A leak in the Keystone Pipeline has released an estimated 383,000 gallons of oil – about the size of an Olympic swimming pool – into the North Dakota wetlands. The leak is the second leak in two years in the 2,600 mile long pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta, Canada, all the way down to southern Texas. In 2017, the pipeline leaked over 400,000 gallons of oil across a swath of agricultural land in South Dakota.
The spill occurred as the US State Department is collecting public comments on the Keystone XL expansion in the Keystone Pipeline that would run through Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota, crossing several tribal lands in the process. Keystone XL has been the subject of ongoing protests by environmental activists and members of tribal nations whose land the proposed pipeline would cross.
For activists who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, this latest spill is further proof that it would have serious environmental consequences. “This is exactly the kind of spill we are worried about when it comes to Keystone XL being built. It has never been IF a pipeline breaks but rather WHEN,” said Joye Braun, an organiser with the Indigenous Environmental Network
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Battered by Floods, Nebraskans Worry About Pipeline Spills