As concerned citizens continue to fight the Keystone XL Pipeline’s northern route, unfortunately the southern one is already flowing with oil.
TransCanada didn’t need approval from the State Department for the southern route, as it didn’t cross an international border. The pipeline only needed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval, which they received.
The pipeline is only about 20-30 miles from my home. It crosses some creeks around my area, and I fear what will happen if the pipeline leaks. One of the creeks is the Muddy Boggy, which runs through my grandparents property.
Landowners are still fighting, even as the oil flows. One landowner in Texas filed a lawsuit and has appealed to the state Supreme Court. Texas Landowners have also started a new network to watch the pipeline called, Texas Pipeline Watch. The group works to ensure leaks and other mishaps are reported quickly.
While the State Department’s report on the northern route may have stated that the pipeline would have minimal impact on carbon emissions, citizens in Oklahoma and Texas still have reason to worry…
- Last summer, TransCanada had to pull up sections of the pipeline to make repairs. Before it even became functional, citizens identified more than 100 repair sites along the pipeline.
- TransCanada received two letters from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, warning of violations. The violations included not hiring qualified welders and failing to protect the pipeline during construction.
- While the agency said TransCanada addressed these issues it still concerns many citizens living around the pipeline.
- We have watched many leaky pipelines that were considered “safe.” Enbridge Energy had a leak last month in Canada.
- And we can’t forget the pipeline that leaked around one million gallons of crude oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River back in 2010. That spill is still not completely cleaned up.
- TransCanada has a poor record when it comes to pipeline leaks. The Keystone pipeline, sometimes called the Keystone Lite, leaked twelve times in less than one year!
We must continue to fight the northern route of the Keystone XL pipeline. We must also support landowners in Texas and Oklahoma, as they fight for the health and safety of their families against the already flowing southern route of the XL pipeline.