The existing Keystone pipeline, carrying tar sands oil from Canada to Oklahoma, has sprung its 12th leak in 12 months, the latest about 10 barrels in Kansas. The federal agency overseeing it, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, has ordered it shut until such time as repairs are made and safety is tested.
Cue Alanis Morrisette songs and Obama-expansion-of-offshore-oil-just-before-oilpocalypse: this order comes just before public comments close on the expansion of Keystone, commonly known as Keystone XL, aka supersizing disaster.
Take action now (Sierra Club).
Take action now (Friends of the Earth).
The original state-of-the-art Keystone pipeline was supposed to leak once every seven years, according to environmental impact statements filed by its owner TransCanada. Instead, it's leaked twelve times in twelve months. Most of the leaks have occurred at pumping stations, so they don't count by TransCanada's logic.
The Keystone XL pipeline would greatly expand TransCanada's ability to get tar sands oil from Alberta to the United States. The State Department will decide whether to approve the pipeline this fall. Bill McKibben considers its approval Obama's third strike:
And now the administration is getting ready to double down, with a strike three that would ensure forever Obama’s legacy as a full-on Carbon President.
The huge oil interests that control the tar sands aren’t content with a landlocked pipeline to the Midwest. They want another, dubbed Keystone XL, that stretches from Canada straight to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. It would take the bitumen from the tar sands and pipe it across the heart of America. Imagine a video game where your goal is to do the most environmental damage possible: to the Cree and their ancestral lands in Canada, to Nebraska farmers trying to guard the Ogallala aquifer that irrigates their land, and of course to the atmosphere.
The 12th spill in 12 months should be a wakeup call to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton: call time on the Keystone Kochs. Keystone XL is a disaster from start to end.
Public comments are closing as early as Monday. James Hansen has written a very detailed comment, Silence is Deadly (pdf). You can incorporate his comment into yours, or simply take action now (Sierra Club), and take action now (Friends of the Earth).