TransCanada Blocks Surveillance of Keystone Spill, Sends Armed Guards to Deter Protestors

Whatever happened at the site of the Keystone 1 pipeline leak near Freeman, TransCanada doesn’t want anyone else looking at it:

TransCanada didn’t have a representative at the potential spill site until Sunday. But by Monday, when the media broke the news, TransCanada had blocked off the area, making documenting the contaminated area from the ground impossible.

It was also impossible to photograph the site from the sky, according to Bold Nebraska. [Bold Nebraska chief Jane] Kleeb told DeSmog that FAA forbade the pilot she hired to fly over the site because it closed the airspace until May 8.

“To have the FAA close off airspace for a foreign corporation is a big problem,” Kleeb said. “We want to take our own pictures. With 100 clean-up workers on site, we have a right to be taking our own pictures and finding out our own information.”

…Yesterday, some South Dakotans who have fought against the Keystone XL pipeline went as close to the site as they could get. They took pictures from the perimeter that TransCanada set up around the spill. But the way the perimeter was set up makes it impossible to meaningfully document the company’s remediation work [Julie Dermansky, “Keystone Pipeline Mishap Has TransCanada Scrambling Again,” DeSmog, 2016.04.06].

Eager reader, Dakota Rural Action leader, and pipeline beater Paul Seamans reported yesterday that TransCanada had armed security guards controlling access to the spill site. Landowner Galen Heckenlaible, who spotted the oil spill Saturday before any of TransCanada’s equipment detected a problem, tells KDLT that TransCanada “has provided security on his property in preparation for any protests that may take place.” Heckenlaible expresses faith and confidence in TransCanada’s work on his property:

A Menno resident of sixty-eight years, he said he’s been pleased with the constant communication he’s had with TransCanada.

“They keep calling me. They notify me of what’s going on, if they’re going to do anything. Yesterday, they notified me that they were going to dig on this side of the road and they were going to take some of the trees out and everything would be replaced,” said Heckenlaible.

As far as how long they will be on Heckenlaible’s property, he was told TransCanada “will not leave here until it’s back to the way it was” [Jake Eble, “Landowners and City Accommodate TransCanada Guests,” KDLT-TV, 2016.04.05].

Mr. Heckenlaible’s “guests” have reported initially that only 187 gallons of oil spilled (and I’m not sure they’ve even admitted it’s their oil yet). Back in 2006, TransCanada told us Keystone 1 would make leaks that size only once every 65 years. But with the unexpected corrosion discovered on Keystone in 2012 and now this leak near Freeman, landowners may find themselves hosting armed “guests” from TransCanada more often than the company told us.


98 Responses to TransCanada Blocks Surveillance of Keystone Spill, Sends Armed Guards to Deter Protestors

  1. Nick Nemec

    If Heckenliable believes TransCanada will successfully replace the trees they remove he’s dumber than someone with 68 years of experience on the South Dakota prairies should be.

  2. Daniel Buresh

    187 gallons…..More oil is spilled everyday by trucks in the dakotas alone. I’m sure the 400,000 gallons of oil spilled in Casselton by a train derailment which caused an evacuation and ensuing fireball is a much better option. Let’s get rid of the pipelines and up our rail and trucking volume. That is sure to fix the problem.

  3. Daniel Buresh

    Do you want to put money on that Nick?

  4. Nick Nemec

    On the ability of TransCanada to successfully replace trees? Sure I’ll bet they are unable to replace trees with any sort of age with like kind trees ie same species and age. If they are replaced with younger trees they will never, during Heckenliable’s lifetime, be the size they might have been otherwise. I’ve planted and cared for tens of thousands of trees in my lifetime and have a fairly good understanding of what it takes to grow a tree on a grassland. If TransCanada has some sort of magic tree elixir they need to get it on the market or at least gift it to some land grant university.

    The statement that TransCanada is removing trees and has promised they will replace them tells me that the spill has extended beyond the edges of their right-of-way. I’m sure that during the construction process any tree on the right of way was removed and in the years since any tree that might have started growing in the right of way was removed by pipeline maintenance crews.

    Cory has photos of the construction of this pipeline when it crossed the Sue Sibson farm and there is no way an existing tree would have been allowed to stand on the right-of-way.

  5. happy camper

    But Daniel Cory is making the point they can’t be trusted and is providing the link to their own promises. The whole thing stinks but we’re not gonna get an alternative energy source until it’s more profitable. It’s about money. At the federal level we’ve been scammed by those tasked with coming up with a “safe” place for nuclear storage. I think it’s Hanover and that place in Nevada many times over budget. A relative worked there and felt they never wanted to finish the project just milk it. It’s a product of our gutted regulating agencies. When push comes to shove they try to get out of their commitments. That’s what they’re doing to the midstream companies who invested all that money in infrastructure when the money was flowing. Break their agreements. Remember Superfund? You have to be skeptical.

