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Keystone Spill Has Affected Nearly 10x More Land Than Was Estimated
A spill at the Keystone Pipeline that began last month has affected nearly 10 times the amount of land than previously thought, state officials said Monday.
The AP reported that regulators have revised their estimates of the spill to approximately 209,100 square feet of land affected. The pipeline's owner, TransCanada, says it has recovered more than 141,000 gallons of oily water. The spill, which is the second major spill from Keystone in a decade, has raised alarm over the past few weeks among residents of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska living along the proposed route for the Keystone XL project. "We've been doing this for 10 years, and we've watched spills along the way for 10 years, so it's no surprise to us," Nebraskan Jeanne Crumly, who is an affected landowner for the Keystone XL proposed path, told NPR. "So the question isn't if it will spill, the question is, 'Where?' And when it does, are we protected?"
As reported by the AP:
Crude began flowing through the $5.2 billion pipeline in 2011. It's designed to carry crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Illinois and Cushing, Oklahoma. It can handle about 23 million gallons (87 million liters) daily.
It is part of a system that also is to include the proposed $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline designed to transport the oil from western Canada to terminals on the Gulf Coast.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has drawn opposition from people who fear it will cause environmental damage.
For a deeper dive:
- 3 Major Spills in 7 Years: Keystone Has Leaked Far More Than ... ›
- Keystone Leaks Crude Oil in North Dakota on Same Day as Trump ... ›
- Keystone Pipeline Spilled 407K Gallons in South Dakota, Double ... ›
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Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.
"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."
Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.
"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."
So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.
"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."
So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.
Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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