Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This Is One of the Reasons People Are Worried About the Keystone Pipeline

The GOP have remained focused on pushing the Keystone pipeline that would use eminent domain to put a pipeline through people's lands that don't want the pipe running through it.
The Keystone XL pipeline has reignited the emotional issue of eminent domain — the taking of private property for public use — all along its proposed route. The vast majority of landowners have signed agreements with TransCanada, the pipeline owner. But where necessary, the Calgary, Alberta-based company is busy going to state courts to exercise eminent domain and lining up rights to cross properties throughout the Great Plains — even though the State Department and Obama administration still are weighing whether to give TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline a permit to cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
People like Cory Heidelberger have been warning people of the environmental dangers of Keystone to South Dakota from noise pollution to South Dakota's drinking water.  The environmental concerns usually get thrown away from those that want the pipeline as over blown concerns.  "The oil companies claim that they are safe.  We can trust them.  The is no real risk of danger from a leak, and if it does leak, it won't be a big deal," they say.  

Oh yeah?  Have you looked to the north recently?  It turns out that a pipeline from the Bakken oil fields sprung a leak that ended up spewing oil covering over 7 football fields in distance.  An oil spill that took a long time to be made public.
"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday." 
One day after Jensen spotted the large leak, Tesoro told state officials; 11 days later, the spill became public knowledge.
The oil spill leaked more than 20,000 barrels of oil and it appears that Tesoro may have known of potential problems well before the break.
North Dakota officials are trying to determine if Tesoro Corp. knew about potential problems — including one deemed "serious" in documents obtained by The Associated Press — with a pipeline that leaked more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil in a wheat field in the northwestern part of the state. 
It also turns out that the company keeps changing its tune on how much oil actually got out.  Their first estimate was that it was only 750 barrels of oil.  Then they have changed it to over 20,000 barrels of oil.  It turns out that amount may be a gross underestimation.

Purdue University engineering professor Steve Wereley said Tesoro's calculation of how much oil it released likely is "at best, a guess." 
Wereley, who along with other scientists helped estimate the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf in 2010, said he was unaware of any scientific studies that could back Tesoro's estimates. Wereley and Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanographer who also worked on spill estimates in the Gulf, said detailed oil flow data from the pipeline would provide regulators with a better estimate of the amount of crude spilled. 
MacDonald said properly estimating the size of an oil spill "is not trivial." 
"Both the environmental impact and the liability of the company are directly related to the precise amount of the release," MacDonald said. "That is why it is critical to know."

 It is issues like these that create a sense of distrust and unease when it comes to the Keystone Pipeline.  If a leak of similar nature occurred near drinking water, near a tourist location, or near a town like Clark, it would be devastating.  I really, really, want to make sure every possible caution is taken to prevent any problems, and I want it to be verified and tested by several sources other than Trans Canada before Keystone Pipeline could go through our state and risk another accident similar to North Dakota.

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