Keystone Pipeline Dumps 14,000 Barrels of Oil Into Kansas Creek

Mill Creek, upstream from the Keystone pipeline oil spill near Washington, Kansas
Mill Creek, upstream from the Keystone pipeline oil spill near Washington, Kansas. Fred Knapp / Nebraska Public Media News
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The Keystone Pipeline dumped at least 14,000 barrels (588,000 gallons) of oil into a creek in Washington County, Kansas, forcing the shutdown of the pipeline.

The full impact of the spill is still unknown, and cleanup efforts will likely be complicated by the fact that the spill impacted a waterway and because the sludgy tar sands transported by the pipeline is both extremely toxic and heavier than water, causing it to sink.

The Keystone pipeline has previously leaked in North and South Dakota. The danger of leaks was a major factor in the termination of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. News of the shutdown of the 600,000 bpd Keystone pipeline briefly increased oil prices.

As reported by Nebraska Public Media:

Previous oil leaks pushed environmental activists and some landowners to oppose a newer, larger Keystone XL oil pipeline to run through eastern Nebraska. Former President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s request to build the system in 2015. President Joe Biden also rejected permission for TC Energy (formerly Transcanada) to build Keystone XL in 2021.

Jane Kleeb, founder of environmental protection group Bold Nebraska, and leader of a group against the creation of the bigger TC Energy pipeline in 2015, said “It is critical to note our state and counties need better laws on the books for pipelines. Now is the time to get stronger laws on the books to protect our state’s assets — the land, the water and the people.”

For a deeper dive:

AP, KCUR, CNN, Nebraska Public Media, KSNT, Politico Pro, Al Jazeera, Reuters, The Hill, Bloomberg, OilPrice, Bloomberg

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