In what is sadly a very predictable development, cleanup crews are racing to contain an enormous tar sand oil spill from the Keystone XL pipeline into the natural wilderness of South Dakota.
The leak has been contained and the pipeline shut off, but 210,000 gallons of oil have leaked out and cleanup is expected to take “some time.”
“TransCanada (TSX, NYSE: TRP) crews safely shut down its Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. CST (5 a.m. MST) after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation. The estimated volume of the leak is approximately 5,000 barrels. The section of pipe along a right-of-way approximately 35 miles (56 kilometres) south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated.
The authorization of the pipeline’s construction was one of Donald Trump’s first official acts as President, reversing the hold placed on the project by President Obama.
It should come as no surprise that Trump had personal gain at stake: he has $250,000 invested in TransCanada and is now reaping the rewards. Trump’s administration, filled with climate deniers and fossil fuel profiteers, has taken the most virulently anti-climate and anti-science approach that our nation has seen in decades.
This is bound to be the first of many environmental disasters that Trump will be responsible for – and a cruel vindication of the agonizing fear of environmentalists around the nation.