Many questions come to mind during Pipeline Discussions:
- How rare are crude oil pipeline spills?
- What are the odds that Keystone XL Pipeline would spill?
- What is the difference between regular crude oil and Dilbit from Canadian Tarsands?
- Do literally tens of thousands of Keystone XL Pipeline protesters across the US have legitimate concerns?
Logic seems to dictate that anything put into the ground such as pipes or wells will eventually degrade by natural or manmade causes, and anything those pipes carry other than fresh water will in time contaminate nearby aquifers, since there is no such thing as 100% indefinite containment. Not enough people seem to realize that even small amounts of exposure to fossil fuels (Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Dilbit etc) is toxic and is proven to causes cancer and a host of other health issues. Also not talked about in mainstream media is that Canadian crude made from Oil Sands (Dilbit) is significantly different in toxicity and has more inherent risks than standard crude oil.
The big issue is that Corporations and certainly LLCs (Limited Liability Corporations) have historically been very good at escaping or passing on the cost of mishaps and environmental cleanups to the public. If issues get too bad they just declare bankruptcy and walk away from the problem. One of the reasons why the biggest names in the fossil fuel industry never go out of business even after huge spills (Exxon, and BP etc), is that they subcontract the majority of what they do to others who take the fall in their name. To them it is just good business practice that they are not responsible for any long term issues that might spring up in the future.
Who is going to pay to clean up all those miles of underground leaking pipes, especially after the subcontracted company that built them is no longer in business? Does anyone really think that it is right that innocent people should have to shoulder the bulk of these burdens?
Even if the pipeline oil doesn’t spill or leak, burning that oil increases carbon in the atmosphere, which increases Global Warming and exacerbates the negative effects of Climate Change. Those changes include rising ocean levels, and increases the frequency and strength of storms such as Sandy and Katrina and not just in the USA but all over the world! Burning that oil anywhere on the planet causes more destructive hurricanes and weather (Droughts and floods etc.).
Perhaps even more disturbing to some people is that the countries that are the most relentless in burning the most carbon per capita are in danger of becoming the enemies of everyone else on the planet!
See “Top Dirty Thirty Countries by CO2 Emissions” for more information.
Check out some of the video news discussions about some of the more recent oil spills featuring Canadian shale oil in Arkansas and the Keystone Pipeline (also features Senator Bernie Saunders, May Boeve from 350.org, Dan Dicker from TheStreet.com and Glen Hooks from Arkansas Sierra Club).
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website