Oil spills are something that we are all used to, but many people have it in their minds that something like an oil spill does not affect them, those people are wrong.
A few months ago a farmer in North Dakota discovered one of the largest crude oil spills ever recorded in the state. He claims that the oil was just “bubbling up out of the ground” while harvesting wheat.
The farmer, Steve Jensen stated that he smelled the oil a few days before his combines were covered in it. The oil was “spewing and bubbling six inches high,” he said in an interview with CBS News.
Tesoro Corp’s underground pipeline spilled 20,600 barrels of oil under the farmland. It was four times the size of a pipeline that burst in March 2013 that forced the evacuation of more than 20 homes in Arkansas. Lucky for the general population of North Dakota, the pipeline is in a remote corner in the northwest. The nearest home was half a mile away, and there have been no water contamination reports. No animal or human was injured in the spill.
Tesoro Logistics released a statement saying that the affected portion of the pipeline has been shut down.
“Protection and care of the environment are fundamental to our core values, and we deeply regret any impact to the landowner,” Tesoro CEO Greg Goff said in a statement. “We will continue to work tirelessly to fully remediate the release area.”
Wayde Schafer, a North Dakota spokesman for the Sierra Club, said the spill is an example of the lack of oversight in a state that has exploded with oil development in recent years.
“We need more inspectors and more transparency,” Schafer said. “Not only is the public not informed, but agencies don’t appear to be aware of what’s going on and that’s not good.”
As many of you know, recently there has been a protest going on; for eight months’ protesters have been camped out for eight months on the Cannon Ball Native American tribal land, where a $3.7-billion-dollar pipe was supposed to pump 450,000 barrels of crude oil a day under the Missouri River just north of the reservation.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline’s passage through Sioux Standing Rock reservation, and for many people, this was a win. The truth, however, is that this is nowhere near over. What many people do not know is that this is the third time that the Army Corps has rerouted the DAPL. You probably do not know that because the other two times were not preceded by national outcry. The pipeline has to cross water at some point, and wherever it does, it is, like all oil-moving operations, likely to put another community’s water at risk.