far south as Texas. Anyone who has worked in the tar sands can attest that it is, for lack of a better word, an absolute shit-hole. Sure, it’s a shit-hole that’s lined with money, but it’s a shit-hole nonetheless. Driving into the area at night, one is immediately reminded of Mordor, only worse. It’s so hideously destructive it’s almost pretty; flare stacks light up the night sky, burning off excess garbage gas while Suncore’s massive plant looms over the highway, covered in flashing lights and warning signs. The whole earth seems ripped apart, and tailing ponds are netted for fear that birds will land in them, where they’d quickly die. It’s disgusting. But damn, a guy can make a lot of money very quickly there. Two months of shit work for a six-month surf trip? Not bad. Anyway, back to Keystone.
Whoop, there it is. Right between Bismarck and Sioux Falls.
Back in 2015, Obama (that gad damn greenie!) vetoed Keystone’s expansion, but it can still move nearly 600,000 barrels of oil per day. Part of the reason the ex-President struck his pen was because of worries that a leak would be a catastrophe, but of course, the oil men spat the brown wads on the ground and laughed. “Us?” they laughed. “Do a thing like that? Never!” Then President Trump decided he felt like gargling the balls of the oil industry a little and overturned the ban.
Lo and behold, though, at around 5:30 am on a Thursday morning, TransCanada noticed that the pressure near Bismarck, South Dakota was dropping, and dropping quickly. They acted fast, getting the region shut off in 15 minutes. Then, five hours later when the rest of the world was sufficiently awake, they called the authorities. It’s the largest leak in Keystone history.
Luckily, the leak isn’t near surface water. Instead, according to IFL and CNN, officials are hopeful that the leak will be contained only to a large area of grazing land. At least one activist, however, says “the location appears to be close to the aquifer on which the Lake Traverse Reservation depends.”
As of Friday morning, the stretch of pipeline from Alberta to Illinois is shut off to try and plug the leak, but the rest of it is still operating as usual. While the leak’s not right on Sioux land, it’s pretty damn close to it. “We want to know how long is it going to take to dig this plume of contaminated soil,” said Dave Flute, tribal chairman for Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, to CNN. “And how can we be reassured, without a doubt, that it has not and will not seep into the aquifer.”