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posted by mrpg on Saturday May 13 2017, @11:58AM   Printer-friendly
from the of-course dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

The Dakota Access pipeline already had its first leak – 84 gallons of oil – at a pump station in South Dakota in early April, sparking outrage and calling into question its environmental safety.

[...] The report of the spill can be found on the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources website. The agency apparently did not make any official announcement on the incident as it was relatively minor and had no environmental impact, according to Brian Walsh, a scientist with the department, as cited by the Guardian. The site "was cleaned up right away," the official added as quoted by ABC news.

The spill occurred less than 110 miles from Lake Oahe, which supplies Sioux tribes with water.

Source: Dakota Access pipeline suffers oil leak even before becoming operational


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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 15 2017, @01:31PM (3 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 15 2017, @01:31PM (#509998) Journal

    I support good environmental stewardship; I have been an active member of the Sierra Club all my adult life. The Dakota Access Pipeline controversy is not one I can get excited about, because there is more than a little bit of hypocrisy, NIMBY-ism, and poor-me to it.

    Hypocrisy, because none of those people protesting are out there banging on about ditching their ICEs for EVs, or dropping coal, oil, and natgas for solar/wind. No, they're perfectly happy to gad about town in their Ford F150s, bitching about the price of gas. They never seem to make the connection that the dinosaurs they're burning up in their lumbering machines have to come out of the ground somewhere, and be taken somewhere else where it can be refined into a more usable state.

    That brings me to the NIMBY aspect, because said dinosaurs are being pulled out of the ground in their neighbor's land in North Dakota. Because there has been no pipeline they have had to transport the oil by tanker truck and railcar, and there have been huge spills because of the vagaries of doing that. None of those people in South Dakota seem to give a good goddamn that the high prairie to their north is drowning in sticky oil spills because they're blocking the damn pipeline. No, it only matters because it's happening to them, no matter if the greater harm in North Dakota can be avoided.

    So it's a lot of "Poor, poor me" handwringing that we're supposed to care about because they're Indians, who are once again being victimized by the bad, bad, evil white people. And not just Indians, but the photogenic, popular Indians, because the non-photogenic, non-popular Mandans that nobody's ever heard of, whose Ft Berthold Reservation [nd.gov] is actually smack-dab in the middle of the Bakken Formation [headwaterseconomics.org] where those spills (one upstream from them was 840,000 gallons of oil) are happening. No, fuck those people because they're stupid enough to not have a PR agency and DC lobbying firm on retainer like the Sioux do.

    Lastly, the land they're crossing is not bad land, but we're also not talking about the Amazon basin, the Malagasy highlands, or some other hotbed of bio-diversity here. It's not the Black Hills or the Badlands, either. You can grow hay. Some magpies might fly over the vast acreage and settle on refuse. Your cousin Bob might have some ponies. The hardcore crazy dude everyone shies away from at community meetings might keep a bison or two. Biologists from Bonn University are not clamoring to fly half-way across the world to sit on a rise and inventory the ten thousand species of the high Dakota plains. They're not. And while it's never good to spill oil, if you're gonna insist on using it and will occasionally spill it then the Dakota plains are about the best place to spill it, ecologically speaking. It's for that reason, incidentally, that the US government placed its vast constellations of nuclear missile silos there, because if they got hit in a Soviet retaliatory strike, the country as a whole wouldn't be losing that much.

    The whole thing feels like a PR exercise designed to fleece more money in donations from the rubes and credulous for lobbyists, lawyers, and PR flacks (on both sides of the issue) in DC.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday May 15 2017, @10:38PM (2 children)

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 15 2017, @10:38PM (#510265)

    I support good environmental stewardship; I have been an active member of the Sierra Club all my adult life. The Dakota Access Pipeline controversy is not one I can get excited about, because there is more than a little bit of hypocrisy, NIMBY-ism, and poor-me to it.

    Noted.

    Hypocrisy, because none of those people protesting are out there banging on about ditching their ICEs for EVs, or dropping coal, oil, and natgas for solar/wind. No, they're perfectly happy to gad about town in their Ford F150s, bitching about the price of gas. They never seem to make the connection that the dinosaurs they're burning up in their lumbering machines have to come out of the ground somewhere, and be taken somewhere else where it can be refined into a more usable state.