  6. Charlie Johnson

    For decades now, farm and businesses have been told and regulated to place fuel tanks above ground and have them properly bermed . So why is it okay to allow major corporations to place steel pipes under ground for hundreds of miles to transport crude oil? The whole idea of burying underground is out of sight, out of mind . Perhaps if the pipeline was constructed above ground we would understand totally the stupid system we are permitting today .

  7. Daniel, you seem to want to minimize the severity of this leak. If this leak isn’t somewhat substantial there wouldn’t be armed guards on the site. Weather you support oil pipelines or not, the public has the right to know what has happened with this spill. I am sure that TransCanada will minimize this leak and the effects of it.

  8. I find it interesting that as of yesterday they didn’t know where the oil was coming from and were still exploring as they were digging test holes and removing trees (newsflash: they don’t lay pipelines under trees, so this indicates the oil has migrated).

    By the time oil reaches the surface it would have had to be leaking for quite some time. If they are able to calculate the amount down to such a precise amount (187 gallons) as opposed to a estimated amount (perhaps 200 to 500 gallons) it strongly suggests to me that they are pulling that number out of their rectums.

    I’m sure they will find and repair the leak – that isn’t in dispute. I’m also sure they will dispose of the contaminated soil properly because I’m sure there are regulators monitoring the situation. In the scope of things this is likely a minor event and Daniel is correct that moving the oil by train or truck would result in even greater environmental disaster.

    But you know what is better than transporting oil? Not transporting oil. We need to continue to invest in wind farms and solar arrays instead of constantly shutting down those projects. When your neighbors are rallying against a wind farm, just point them towards these pipelines and ask them if this is a better option.

  9. Cory – drones are increasingly popular these days and DJI Phantom 3 can now be purchased for less than $500. I wonder if anyone has considered flying a drone in the area to capture some footage? I understand the FAA has closed airspace but I don’t know how large of an area that might be. Could a drone hover outside of the area and capture useful footage to get an understanding of the footprint?

  10. mike from iowa

    Someone sounds like a shill for TC the way he protests virtually any coverage of pipeline spills.

  11. happy camper

    We need to continue to invest in wind farms and solar arrays instead of constantly shutting down those projects: Aint gonna work. Most profitable always wins we have to accept that and make what we have currently as safe as possible. When the cost gets too high markets will come up with a new solution. Money drives it all you can’t stop that. My family member did environmental cleanup for a lifetime he trusts nobody.

  12. before Rupert Murdoch purchased it we had this kind of reportage: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2015/01/150120-oil-spills-into-yellowstone-river/

    aerial video footage of one of the two “significant” (EPA terminology) 60,000 gallon pipeline leaks into the Yellowstone river were pretty disturbing by CNN. So now for insignificant leaks apparently censorship of aerial photojournalism by the FAA is now standard operating procedure. energy corporations now own the government, not just politicians? http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/20/us/yellowstone-river-spill/index.html

  13. So, for an accident of 187 gallons they have armed guards out to protect that 187 gallon spill, Daniel, your argument is kind of lame. They have as many guards as gallons is an equation that just does not make sense. Where are the cleaner uppers? Armed guards cannot do both. How many earth movers are present on that spill and how many truck loads of overfill are coming in for the ones coming out? There has to be a site that will accept that mess, where is it? That is a big rupture for that kind of scrutiny, ol Heckinliable probably thought he was Jed Clampett https://www.google.es/search?q=jed+clampet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=Ai8FV-16ga5quMGbSA#q=foggy+mountain+boys+the+ballad+of+jed+clampett&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgecTozC3w8sc9YSmrSWtOXmM04eIKzsgvd80rySypFFLjYoOyZLh4pTj1c_UNyk2K4ys0GKS4uRBcHgA5P0L1SAAAAA when he saw that bubbling crude and will get a pretty good check for keeping his mouth shut and will now stay away from shotguns. Thanks to a corrupt state government, we probably will never know.

  14. happy camper

    Daniel just strikes me as not nearly cynical enough. People want to have faith but you can’t trust big money. The regulators don’t have the talent, resources or political backing. The revolving door from industry to government, payoffs are likely. There’s a long list. Get cynical!

  15. bret clanton

    A question that I have asked many times and have never had a satisfying response to is ” How long can dilbit remain static in a pipeline “. One would naturally assume that there is going to be some settling and separation of contents. Based on that assumption you would think that restart would place enormous stress on the entire system. Anyone?

