Yellowstone River oil spill shows there’s no safe way to transport Canadian crude

Intro

Canadian crude is once again in Montana’s Yellowstone River, highlighting concerns on both sides of the border that there is no safe way to transport tar sands oil. Bridger Pipeline LLC reported Monday it has shut the 42,000 barrel per day Poplar pipeline system after a weekend breach that sent as much as 1,200 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana. This is the second oil spill in the river in recent years. In 2011, Exxon Mobil Corp’s Silvertip pipeline in Montana ruptured underneath the river, spewing more than 1,000 barrels of crude into the Yellowstone. This most recent tar sands accident comes  just days after a massive diesel leak was discovered in Saint Lawrence river, which has seen an astounding 334 oil-related spills over the past 10 years. The high incidence of spills and mismanaged cleanup efforts have led Canadians to lose faith in their country’s ability to produce and transport their oil resources. A recent poll conducted by Natural Resources Canada discovered that most Canadians “lack confidence in the federal government to effectively deal with oil spills on land and at sea.” Despite these damning realities, lawmakers supported by the fossil fuel industry in the US continue to obsessively push for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline which would connect the Alberta’s  tar sands to refineries in the US.

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RT @Agent350 KXL would be 3x as big as the pipeline that just spilled 50,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River. Huge risk: http://bit.ly/1BbCT7

Key Points

  • Americans have valid reason to fear Canadian oil. Over the last few years, Canada’s federal government invested millions of dollars in an attempt to convince an American audience to buy into their expanding fossil fuel projects — even though most Canadians are unconvinced by their leadership’s ability to protect them from oil spills. With the recent pipeline failure in Montana and the diesel spill in Canada’s Saint Lawrence river, citizens have ample reason to have reservations the safety of fossil-fuel related projects — especially with a decision looming on the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Politicians who unconditionally support tar sands projects like the Keystone pipeline are simply puppets of fossil fuel lobbyists. According to Oil Change International and the Center for Responsive Politics, the average US Representative supporting the Keystone XL pipeline took about $50,000 from the fossil fuel industry during the 2014 election cycle. This adds up to more than 8 times the fossil fuel contributions received by opponents of the pipeline. In 2014, the fossil fuel industry poured $13 million into the campaigns for those who voted today to fast-track the project.
  • Beyond the threats that increased tar sands oil production would bring to American communities, developing the dirty resource would keep the world from containing global warming and threaten billions worldwide. A recently published study shows that if the Canadian tar sands are developed, than the world’s warming cannot be contained to 2degC, which would result in  massive heath, property and economic damage to billions around the world.

 

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Top Image

That black streak is oil from a pipeline spilling into the Yellowstone River. Drinking water is shut off nearby (350.org)

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Top Quote

  • “While we fight to ensure TransCanada and the state of Nebraska do not run roughshod over farmers and ranchers, we also call upon President Obama to reject Keystone XL now.” – Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska.

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