Letter to the Editor

Stop the pipeline

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When is our government going to work for the people and not for large corporations that fund their elections? We the people should have a voice in what happens to our land and our country. Can someone tell me how my family and I are going to benefit from this pipeline going through Iowa? We have read some controversy over the Keystone Pipeline that is headed for our county and after seeing the report on KCCI 8 News I am horrified that this disaster is coming to our area soon. We don't need this oil, there are other alternative energy resources that we should be utilizing, but these sources don't bankroll the politicians that advocate for their corporate partners in crime.

It was reported that the "Keystone pipeline is ready to reopen after leak found, initial estimates dramatically increase. In an article by (CNNMoney) it states that TransCanada plans to reopen the Keystone pipeline on Saturday, a week after a spill was discovered in an underground section of the pipeline in South Dakota. The spill was located in an underground section of the pipeline in South Dakota. This is like the pipeline that is going to cross our county and has been tooted as being safe, we have nothing to worry about folks, is what we were told.

It has been reported that 16,800 gallons of oil was spilled, to me that is 16,800 more gallons than I can accept, what about you? We should all be on our roof tops shouting that it is not ok for our farm lands and our aqua firs to be contaminated. These pipes are run underground folks, and these type of spills will have a significant impact on our environment. It is reported that the EPA is aware of the situation, I say so what. What are they doing to make sure this doesn't happen in our county and other counties in Iowa. In 2013 there was a massive oil leak in North Dakota. The Tesoro pipeline spilled over 840,000 gallons of oil in a wheat field, this is about the size of seven football fields and it has taken years to clean up this mess.

All the insurance in the world is not going to replace the land and water areas that have been damaged by these spills. Environmentalists are concerned that the Keystone pipeline not only operates underground, it carries tar sands into our states. Tar sands oil is much thicker and stickier than traditional oil, significantly complicating clean-up efforts. The fact it's thicker also means it needs to be combined with other hazardous materials to allow it to be transported in pipelines. Science, Engineering and Medicine publications have reported that current regulations have "shortcomings" and "weaknesses" when it comes to preparing for tar sands spills. It is also reported that TransCanada has been cited by regulators for safety concerns in the past, including five "correction action orders" since 2006 from the Department of Transportation. These urgent orders are issued for pipelines that pose a "serious hazard to life, property or the environment." One such order required TransCanada to test failed pipe components and do other steps following a pair of May 2011 leaks in North Dakota and Kansas. The pipeline companies don't have an effective way to detect spills until it is too late.