  16. Thanks for that reminder, Nick! Galen Heckenlaible should most definitely review Mike and Sue Sibson’s experience with TransCanada’s promises to put everything back just the way it was, as presented in their testimony to the PUC last year:

    http://dakotarural.org/tuesday-update-sue-sibson-and-the-battle-with-keystone-i/

    I wonder if Heckenlaible’s experience with the pipeline diggers was at all like the Sibsons’, which I documented in my September 2009 photo essay:

    http://madvilletimes.blogspot.com/2009/09/pipeline-through-heartland-transcanada.html

  17. Nick you are right on. Daniel, you miss the point completely. Tar sands oil is so abrasive and toxic that it should stay permanently in the ground and should never be put into a pipe, on a train, or a truck. As, a former director of a large rural water system in S. Dak., I observed testimony from pipeline experts that warned us not to allow oil pipelines to cross our water lines because when oil pipelines leak, the toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene can be absorbed into the plastic water pipes. I sure hope the rural water system in that area is closely monitoring the situation.

  18. mike from iowa

    I got it. Marlboro Barbie and Dakota’s other wingnuts had the airspace closed off so none of them Muslim terrorists (cleverly disguised as Syrian women and children refugees) could locate the pipeline for future suicide bombers.

  19. Nick Nemec

    Exactly happy camper. There is much more to this story than is being told. TransCanada has a massive clampdown on information in place and unless this is closely monitored we will never know the extent of this spill. I don’t trust the State of South Dakota to do anything more than parrot industry talking points.

    What is the penalty for violating this no fly zone? And why in the heck does this spill rate a no fly zone? If the neighbor needs to get his field sprayed is he SOL? Talk about government-industry collusion.

    If neighbors need to use the road are they forced to travel a different route? Will their extra costs be reimbursed? I think not.

  20. mike from iowa

    Jerry, my friend, you need http://tinyurl.com/ something fierce. It is free and easy to use and I do not get paid (except an occasional thank you) for it.

  21. mike from iowa

    http://tinyurl.com/hezt9cq

    Here is an example,Jerry. This is what was your 254 character url.

  22. I wonder how much money TransCanada gave Galen Heckenlaible to keep people off his property and shill for the company? My estimate is somewhere north of $100,000 under the guise of future crop losses.

    I also wonder how this foreign company got the FAA to close the airspace, and how they got the county to close a road. And I’m with Craig. Unless they can wring out the dirt there is no way they can pin this leak to exactly 187 gallons. That’s a made up number. I’m sure it would be a lot more than that before anything was ever visible on the surface, and they wouldn’t be digging up trees somewhere else. My suspicion is that this is not a bad weld but corrosion. You suppose DENR will give the public meaningful information?

  23. I’m not the first one to think of this, but someone should be approaching the neighboring landowners to get as close as they can to the spill. Nobody can prevent a neighboring landowner from allowing people on his/her land.

  24. Don Coyote

    @Craig: “But you know what is better than transporting oil? Not transporting oil. We need to continue to invest in wind farms and solar arrays instead of constantly shutting down those projects. When your neighbors are rallying against a wind farm, just point them towards these pipelines and ask them if this is a better option.”

    Right. Because throwing away billions of dollars of internal combustion powered cars, trucks, buses, etc is such a good idea. Not only is the amount of energy being disposed of a monumental waste but you’ll revert civilization to a paleo lifestyle where frankly you won’t even need electricity. Good luck with that.

  25. Thanks to Google Caches, here is the info from the temporary flight restriction

    !FDC 6/4686 ZMP SD..AIRSPACE MENNO,SD..TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS WI AN AREA DEFINED AS 3 NM RADIUS OF 431422N/0972731W (SIOUX FALLS VORTAC FSD221038.5) SFC-2000FT AGL CHEMICAL SPILL. PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 91.137(A)(1) TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT. ONLY RELIEF AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS UNDER DIRECTION OF FAA ARE AUTHORIZED IN THE AIRSPACE. FAA TELEPHONE 651-463-5580 IS IN CHARGE OF ON SCENE EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIVITY. MINNEAPOLIS /ZMP/ ARTCC TELEPHONE 651-463-5580 IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY. 1604042300-1604080500

    In layman’s terms – the flight restriction was for a 3 nautical mile radius around the spill and prohibited flights below 2000 feet (normal restriction would be 500 feet over an area like that). The flight restriction was in effect for 6 hours initially.

    2000 feet could have gotten a person a decent look at a spill area. Still, it would be interesting to look up the rules on the chemical spill TFR.

