February 3, 2023

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Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. shut after Kansas spill

2 min read

An oil spill in a creek in northeastern Kansas shut down a major pipeline that carries oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, briefly causing oil prices to rise Thursday.

Canada-based TC Energy said it shut down its Keystone system Wednesday night following a drop in pipeline pressure. It said oil spilled into a creek in Washington County, Kansas, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Kansas City.

The company on Thursday estimated the spill’s size at about 14,000 barrels and said the affected pipeline segment had been “isolated” and the oil contained at the site with booms, or barriers. It did not say how the spill occurred.

“People are sometimes not aware of of the havoc that these things can wreak until the disaster happens,” said Zack Pistora, who lobbies the Kansas Legislature for the Sierra Club’s state chapter.

Concerns that spills could pollute waterways spurred opposition to plans by TC Energy to build another crude oil pipeline in the Keystone system, the 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) Keystone XL, which would have cut across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Critics also argued that using crude from western Canada’s oil sands would worsen climate change, and President Joe Biden’s cancelation of a U.S. permit for the project led the company to pull the plug last year.

In 2019, the Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 383,000 gallons (1.4 million liters) of oil in eastern North Dakota.

Janet Kleeb, who founded the Bold Nebraska environmental and landowner rights group that campaigned against the Keystone XL, said there have been at least 22 spills along the original Keystone pipeline since it began service in 2010. She said federal studies have shown the type of heavy tar sands oil the pipeline carries can be especially difficult to clean up in water because it tends to sink.

“All oil spills are difficult, but tar sands in particular are very toxic and very difficult, so I’m awfully concerned,”…

John Hanna, Heather Hollingsworth, Josh Funk, The Associated Press

2022-12-09 05:09:09

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