    I don't think that is helping, but your point is taken. As one of the protestors though, I've ditched ICE for EVs... TWICE at great expense to myself. I was an early adopter for the primary reason to help EVs in the market succeed. While I understand what you are saying, that can be applied to almost all protesting and movements right now. Yes, there is some hypocrisy.

    That brings me to the NIMBY aspect, because said dinosaurs are being pulled out of the ground in their neighbor's land in North Dakota. Because there has been no pipeline they have had to transport the oil by tanker truck and railcar, and there have been huge spills because of the vagaries of doing that. None of those people in South Dakota seem to give a good goddamn that the high prairie to their north is drowning in sticky oil spills because they're blocking the damn pipeline. No, it only matters because it's happening to them, no matter if the greater harm in North Dakota can be avoided.

    Pipelines are not safer. With an oil tanker there is a finite amount of oil to spill, and the same is true with the railcar. Without irises and proper emergency routines, an oil pipeline can lose orders of magnitude greater oil into the environment. You cannot compare the environmental disaster of railcars versus pipelines.

    That being said, pipelines *might* be safer if they actually took some of the measures they talk about, and then published the diagnostics and values to the state each night which can be publicly reviewed. We already collect quite a bit of oil and gas data that is publicly available for transparency purposes. The interesting stuff is still of course trade secret and a National Security matter.

    They don't do what they say they will do, or even what they can do. There are companies that specialize in protecting the pipes and go on, and on, and on, about the high tech MRI they do on the pipelines and how can they can tell when something is going to go wrong. Problem is that this tech costs money and you and me damn well fucking know what happens when executive hell bound scum needs to decide between profits and what they should be doing about things that *might* happen. Unless it is 100% guaranteed to happen, those pieces of shit won't do ANYTHING.

    People who wonder why we need so many damn regulations need to look at the behavior and morally bankrupt culture of the Owning Class and the executives.

    In REALITY, pipelines are not safer. Only on paper, and only in a world where people are more like Federation citizens.

    So it's a lot of "Poor, poor me" handwringing that we're supposed to care about because they're Indians, who are once again being victimized by the bad, bad, evil white people. And not just Indians, but the photogenic, popular Indians, because the non-photogenic, non-popular Mandans that nobody's ever heard of, whose Ft Berthold Reservation is actually smack-dab in the middle of the Bakken Formation where those spills (one upstream from them was 840,000 gallons of oil) are happening. No, fuck those people because they're stupid enough to not have a PR agency and DC lobbying firm on retainer like the Sioux do.

    You have a good point. I didn't know about these people, nor have I heard anything before. I do care though, and I support whatever efforts they make towards proper restitution and good stewardship of the land.

    Lastly, the land they're crossing is not bad land, but we're also not talking about the Amazon basin, the Malagasy highlands, or some other hotbed of bio-diversity here. It's not the Black Hills or the Badlands, either. You can grow hay. Some magpies might fly over the vast acreage and settle on refuse. Your cousin Bob might have some ponies. The hardcore crazy dude everyone shies away from at community meetings might keep a bison or two. Biologists from Bonn University are not clamoring to fly half-way across the world to sit on a rise and inventory the ten thousand species of the high Dakota plains. They're not. And while it's never good to spill oil, if you're gonna insist on using it and will occasionally spill it then the Dakota plains are about the best place to spill it, ecologically speaking. It's for that reason, incidentally, that the US government placed its vast constellations of nuclear missile silos there, because if they got hit in a Soviet retaliatory strike, the country as a whole wouldn't be losing that much.

    Irrelevant. It's sovereign land from what I understand, and governed by treaties the U.S made with the Sioux. You can claim NIMBY just fine, but the Sioux still have ironclad rights to refuse it. The U.S has violated a treaty by doing what they did. Period.

    Also, the pipeline doesn't help anyone in the U.S! This is so that Canadians can sell their oil through us. Only some rich fuckers in the oil industry really get any benefit. It would be one thing if this was a huge economic boon to the area and country, worth the risks of a pipeline, but it isn't.

