The Surface of Oil Spills

Evan Goldrick, Contributor

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The Keystone Pipeline has been a huge source of controversy over the past couple of years and the topic is only heating up more. On Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, about 210,000 gallons of oil spilled out of the pipeline into a field in a northeast part of South Dakota. 

 This spill is so significant right now not only because of the environmental implications, but also the political implications. The decision for neighboring states to continue the pipeline is on the line because it provides economic support, whereas it also is a potential environmental hazard. 

“We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and today TransCanada is making our case for us,” Kelly Martin of the Sierra Club said. This is further reinforcing the idea that pipelines such as these are unsafe, so the risks may outweigh the rewards. Many Nebraskan land owners have had this same thought and taken action by not signing their easements with TransCanada giving them permission to build their pipeline. 

As time has gone on and more pipelines have been built many people turn to look at the problems involving them such as a spill of over 1,000,000 gallons of oil into a river in Michigan, or a 50,000-gallon spill in Yellow Stone National Park. This idea has seemed to overshadow the benefits of the pipeline though such as the hundreds of thousands of dollars added to the economy; and the price of oil going down for most people throughout the country. 

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