  26. DC: “Because throwing away billions of dollars of internal combustion powered cars, trucks, buses, etc is such a good idea. ”

    Who said that or even suggested it? Not me. The simple fact is society has become much more efficient in terms of the petroleum used, and therefore as we shift towards alternatives to fossil fuels there is no reason to believe that our demand won’t continue to drop. Just this week Tesla displayed their Model 3 fully electric sedan that won’t even hit the roads until late 2017 at the earliest and there are 250,000 people who have already pledged $1,000 to get in line. Clearly over time more and more vehicles will be electric which will continue to push down demand for oil. Renewable energy for homes will also have an impact.

    Nobody believes that oil will just disappear overnight, but a few decades from now it will be a vastly different landscape with vastly different needs. If you weren’t so busy trolling DFP trying to argue with everyone about everything perhaps you could devote a bit more of your brain power towards some forward thinking.

  27. Darrell Solberg

    People lie to get what they want and then try to keep the dark secrets from the public!! It is all about greed and power, the heck with the land owners, environment, water safety and tax payers.

  28. Nick Nemec

    MD thanks for the info on the no fly zone. It has a much bigger radius than I thought it would but the 2000 foot ceiling would allow a small plane with good cameras to get some interesting photos.

    FYI, a circle with a 3NM radius would enclose over 37.4 square miles or 23,965 acres of South Dakota farm land.

  29. mfi, thanks for this.

  30. Hmm…I can understand TransCanada stance. They didn’t what should be a simple operation from turning into a three ring circus. Having protesters and aircraft hovering about can make this kind of operation very dangerous.

  31. bret clanton

    Excellent observation MC……. you should run for office….https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandering_(politics)

  32. Daniel Buresh

    “So why is it okay to allow major corporations to place steel pipes under ground for hundreds of miles to transport crude oil? ”

    Security, Safety, Risk. Do you want all utilities above ground as well?

    “If this leak isn’t somewhat substantial there wouldn’t be armed guards on the site.”

    SOP for this day and age. Liability, risk, security. Makes sense when you consider how many yahoos are blowing this entire thing out of proportion. One gets run over by an excavator and then you’ll want to blame TC for that too.

    “In the scope of things this is likely a minor event and Daniel is correct that moving the oil by train or truck would result in even greater environmental disaster.”

    It could be 5,000 gallons and it would still be minor. At least you understand how logical it is to continue using pipelines.

    “So, for an accident of 187 gallons they have armed guards out to protect that 187 gallon spill, Daniel, your argument is kind of lame.”

    Another genius who doesn’t understand the oil industry. Had this been a spill of the same size from something other than a pipeline, there wouldn’t be guards because there wouldn’t be such sensationalist journalism pushing for outrage.

    “Daniel just strikes me as not nearly cynical enough.”

    I understand the scope of this situation and it barely warrants a fraction of the publicity that it has already received. You are right, I’m not as emotional as you. I look at the facts and the big picture.

    “Nobody believes that oil will just disappear overnight, but a few decades from now it will be a vastly different landscape with vastly different needs.”

    It’ll take 100 years unless we want to wax out half the world’s population in one stroke. Transportation will be the least of our worries. We will always need oil/nuclear/coal for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. We should be building nuclear plants left and right.

  33. Lanny V Stricherz

    By the time all is said and done, I will lay money right now with anyone that wants to bet that the spill is closer to 187,000 Barrels than to 187 gallons. And I can lay that bet safely, since we will never find out, since as several people have pointed out, we cannot trust the State of South Dakota to tell us, much less Trans Canada.

  34. I’ll agree that we should be building nuclear plants DB – a lot of people get scared by the term “nuclear” but they have one of the lowest environmental impacts of all our sources of energy.

    That said, technology is changing things daily, and battery storage onsite for homes (such as the Tesla Powerwall) will likely be commonplace in coming years. There are also other green technologies for power storage such as using sunshine or wind to compress air, and then using that air to spin a turbine when the sun and wind aren’t available. NPR just had a story about the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant in Nevada which can still produce electricity even 10 hours after the sun has gone done due to how they store the energy via liquid salt. That plant produces enough power for 75,000 homes. There are also ways to produce energy from biomass and algae which can be converted into biofuels which in turn are burned much like traditional fossil fuels to power vehicles and generators but with a much lower carbon footprint.

    And these are just the things we are able to do today – a few decades from now who knows what might be possible. There is no reason to believe we can’t meet our energy needs from 100% renewable sources. It won’t happen in a few years, but eventually it appears clear that is what will occur. We should embrace this because it will benefit us all and will lead to less dependence upon foreign sources of energy.

