A recently released Greenpeace report found four proposed pipelines that would transport diluted bitumen extracted from the Canada’s Alberta tar sands to the United States pose grave threats to water resources along the pipelines’ routes.
Since 2010, the companies responsible for these four projects “have seen 373 hazardous liquid spills from their U.S. pipeline networks,” releasing a total of “63,221 barrels of hazardous liquid.”
—Greenpeace reportThe three companies—TransCanada, Kinder Morgan, Enbridge, and their subsidiaries—that would construct the pipelines already operate a vast pipeline network that transports fossil fuels throughout North America, and they have a well documented history of spilling hazardous liquids and polluting natural resources.
In fact, “a recent review by oil industry trade organizations found that pipeline incidents ‘impacting the public or environment’ (IPE) have increased in the past 4 years.” Since 2010, according to the Greenpeace report (pdf), the three companies “have seen 373 hazardous liquid spills from their U.S. pipeline networks,” releasing a total of “63,221 barrels of hazardous liquids”—including thousands of barrels of diluted bitumen, which is is more difficult to remove from water than conventional crude oil because it sinks.
Researchers also mapped the past seven years of spills, illustrating the wide reach of the pipeline network’s environmental destruction.
Based on recent spill rates, Greenpeace researchers predict that TransCanada’s 1,179-mile Keystone XL pipeline—which has received support from the Trump administration after hitting roadblocks during the Obama era—would likely see at least 59 significant spills in its 50-year lifetime.
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