Keystone Pipeline spills 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota wetland, its fourth major spill in nine years

The Keystone Pipeline spilled 383,000 gallons of a tar sands crude oil (9,119 barrels) on Oct 29 into wetlands near Edinburg, North Dakota, according to multiple news reports.

The spill’s cause remains unknown, but one possible culprit is North Dakota’s record rains. Water-saturated soils become more fluid and can cause ground slumping; that puts stress underground pipelines. A federal government advisory has cited heavy rains and flooding as causes for other pipeline breaks. Such problems only will get worse as climate change brings more severe storms.

This should raise a red flag for Minnesota policymakers regarding the proposed Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. It would run 340 miles across northern Minnesota through our state’s cleanest waters, crossing more than 200 water bodies and 75 miles of wetlands.

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