Keystone XL’s real time leak detection system has a minimum threshold of 1.5 to 2 percent. Translated for a 830,000 bpd pipeline, this means the KXL can only detect leaks larger than 500,000 to 750,000 gallons per day in real time. This is consistent with recent revelations of industry-wide gaps in leak detection – leak detection systems missing 19 out of 20 spills. State’s review of Keystone XL recognizes the front line role that landowners play in detecting pipeline spills, noting the leaks smaller than 500,000 gallons a day may be identified by direct observations by the public. That’s small comfort for the farmers and ranchers along the proposed route for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Pipelines are dangerous, but tanker cars are more so. Rail accidents spilled more oil in the U.S. last year than in all the previous years on record combined. And in Canada, 47 people died in one fiery tanker-train disaster in Quebec last year.
If Keystone XL is built as planned, according to the study, it would likely spill an average of just over 500 barrels per year, with a leak occurring once every two years. Under the most optimistic scenario involving rail, however, nearly 300 spills would occur per year, with over 1,200 barrels released in total, according to estimates provided in the report.
Foes of the pipeline say the State Department report reflects a pro-industry bias because of an alleged conflict of interest by a firm hired to assist in its preparation. The Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth accused the consultant, Environmental Resources Management, of having ties to the oil industry and hiding a previous connection to TransCanada.
You can't simply tell people "Sorry, no oil."
Do you really think that poor people (in particular) don't drive less and keep their houses colder and generally consume less when oil prices go up?
a molehill in comparison or practically a speed bump
I agree that this is the practical reality, but I just want to say that it is totally fucked up that on our side of the border, at least, we've structured things so that it's entirely manageable to say "Sorry, no health care" and force vast swathes of citizens into far more costly alternatives—costly in both financial terms and mortality—but the same is not possible with "Sorry, no oil."
We do say "Sorry, no oil" to mostly the same people to whom we say "Sorry, no health care."
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