We all should be outraged over the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
There is a huge uproar in the Standing Rock reservation area and water protesters weren’t protesting because they opposed big oil, but due to the amount of oil leaks in the state of North Dakota. Let’s look at the number of recent oil spills reported in North Dakota, by the North Dakota Department of Health. At KCET, a non-profit community media organization, Chris Clarke emphasizes the report:
“In the year ending on May 1, 2017, according to the state’s Department of Health, the state’s oil and gas industry reported 745 involved oil spills — on average, a spill every 11 hours and 45 minutes.” When you look into it, anyone would be upset about it. It was directly built underneath the Missouri River, which is a huge source of water for animals and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Recent Oil Spills in North Dakota
Its argued that oil pipelines aren’t as secure than companies portray them to be. Plus, spill detection technology is behind, and most of the 745 spills in North Dakota last year resulted in a huge amount contamination.
A prime example, in December 2016, about 530,000 gallons foil spilled from the Belle Fourth Pipeline in Billings County. Private land was affected such as the Ash Coulee Creek and the US Forest Service grazing land. This was about 2 1/2 hours away from the sit of Standing Rock. What was even more shocking, was how True Companies, who owns the Belle Fourche Pipeline heard about the leak. When a landowner discovered the leak, he called the company to report it.
Last 15 Years Weren’t Any Different
The leak that occurred in December 2016 wasn’t the only accident. There were 10 oil leaks since 2011. 30,000 gallons of crude oil had leaked from the company’s Poplar Pipeline, into the Yellowstone River in 2015. A town of 6,000 residents were forced to have their drinking water supply shut off as a result. It was reported by The New York Times that in the years between 2006-2014, over1,300 oil spills happened in North Dakota.
McKenzie County had over one million gallons oil spill into the region in 2006. That same county had one leaking 2014 where 1,008,000 gallons of oil contaminated the area.
This is why there’re protests from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and nearby landowners, along with many supporters across the country. They have a rational concern for the stability of the oil pipelines.
The explained oil spills in the article aren’t anything new. In North Dakota, oil spills are a daily thing. We know the Dakota Access Pipeline will not be any better than the others.
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