The Keystone Pipeline Spills 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

Waterways and drinking water sources have been spared so far, authorities say.

Construction of the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipelineJim West/ZUMA

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Early Thursday morning, a leak in the TransCanada Keystone pipeline spilled at least 5,000 barrels—or 210,000 gallons—of oil in South Dakota. The pipeline is shut off, and crews have started cleaning up the spill. Oil hasn’t contaminated waterways or drinking water sources, authorities say.

The pipeline is a segment of the 2,687-mile TransCanada system that is set to also include the controversial proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is promised to be the safest pipeline ever built in North America by the company. The Keystone XL pipeline has been opposed by environmental and Native American groups since it was proposed last year. “It’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when,” Sierra Club’s Michael Brune told Mother Jones in August of 2016.

“Ultimately, the cleanup responsibility lies with TransCanada, and they’ll have to clean it up in compliance with our state regulations,” Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources told the Associated Press

“TransCanada (TSX, NYSE: TRP) crews safely shut down its Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. CST (5 a.m. MST) after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation,” TransCanada said in a statement shortly after the spill.  

“Crews, including TransCanada specialists from emergency management, engineering, environmental management and safety as well as contracted, nationally recognized experts are assessing the situation. TransCanada is providing State and Federal regulators, including the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the National Response Center (NRC), with accurate and confirmed information on an ongoing basis.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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