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            oil pipeline leak as big as a creek, in a quiet residential neighborhood in Anytown, USA             links

Keystone & KXL

the latest mess


books & movies


"To paraphrase the Christian Bible (Matthew 16): For what is a man profited if he shall make beaucoup bucks
while transforming the planet into a cesspool."  — G.E. Nordell

"We are the only species able to change the natural world, so we must be stewards of the world."
— primatologist Jane Goodall

Clean Beaches Coalition [est. 1998]
Basel Action Network - against 'Toxic Trade'
"An Evangelical Declaration On The Care of Creation"
EarthJustice: Because the earth needs a good lawyer [est. 1971]
Blacksmith Institute anti-pollution solutions [est. 1999] based in New York City
Environmental Defense Fund [est. 1967] based in New York City & Washington, DC
CELDF: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund [est. 1995] based in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Pulitzer Prize-winning InsideClimate News [est. 2007]

Selected Books on the Subject of the Earth's Biosphere

Selected Movies on the Subject of the Earth's Biosphere

Tar Sands Action group merged in January 2012 with worldwide 350.org

Sierra Club Canada's Tar Sands Dept.

Bold Nebraska [est. 2010] is a coalition of citizens and landowners and native tribes working to stop the Keystone XL pipeline
official websiteentry at Wikipedia • director Jane Kleeb • 'Stand with' Randy Thompson


news stories & photos about train derailments and chemical spills are posted to the
Working Minds / Worry About / Earth's Biosphere Page / Eco-News Section

Keystone Pipelines and Keystone XL
The Keystone Pipeline System runs from Kardisty in Alberta, Canada thru Saskatchewan, North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas to the Gulf Coast at Port Arthur and Houston. Phase 1 (2,147 miles / 3,456 km) was completed in 2010; Phase 2 (300 miles / 480 km) was completed in February 2011; Phase 3a (487 miles / 784 km) was completed in January 2014; Phase 3b (47 miles / 76 km) is expected to be ready in late 2015. The extremely controversial Phae 4 proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline (1,179 miles / 1,897 km) runs from Canada and across Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. In February 2015, President Obama vetoed the bill to approve the construction of Keystone XL, which Congress was unable to override. In November 2015, owner TransCanada asked the Obama administration to suspend the application for Keystone XL construction approval; common conjecture is that TransCanada is hoping that a Republican will be elected U.S. President in 2016 and that that person will naturally & quickly approve Keystone XL. Which is indeed what happened: On Thursday 23 March 2017 the completion of the international Keystone XL pipeline was approved by a letter from the U.S. State Department and confirmed next morning by Emperor Trump (who owns stock in the builders!).
TransCanada official websiteKeystone XL official website
Keystone Pipeline entry at Wikipedia


Keystone XL Pipeline Project Key Issues report by Congressional Research Service  "Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues: Congressional Research Service, May 9, 2012" [2012]
by Paul W. Parfomak, Neelesh Nerurkar, Linda Luther & Adam Vann

42-page Kindle Edition from Congressional Research Service [12/2013] for 99¢
40-page CreateSpace 11x8½ pb [5/2012] for $14.99
'Keystone XL Down the Line' in Kindle format from TED Books  "Keystone XL: Down The Line" for Kindle [2013] by Steven Mufson (energy reporter for the Washington Post), Photographs by Michael Williamson (also of the Washington Post)
Over 160 pages with maps and photographs of the entire route from Alberta to Texas
Kindle Edition from TED Books [#34 3/2013] for $2.99
Pipeline & the Paradigm / Keystone XL book by Samuel Avery  "The Pipeline and The Paradigm: Keystone XL, Tar Sands, and The Battle To Defuse The Carbon Bomb" [2013]
by Samuel Avery, Foreword by Bill McKibben

Kindle Edition from Ruka Press [4/2013] for $9.89
Ruka Press 9x6 pb [4/2013] for $14.65
Digging In - A Deeper Look at the Keystone XL Pipeline in Kindle format from Globe and Mail, Canada  "Digging In: A Deeper Look At The Keystone XL Pipeline" for Kindle [2013] from Globe and Mail newspaper of Toronto, Canada
Veteran Globe & Mail Reporter Nathan VanderKlippe travelled the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline route of more than 3,134 kilometres seeking stories from among the pipeline compa-nies, business professionals, small towns, farms, cities, and schools potentially affected by the construction project.
76-page Kindle Edition from Booktango [6/2013] for $2.99

TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline Final Supplemental EIS Report in Kindle format from U.S. government  "2014 Complete Guide To The TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline: State Department Final Supplemental EIS - Risks To The Environment and Water Resources, Congressional Report" for Kindle [2014]
Kindle Edition from Progressive Management [1/2014] for $9.99


logo/poster for 'Keystone PipeLies Exposed' short film  "Keystone PipeLies Exposed" [indep Feb 2014]
"You can make a real difference in the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, right now. You can help crush the KXL PipeLIES and stop the KXL pipeline." Exec produced by Lisa Graves (Center for Media and Democracy [est. 1993]); produced, written & directed by Dave Saldana; featured experts and activists include: Kate Colarulli (SierraClub), Eleanor Fairchild, Daryl Hannah, Mara Verhayden Hilliard (Partnership for Civil Justice Fund), Elgie Holstein (Environmental Defense Fund), Hilton KelleyJane Kleeb (Bold Nebraska), Bill McKibben (350.org), Mike Papantonio (Ring of Fire), Tom Shepherd (Southeast Environmental Task Force), Tiernan Sittenfield (League of Conservation Voters), Tyson Slocum (Public Citizen), Lorne Stockman (Oil Change Intl.), Anthony Swift (Natural Resources Defense Council), and Kevin Zeese (ItsOurEconomy.org)
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • not listed at IMDb • official movie site
watch entire film [23:07] online at Vimeo\

'Nothing Can Go Wrong' Dept.

July 2010: Diluted bitumen, or 'dilbit', is the dirtiest, stickiest oil used today; it is the same kind of oil that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline could someday carry across the nation’s largest drinking water aquifer. More than 1 million gallons of oil spilled into Talmadge Creek, which flows into the Kalamazoo River, triggering the most expensive cleanup in U.S. history – more than 3/4 of a billion dollars. After two years, portions of the 35-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River were reopened to recreation, but in March 2013 the E.P.A. ordered pipeline company Enbridge back to dredge Morrow Lake and portions of the river.
Kalamazoo River 2010 oil spill entry at Wikipedia

'Dilbit Disaster / Oil Spill' in Kindle format from InsideClimate News  "The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of" for Kindle [2012] by Elizabeth McGowan, Lisa Song & David Hasemyer, Edited by Susan White, Illustrated by Catherine Mann
164-page Kindle Edition from InsideClimate News [6/2012] for $2.99
InsideClimate News won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in national reporting for a four-part narrative and six follow-up reports about the Kalamazoo River oil spill; their page-turner report takes an inside look at what happened to two families, a community, unprepared agencies, and inept company Enbridge during an environmental disaster involving a new kind of oil few people know much about.

July 2011 Yellowstone River oilspill aerial view - Exxon fined $1.6 million           July 2011 Yellowstone River oilspill - Exxon engineer inspecting oil residue at Laurel, Montana
Exxon was fined $1.6 million for the July 2011 oil spill near Laurel, Montana.

December 2012 aerial view of the gasline explosion across Highway 77 in Sissonville, West Virginia
December 2012 natural gas pipeline explosion across Highway 77 in Sissonville, West Virginia
amateur witness footage of 12 December 2012 [9:48] on YouTube

October 2014: Like the Keystone XL, Enbridge’s Alberta Clipper Pipeline requires a presidential permit issued by the U.S. State Department. One day before the Sierra Club sued the U.S. State Department, the Washington Spectator published an investigative account of the allegedly illegal acts driving the litigation. The State Department is going to court because it is allowing Enbridge Energy to circumvent U.S. environmental law and pump 800,000 barrels of Canadian tar-sands oil into the U.S. by mid-2015—without the required presidential permit. Legal documents, interviews with Enbridge, its D.C. law firm and the State Department describe an elaborate scheme to circumvent the law and use an old pipeline permit to create a clone of the Keystone XL.

November 2014: blogpost "Constant Toxic Spills in Alberta, Canada" at Dateline Chamesa weblog

January 2015 Bridger Pipeline 50,000-gallon oil spill - screenshot from C.N.N. News          January 2015 Bridger Pipeline 50,000-gallon oil spill - aerial view
click for very large view of aerial photo at right
spilled oil shows in the low hills at top left; oil worker trucks show at top right and at center bottom; dark area of river is spilled oil.

January 2015: The 50,000-gallon Bridger Pipeline oil spill messed up the Yellowstone River enough that the oil people
had to truck potable water into Glendive, Montana for the residents.
January 20 article in the New York Times

cleanup crew at the January 2015 fracking brine spill of 70,000 barrels (3 million gallons) into Blacktail Creek in North Dakota
click for very large view of ND photo - note fracking tower and church
January 2015 news photo of crews digging up land at the saltwater spill site at Blacktail Creek outside Williston, ND. A state health official called the 70,000 barrel (3 million gallon) brine spill the state's largest since the current oil boom began in 2006. The new spill is almost three times larger than one that fouled a portion of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in July 2014; another million-gallon saltwater spill occurred in 2006 near Alexander, ND and is still being cleaned up nearly a decade later.

