Dear Editor: Just last week we read that a pipeline leak in Montana caused a town to lose its water supply. This 40,000 gallon oil leak in the Yellowstone River may take some time to fix, as the break is in a pipe in the river under ice.
In North Dakota, a pipeline break has resulted in a leak of 3 million gallons of saltwater brine used in oil and natural gas production and may also contain petroleum and residue from fracking operations. Another million gallons of brine leaked onto Indian reservation in July while another million-gallon spill in 2006 is still being cleaned up.
Now we have the Enbridge pipeline right here in Dane County attempting to increase their pumping capacity to 1.2 million gallons per day. We are told not consider the fact that this company fouled 35 miles of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River with a leak of tar sands in 2010. They are now offering $100 million insurance policy, yet the Kalamazoo cleanup, which is not complete, has already crossed the billion-dollar mark.
At 1.2 million gallons per day, this means 833 gallons per minute or 49,980 gallons per hour. We don’t need that kind of flow. Many people erroneously believe that allowing this and the Keystone XL project will result in reduced gas and oil prices, whereas the products will go to the highest bidder such as India or China.
And what is not being talked about at all is that a pipeline of extremely high capacity makes an excellent target for terrorists and the entire pipeline cannot be guarded.