Quantcast

Keystone Pipeline Spill Nearly 100 Times Bigger Than Originally Estimated

Energy

The oil spill that shut down a portion of the Keystone 1 pipeline in South Dakota last weekend is much bigger than initially estimated, TransCanada admitted on Thursday—almost 100 times bigger, in fact.

Originally estimated at 187 gallons, or approximately 4.5 barrels, TransCanada now reports that the Keystone 1 oil spill totals 18,600 gallons, or 400 barrels.

The fossil fuel company said the "potential volume" of the spill in Freeman, discovered by a passerby on Saturday, was about 18,600 gallons, or 400 barrels.

That estimate comes just days after TransCanada initially claimed the spill totaled about 187 gallons, or approximately 4.5 barrels.

"The fact that the damage is even bigger than first reported proves there is no such thing as a safe pipeline," Lindsay Meiman, communications coordinator for the climate group 350.org, told Common Dreams. "The only safe place for fossil fuels is in the ground."

Even at 187 gallons, the spill was already the largest since construction on the pipeline began in 2009, according to the Argus Leader. The new numbers make it one of the biggest leaks in South Dakota history.

Dallas Goldtooth, a Keystone opposition organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, told the Argus Leader on Thursday that the estimate should serve as a warning against new pipeline construction elsewhere and as an example of TransCanada's reckless legacy.

"This highlights the need for us to [not only] hold TransCanada accountable for their actions, but to use this as an example of the legitimate concerns that people have with future pipelines like Dakota Access," Goldtooth said, referring to a proposed pipeline that would transport crude oil across four Midwestern states.

TransCanada also said on Thursday it has yet to "pinpoint" the source of the leak.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement earlier this week that this "disaster is a stark reminder that it's not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Judge Denies Motions by Fossil Fuel Industry and Federal Government in Landmark Climate Change Case

Bill McKibben: It’s Time to Break Free From Fossil Fuels

Exxon and Shell Double Down to Defeat Climate Change Legislation

Big Oil Gearing Up to Battle Electric Vehicles

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Investing in grid infrastructure would enable utilities to incorporate modern technology, making the grid more resilient and flexible. STRATMAN2 / FLICKR

By Elliott Negin

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' recent decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to scientists who developed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries reminded the world just how transformative they have been. Without them, we wouldn't have smartphones or electric cars. But it's their potential to store electricity generated by the sun and the wind at their peak that promises to be even more revolutionary, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and protecting the planet from the worst consequences of climate change.

Read More Show Less
Two Javan rhinos deep in the forests of Ujung Kulon National Park, the species' last habitat on Earth. Sugeng Hendratno / WWF

By Basten Gokkon

The global population of the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros has increased to 72 after four new calves were spotted in the past several months.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A tiger looks out from its cage at a new resort and zoo in the eastern Lao town of Tha Bak on Dec. 5, 2018. Karl Ammann believes the "zoo" is really a front for selling tigers. Terrence McCoy / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Are tigers extinct in Laos?

That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.

Read More Show Less

A group of scientists is warning that livestock production must not expand after 2030 for the world to stave off ecological disaster.

Read More Show Less
The largest wetland in Africa is in the South Sudan. George Steinmetz / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images Plus

Methane emissions are a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – about 28 times more powerful. And they have been rising steadily since 2007. Now, a new study has pinpointed the African tropics as a hot spot responsible for one-third of the global methane surge, as Newsweek reported.

Read More Show Less