January 2015 gasline explosion in Brooke County, West Virginia - seen from evacuated farm next door          January 2015 gasline explosion in Brooke County, West Virginia - seen from afar (showing magnitude)
January 2015 news photos of a gasline explosion in the Archer Hill Road area of Brooke County, West Virginia. The fire began on the morning of 26 January; by next day, three valves had been turned off, but firefighters were standing by until the fire burned itself out. The pipeline is owned and operated by Enterprise Products Partners, LP of Houston, Texas whose website provides no information on the situation (five days later).

February 2015: Since early 2013, the Georgia-Pacific paper mill at Palatka (near Jacksonville), Florida has been pumping tons of toxic waste every day directly into the St. John's River. With the collusion of then-Governor Jeb Bush and current Governor Rick Scott, a pipeline from the Koch Industries-owned paper plant was illegally approved and pushed forward. The problem was that dumping the waste in tiny Rice Creek violated federal environmental law, so rather than actually dealing with the pollution, Koch-paid lawyers and corrupt state officials decided that dumping into the pristine St. John's River would dilute the effluent and the feds would have no cause for legal action. Once designated an American Heritage River, the St. John's River ecosystem is now a cesspool.
February 2015 full story & documents online at DailyKos

pipeline oil spill at Refugio State Beach Park, California in May 2015
May 2015: The Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to reports of strong petroleum odors midday on Tuesday May 19th in the area near Goleta Beach, El Capitán State Beach, and Refugio State Beach; emergency units found that the 24-inch Plains All American Pipeline had ruptured and crude oil was spewing down a gully and thru several culverts to the Pacific Ocean. Estimates are that about 2,500 barrels (105,000 gallons) of the spilled oil reached the pristine beach. A crew from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quickly began clean-up on land, while the U.S. Coast Guard began the job of containing the black goo in the water.

(This same area was victim to the larger 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill, when an offshore Union Oil drilling rig blew out and spewed 80,000 to 100,000 barrels
of California crude oil into the ocean before being repaired ten days later.)

natural gas pipeline fire in Salem Township in Pennsylvania in April 2016
April 2016: A gigantic tower of flames burst out of Spectra Energy Corp.’s 36-inch Texas Eastern pipeline in Salem Township, Pennsylvania at about 8:30 a.m. on March 29th, disrupting natural gas shipments from western Pennsylvania to the Northeast. Crews shut off the gas feeding the flames and repairs will start as soon as possible, but it’s unclear when service will be restored. Spectra Energy declared force majeure at midday, sending natural gas futures surging as much as 5.6 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange on speculation that the outage will limit supplies to the Northeast. The Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline is one of the country’s longest pipelines, running from the Gulf Coast up through the booming Marcellus and Utica shale regions all the way to New Jersey, where it hooks up with other lines into New York and New England. The Penn-Jersey section had been transporting 1.3 billion cubic feet of gas a day through the Delmont compressor in Westmoreland County, according to an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. One local resident was burned and his home destroyed; scores of acres of woodland were also burned, along with several nearby structures damaged.

September 2016: Gas Prices Rise As Koch Pipeline Bursts
A major gas leak in rural Alabama has effectively shut down the Colonial Pipeline, a vital energy artery responsible for delivering an estimated 100 million gallons
of gasoline per day to the southeastern United States. More than fifty million Americans – roughly one-sixth of the nation’s population – are served by the pipeline, which runs
from Houston, Texas to the ports of New York and New Jersey. The 5,500-mile artery, owned in part by Koch Industries, was shut down for more than a week due to the leak,
which dumped an estimated 250,000 gallons of gasoline in rural Shelby County, Alabama.

forest fire caused by petrol/gas pipeline explosion in Alabama on 31 October 2016

October 2016: For the second time in two months, a pipeline that supplies gasoline to millions of people was shut down on October 31st, raising the specter of another round of gas shortages and price increases. Plumes of smoke rose from the site of the explosion in Jefferson County, Alabama, near the town of Helena (outside Birmingham). Colonial Pipeline, owned in part by Koch Industries, said in a statement that it shut down its main pipeline in Alabama after the explosion; the two wildfires caused by the explosion were contained at a total of 31 acres.

