A pipeline has exploded and caused a massive fire in Platte County, directly north of Kansas City Tuesday evening. The explosion has provided yet another example, in explosive form, of why the Standing Rock Sioux have been concerned about the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Thankfully, the Platte County pipeline, which belonged to Mid-America Pipeline Company was in an area that was isolated. While the explosion was gigantic and followed by fire, there were no injuries.
A report made by KCTV-5 stated,
“Plumes of fire and heavy smoke were showing from the scene and lit up the sky from miles away. An hour after the fire started, it was still burning, but the flames had reduced significantly. The fire was burning itself out a short time later.
A crew from Mid-America Pipeline Company came to shut off the valves so the pipelines’ mix of ethane and propane didn’t fuel the fire.”
If a similar incident occurred to the Dakota Access Pipeline (if it were constructed) it would devastate the area surrounding the pipeline, and contaminate the water supply of the Standing Rock reservation.
In another incident, a sister company to Mid-America Pipeline, Enterprise Products Partners, shut down their Seaway Crude Pipeline, which transported 400,000 barrels per day, after an oil leak near Cushing, Oklahoma.
“Seaway personnel continues to make progress in cleaning up the spill, substantially all of which has been contained in a retention pond at Enbridge’s facility,” the company stated in a press release. EPP further noted that the pipeline is a “50/50 joint venture” between Enterprise and Enbridge Inc. Enbridge and Marathon oil currently hold a 37% investment in the DAPL.
“Vacuum trucks are being used to recover the crude oil and return it to storage tanks on-site,” the statement noted. “The impacted segment of the legacy pipeline has a capacity of 50,000 barrels,” the release added, “however the actual amount of crude oil released will be significantly less and won’t be determined until recovery efforts are complete.”
Of course, those words mean nothing to a tribe whose drinking water would become at stake due to the pipeline’s construction.
“Oil pipelines break, spill, and leak—it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of where and when,” 13-year-old Anna Lee Rain YellowHammer, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, wrote in a petition to stop the DAPL.
“With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak,” she wrote of the Enbridge-backed DAPL, “I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because it doesn’t care about our health and safety. The industry seems to think our lives are more expendable than others’.”
This one quote is a massive highlight of what the DAPL protest has been. While almost anyone who has a mind, a heart, and a soul can understand the devastating effects that the pipeline could have on the sacred lands and drinking water on the Standing Rock Sioux Reserve, it seems that nothing can sway the minds of those who have money invested in the project.
This most recent pipeline explosion is only one of many that have occurred nationwide due to the negligence of these various oil companies. While there is nothing that we can do to aid those who are affected by such incidents, what we can do is work to help those who are fighting for their drinking water and homelands. Share this article, and similar ones, to spread awareness regarding the travesty that is currently taking place in North Dakota. We must raise attention to the dangers of pipelines, and the validity of the Standing Rock Water Protector’s concerns.