Yellowstone River oil spill shows there’s no safe way to transport Canadian crude

Yellowstone river oil spill

Yellowstone River. Creative Commons: Yellowstone National Park, 2012

Canadian crude is once again in Montana’s Yellowstone River, highlighting concerns on both sides of the border that there is no safe way to transport tar sands oil.

Bridger Pipeline LLC reported Monday it has shut the 42,000 barrel per day Poplar pipeline system after a weekend breach that sent as much as 1,200 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana.

This is the second oil spill in the river in recent years. In 2011, Exxon Mobil Corp’s Silvertip pipeline in Montana ruptured underneath the river, spewing more than 1,000 barrels of crude into the Yellowstone.

This most recent tar sands accident comes just days after a massive diesel leak was discovered in Saint Lawrence river, which has seen an astounding 334 oil-related spills over the past 10 years.

The high incidence of spills and mismanaged cleanup efforts have led Canadians to lose faith in their country’s ability to produce and transport their oil resources.

A recent poll conducted by Natural Resources Canada discovered that most Canadians “lack confidence in the federal government to effectively deal with oil spills on land and at sea.”

Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska said:

While we fight to ensure TransCanada and the state of Nebraska do not run roughshod over farmers and ranchers, we also call upon President Obama to reject Keystone XL now.

Despite these damning realities, lawmakers supported by the fossil fuel industry in the US continue to obsessively push for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline which would connect the Alberta’s  tar sands to refineries in the US.

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