Criminal Corporations

logo for Plains All American Pipeline        logo for Plains G.P. Holdings        logo for Plains All American Natural Gas Storage        logo for Plains Midstream Canada

Plains All American Pipeline, LP [est. 1981] of Houston, Texas
official company websitecompany entry at Wikipedia

Plains All American Pipeline transports and stores crude oil, and owns and operates nearly 18,000 miles of pipe networks in over 20 states and Canada.
The 'midstream energy company' reported $43.46B in revenue in 2014 and $878M in profit.

Since 2006, the U.S. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has logged more than 175 maintenance and safety violations by Plains All American Pipeline and its subsidiaries, which makes its rate of incidents per mile of pipe more than three times the national average (an analysis by the Los Angeles Times found only four companies with worse records). But those infractions only generated $115,600 in fines against the company, even though the incidents caused more than $23M in damage to the environment and to private property. Plains All American's infractions involved pump failure, equipment malfunction, pipeline corrosion, and operator error; none of the incidents resulted in injuries. According to federal records, since 2006 Plains All American Pipeline and its subsidiaries spilled more than 688,000 gallons of hazardous liquid. Plains All American Pipeline was also cited for failure to install equipment to prevent pipe corrosion, failure to prove completion of recommended repairs, and failure to keep records showing inspections of 'breakout tanks' used to ease pressure surges in pipelines.

system map of the Colonial Pipeline from Texas to new York      

Colonial Pipeline Company [est. 1962, completed 12/1964]
headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia

official company websitecompany entry at Wikipedia
Originally proposed as Suwannee Pipe Line Company by nine major petroleum companies, the Colonial Pipeline Company was formed in February 1962 and completed in December 1964. Shortly thereafter, Colonial increased the daily northbound capacity on the mainline to 1 million barrels per day, over a total of 5,500 miles of pipe. The privatley-held company is owned by five corporations: C.D.P.Q. Colonial Partners LP, I.F.M. (US) Colonial Pipeline LLC, KKR-Keats Pipeline Investors LP, Koch Capital Investments LLC, and Shell Pipeline Company LP

Books & Movies
search for books on keywords 'oil pipeline disasters' at Amazon

Stupid to the Last Drop / Environmental Armageddon book by William Marsden  "Stupid To The Last Drop: How Alberta Is Bringing Environmental Armageddon To Canada (and Doesn't Seem To Care)" [2007] Canadian bestseller by William Marsden
Kindle Edition from Vintage Canada [5/2010] for $12.99
Vintage Canada 8x5¼ pb [9/2008] for $14.43
Knopf Canada hardcover [10/2007] for $23.95
Tar Sands, Dirty Oil & The Future book by Andrew Nikiforuk  "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and The Future of A Continent"
[Douglas McIntyre orig 2008; rev 2010] by Andrew Nikiforuk

winner of the 2009 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award
Kindle Edition from Greystone Books [8/2010] for $10.49
Greystone Books 8½x5½ pb [7/2010] for $14.48
Sun Rise / Suncor / Oil Sands book by Rick George  "Sun Rise: Suncor, The Oil Sands, and The Future of Energy" [2012]
by Dr Richard 'Rick' George, with John Lawrence Reynolds

author was president/CEO of Suncor, Canada for twenty years, and has won lots of business awards; he basically opened up the oil sands industry in Canada, which remains environmentally controversial - Suncor was somewhat responsible for the impact on the environment and on First Peoples, but other companies have not been
Kindle Edition from HarperCollins [10/2012] for $11.99
HarperCollins 8x5¼ pb [10/2013] for $14.32
HarperCollins 8x5¼ pb [10/2013] out of print/used
HarperCollins 9¼x6¼ hardcover [10/2012] for $26.99
Pipeline & the Paradigm / Keystone XL book by Samuel Avery  
"The Pipeline and The Paradigm: Keystone XL, Tar Sands, and The Battle To Defuse The Carbon Bomb" [2013] by Samuel Avery, Foreword by Bill McKibben
Kindle Edition from Ruka Press [4/2013] for $9.89
Ruka Press 9x6 pb [4/2013] for $14.65
Keystone & Beyond - Tar Sands & Climate Change book by John H. Cushman, Jr.  "Keystone & Beyond: Tar Sands and The National Interest In The Era of Climate Change" [2014] by John H. Cushman, Jr.
Kindle Edition from InsideClimate News [5/2014] for $2.99
128-page InsideClimate News 9x6 pb [5/2014] for $5.99
Line in the Tar Sands / Environmental Justice book  "A Line In The Tar Sands: Struggles For Environmental Justice" [2014]
Edited by Toban Black, Stephen D'Arcy, Tony Weis & Joshua Kahn Russell; Foreword by Naomi Klein & Bill McKibben

Kindle Edition from P.M. Press [9/2014] for $9.99
P.M. Press, Canada 9x6 pb [10/2014] for $24.95


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