As politicians take steps to advance the Keystone Pipeline project, oil spills and accidents continue to occur throughout North America. In the past month alone, there have been well over a dozen harmful oil incidents.
While a recent devastating pipeline burst in Arkansas has attracted a moderate amount of attention, most such accidents are swept under the rug. Claims that pipelines are highly safe and rarely malfunction are false, and there is a lack of evidence to prove them. Just because most pipeline incidents receive minimal media attention doesn’t make them any less true.
Here are 10 oil leaks from the past month that have been mostly covered up by the corporate media:
1. For the fourth time in just two years, a leak was found in Canada’s Norman Wells pipeline on March 19. In total, the pipeline has leaked 1 million liters of oil. Although the pipeline has been patched up each time, the fact that it keeps breaking has locals calling the repairs “a quick fix.”
2. Almost 1,000 barrels of crude oil leaked from Shell’s West Columbia pipeline near Houston, Texas. The massive spill was found on March 29, but not before over 50 barrels worth ran into nearby Vince Bayou.
3. A leak in a gas treatment plant’s pipeline in Parachute, Colorado continues to contaminate the local water supply over a month after it was discovered. As a result, harmful toxins have been found in Parachute Creek, which flows directly into the Colorado River. An estimated 30 million people live downstream of the leak and rely on the water supply. State law limits the maximum fine for “environmental mishaps” to just $10,000 total.
4. On March 31, the Lansing Board of Water and Light found that 3,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Grand River. Cleanup of the spill took nearly two weeks.
5. A March 18 pipeline crack leaked 21,000 gallons of fuel into the wetlands of Utah’s Willard Bay State Park. Some of the missing oil is still not accounted for, and the park will remained closed through Memorial Day.
6. A Canadian Pacific Railway train carrying fuel to Chicago derailed, spilling 15,000 gallons of oil in Minnesota on March 27. According to officials, the cold weather made cleanup efforts particularly difficult.
7. Repsol, a Spanish oil company, had its second oil spill in about a year in North Slope, Alaska. Though nearly 7,000 gallons sprayed on to the nearby terrain on April 9, an oil commissioner seemed unimpressed. “It wasn’t a big event. They had a hose rupture. How many times have you watered your garden and had a leak in your hose?”
8. On April 4, an S&S Energy oil and gas well in Damascus, Ohio exploded. A representative for the firefighters who came to put out the blaze said that this type of accident “is not unusual.”
9. A natural gas explosion occurred at a plant in Langston, Oklahoma on April 4. While no one was hurt, the gas line had to entirely burn off before firefighters could put out the resulting inferno.
10. After already demonstrating a spotty safety record, Suncor Energy acknowledged that 225 barrels of oil leaked in Port Moody, British Columbia on April 7, with a small portion of the fuel making its way to the water in the Burrard Inlet. Though Suncor managed to keep the accident a secret for four days, the incident was eventually exposed.
Unfortunately, oil spills are not isolated incidents as the corporations and mainstream media would like you to believe. If these 10 leaks aren’t enough to convince you of the Keystone Pipeline’s potential dangers, just wait until next month.
Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes
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