In case you haven’t heard, the Keystone pipelines recently leaked around 200,000 gallons of oil, which is roughly around 5,000 barrels. Pressure loss inside the pipe structure was the reason for the leak, as reported by TransCanada, the Canadian oil company responsible for managing the Keystone pipeline. While the press release notes that it took 15 minutes to get everything back in order, it is concerning to learn than it took three and a half hours upon discovery of the leak to its reporting to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The construction of the pipeline extension that runs across sacred, tribal grounds was already a slap in the face of the Standing Rock protesters, who previously enjoyed temporary victory with the Obama government’s decision to stall the project for the sake of 2015 climate change talks in Paris. With President Trump greenlighting the project under his administration, how many more potential spills are we to experience in the future?
How much value does the administration place on public health and safety compared to spurring so-called economic growth with projects like these? Clearly, the administration turns a blind eye on the impact of contamination – something that may not be readily seen right now, but will certainly show effects years down the line in many ways: stunted and compromised human growth and development, and compromised natural resources.
Until we are able to create laws and bills that are compelling enough to convince our lawmakers to finally take a stand against our head of state’s thoughtless decision making on matters such as this, nothing will happen. We will never be assured that something can be done to really rectify mistakes that were already made and prevent the same mistakes from happening again. And to force our congressmen and senators to use their duly elected powers to push for these regulatory laws to be passed, we must be unceasing with our protests.
We must continue with frequent mass demonstrations, nonviolent resistance, and other forms of protests that can figuratively strong arm the powers that be to finally push for what people truly deserve – and that is to live without the risk of their waters and land contaminated by toxins.