    The whole thing feels like a PR exercise designed to fleece more money in donations from the rubes and credulous for lobbyists, lawyers, and PR flacks (on both sides of the issue) in DC.

    Ohh, everything is now. Populist rage and dissent is now used to get people upset at an email, take a fake survey that leads the reader to conclusions, and then at the end.... "Oh, boy, are you as pissed as we are?! Gimme $5 and we can continue to be pissed together". The surveys are not even written to make sense, and sometimes the answers don't even match the question!

    All of that being said, the Sioux still deserve support, and that pipeline needs to be destroyed. Ohhh, and this thing wasn't a leak, or anything that can be used against the evil scum that own DAPL either. 84 gallons is a fucking joke. That is already operationally accounted for if it were a pumping station. "Zero environmental impact". I believe them. I've seen worse laying on the ground while drilling a well. Does any one of them know what a 55 gallon barrel looks like? This wasn't even two of them, and I've seen the ground around a well being drilled having at least 100-200 gallons of oil spilled for dozens of feet around it. You lose MORE oil just drilling a successful oil well and capping it :)

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 16 2017, @10:53AM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 16 2017, @10:53AM (#510476) Journal

      I appreciate that you were protesting there. Few people on these things put their money where their mouth is. It's also admirable that you practice what you preach by eliminating your personal consumption of fossil fuels.

      "Violating a treaty with the sovereign Sioux," though, is not something to get the blood pumping. If a person wanted to get upset about treaties the US has violated lately, I'd say the one banning torture would rank much higher. Nobody cares how many treaties the US govt has broken with Indians. It's sad, but it's a historical fact. Getting bent out of shape about it now is like getting upset that people drive faster than the speed limit--technically you're right, but nobody cares.

      Worrying about oil spills in western North Dakota and eastern South Dakota, also, is nothing to get worked up about. That part of South Dakota is not terrible, but it's still pretty marginal land. And the part of North Dakota that is is the most godawful worthless stretch of nothing I've ever been to on Earth. An oil spill would give you something, dear god gimme anything, to look at there. It's the one place for millions of square miles that you're actually grateful for the endless stream of billboards for Wall Drug, because they give you a respite from having to look at the scenery.

      And if it's a matter of sticking it to the Man, we'd all be much better off disintermediating their systems of control than wasting time and energy on the cynical PR exercise this is.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday May 16 2017, @09:51PM

        by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 16 2017, @09:51PM (#510781)

        "Violating a treaty with the sovereign Sioux," though, is not something to get the blood pumping. If a person wanted to get upset about treaties the US has violated lately, I'd say the one banning torture would rank much higher. Nobody cares how many treaties the US govt has broken with Indians. It's sad, but it's a historical fact. Getting bent out of shape about it now is like getting upset that people drive faster than the speed limit--technically you're right, but nobody cares

        Actually, somebody does really care and get upset about it. John McCain, although perhaps the other way.

        The information I have about treaties, sovereignty, and the difficulty it places on the U.S government comes directly from him and his lamentations about dealing with border security and the Native American Indians that in actuality control 70 miles of the South Western border where the wall will go. It was McCain lamenting about how hard it was, and still is, to negotiate or get anything done. Those Native American Indians stoutly refuse all previous attempts at walls almost solely based on good stewardship of the land. McCain still supports the Native American Indians though explicitly on the grounds that the U.S must preserve its honor, and therefore honor their treaties. I don't like his security hawk bullshit, but I can greatly appreciate him for that.

        Other than that, I can see your point about how it's not the battle to pick. Still, it's my battle to pick on a personal level.

        And if it's a matter of sticking it to the Man, we'd all be much better off disintermediating their systems of control than wasting time and energy on the cynical PR exercise this is.

        That is an excellent point, although I disagree with the level of cynicism. Also one of the reasons I get so worked up about it, is that Middle Class is not benefiting whatsoever from it, and neither is the poor. Only the Koch brothers are really seeing any money out of this. As far as I'm concerned, this is their personal pork barrel project that they are using corrupt government to ram down our throats.

        Fighting the man in this case also does mean fighting the Koch brothers and their self-serving anti-American ways. Anytime I can fight the Owning Class, I do.