On Thursday, November 16, there was a break in the Keystone oil pipeline about 3 miles southeast of Amherst, South Dakota. The pipeline is owned and operated by TransCanada, which said, “(the leak) was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated.” TransCanada reported that approximately 5,000 barrels of oil was lost in the spill. Considering that one barrel of oil contains 42 gallons, this equates to roughly 210,000 gallons of oil lost.
While TransCanada reacted quickly, locals in the area are worried about the spill’s environmental impact, and are especially worried about the safety of their drinking water. Local and chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe expressed such concerns to a BuzzFeed News reporter: “I’m thinking there is going to be an impact, some type of environmental impact,” Flute said. “As the oil seeps, if they can’t contain the spill, which I’m hoping they do, if they’re unable to contain it from seeping into the water systems, it can be hurtful and harmful to everybody.”
Spokesman for South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Brian Walsh, said, “It will be a few days until they can excavate and get in borings to see if there is groundwater contamination,” but that at this time there is no evidence that the spill has impacted water sources or wildlife.
After news broke of the oil spill, Twitter was making sure that the public doesn’t forget President Trump’s views on the Keystone pipeline:
Twitter was also quick to remind us that former President Obama had denied access to the pipeline for fear of such a leak:
Obama Administration Blocked Keystone Pipeline,
*45 Administration Reversed the Block.@GOP Promised this Very Circumstance Wouldn't Happen, While we all Knew it Would 😒
— Rey 🇺🇸🇵🇷 (@1Jedi_Rey) November 17, 2017
Some are now even calling TransCanada’s proposed KeystoneXL pipeline into question:
The Keystone pipeline is clearly dangerous. The Keystone XL pipeline would be even worse. https://t.co/JxMYz2LoF5
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) November 16, 2017
Although President Trump is infamous for his tweets, there is yet to be one addressing the Keystone pipeline spill.