Thursday, April 25, 2013

Even the EPA Sees the Keystone XL Pipeline as Threatening the Ogallala Aquifer

Washington Post: EPA wants State Dept. to rework analysis of Keystone XL pipeline By L. Bernstein and J. Eilperin (2013, April 22),

[Excerpted] The Environmental Protection Agency objected Monday to the State Department’s latest review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, suggesting that more work must be done before the Obama administration can determine whether to approve the 1,179-mile northern leg of the project. 

...She [C. Giles of the EPA] recommended that State acknowledge that large portions of the crude will sink if there is a spill into a waterway and spell out how it would require pipeline operator TransCanada to respond. 

She asked State to take another look at an alternative route for the proposed $5.3 billion pipeline, one that would take it away from the Ogallala aquifer, one of the world’s largest sources of fresh groundwater....

Majia here: Let us look at the recent pipeline spills

ExxonMobil faces lawsuit after Arkansas oil spill. (CNN) April 9, 2013 

[Excerpted] Residents in Mayflower, Arkansas, have filed a class-action lawsuit against ExxonMobil after a pipeline rupture that allowed thousands of barrels of heavy crude oil to flow into a residential area. They are seeking more than $5 million in damages.

"This Arkansas class action lawsuit involves the worst crude oil and tar sands spill in Arkansas history," read the lawsuit, which was filed Friday in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas... [end]

Majia here: Alternet has a good story on this particular spill as well, here

And then there was the recent spill in Montana:

Feds: Delayed response worsened Yellowstone oil spill (Jan 2 2013) USA Today,

[Excerpt AP] Delays in Exxon Mobil Corp.'s response to a major pipeline break beneath Montana's Yellowstone River made an oil spill far worse than it otherwise would have been, federal regulators said in a new report.

The July 2011 rupture fouled 70 miles of riverbank along the scenic Yellowstone, killing fish and wildlife and prompting a massive, months-long cleanup.

The damage could have been significantly reduced if pipeline controllers had acted more quickly, according to Department of Transportation investigators...[end]

Majia here: And then of course there is the BP oil spill, which I've reported on quite extensively.

Efforts by BP to hide the scope of oil contamination with Corexit made that disaster up to 5,000 times more toxic:

Corexit: Deadly Dispersant in Oil Spill Cleanup

Majia here: So, the Keystone XL Pipeline, statistically speaking, faces high probability of eventual rupture and contamination of the US's largest fresh water aquifer.

And why is the Keystone XL Pipeline being built? Primarily for the purposes of EXPORTS. The oil transported in the pipeline will mostly be exported overseas.

So, American citizens and the environment will shoulder ALL THE RISK while the oil producers, refiners, and exporters will reap ALL THE PROFIT.

This is truly insane. 

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