  35. Lanny V Stricherz

    “but they have one of the lowest environmental impacts of all our sources of energy.”

    Sure they do, Craig, that is why we have to use the spent fuel, “depleted uranium” in our weaponry and our shells to rid ourselves of the hazards of that spent fuel. We can then spread that crap over all the lands where we fight our continual wars and the only Americans exposed to it are the guys and gals who do the fighting.

    Wonder why there are no new nuclear plants coming on line? could have something to do with what happened in Japan, or Chernoble or THree Mile Island and the continued worry about the buried nuclear waste that we have already accumulated in our country.

    Of course they have found those three safe dumping sites 7 miles deep in South Carolina, Texas and Northeast South Dakota, that Cory documented a couple of months ago.

  36. That shutting of the pipeline seems like more that just a hundred plus gallons Mr. Clanton, your report indicates it is much more serious than that. Mr. Heckinliable better get a better measuring stick.

  37. Lanny V Stricherz

    From the website in the first line of Cory’s post “Keystone 1 pipeline leak”:
    “Scientists with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources are staying in contact with the TransCanada team on a daily basis to make sure the clean up meets state standards.”

    What the hell does that mean? “staying in touch” I would think that South Dakota would have at least two or three of those scientists on site and watching and inspecting what is going on.

  38. By a walkie talkie Mr. Stricherz. Transcanada draws the outline out on a piece of paper and holds the walkie talkie over it so they can observe the spill. Of course, there is that range issue, but not to worry about that, ol Chris Nelson relays the info. Nothing to see here he proclaims. Heather Wilson gets the info from Chris and then files it away in who gives a crap file system the state of South Dakota has had in place since Joop and Short Round were in the drivers seat.

  39. chemical spill? hahahahah. that’s gotta be like “blight” at Hwy 16 and Catron Blvd, the busiest intersection , likely in the state.

    maybe the chem spill will require the energy company to divulge its proprietary secret ingredients in its dilutants? just spitballin’ this is what kind of cruce or product??

  40. Daniel Buresh

    Lanny, you sound as bad as climate change deniers. All emotion, no science. Nuclear power is going to be key in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. You can take that to the bank. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-nuclear-power-can-stop-global-warming/

  41. happy camper

    “… and therefore as we shift towards alternatives to fossil fuels there is no reason to believe that our demand won’t continue to drop.” That is unlikely considering future global demand. In the U.S. 75% of the population own a car compared to 9% worldwide. We import about 50-60% now. As the rest of the world advances like China and India they’re gonna want cars (and everything else petroleum), compete for those imports and we’ll demand more of our own.

    A lot of environmentalists have accepted nuclear will probably be the answer. Granted there could be something entirely different come in to play, but otherwise Don Coyote is right that what’s sold to us as green is sometimes quite the opposite.

  42. in a hundred years sea level rise may be 20-30 feet!

  43. TC said it notified its customers of the shut down using “force majeure” contractual provisions, brett. more industry stretching loopholes as corrosion or bad welds are foreseeable, imo

  44. Rumor is that the test hole for nuclear storage will be in DB’s back yard as he loves him some glow and glitter. Here is where we are at with the power plants and thankfully they are not being built, we don’t need them. Lets use the wind here and the sun here to generate power. Each home could have rooftop solar with wind backup to make it happen. Keep oil where it belongs, right where it is right along with coal. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-nuclear-nrc-idUSTRE8182J720120209

  45. coyote proposes efficiency in use of gas powered vehicles. 18-25 mpg (f-150) is poor for one of the most popular trucks in SD. Jay williams drives a hybrid. You? under 40 mpg these days is not even trying. yeah I kno Obama has a big footprint. Limbaugh criticizes that yet encourages everyone else to drive the biggest guzzler on the planet.

    sounds like a majority of millennials aren’t even gonna buy cars. florida is today building urban light rail. on stilts! thanks Daniel for stimulating important conversation.

  46. mike from iowa

    Lanny, what they can’t see, they can’t report. Kinda the way your entire gubmint operates. Jackley apparently takes it to heart that justice is blind.

    The next time some wingnut comes on here and demands to know what libs are smoking or drinking, tell them its a trade secret and they don’t have a right to know.

  47. Daniel Buresh

    Yes, Lanny. Educate yourself on the real science behind it. Not propaganda. Ratical and GrassRootsPeace?….don’t make me laugh. Once they get fusion completely under control, it will really take off. I’ve yet to see a better option at this point or in the anywhere near future. It’s pretty good consensus among actual scientists. Like I said, if you don’t think nuclear power is not the way, then go join the climate change deniers and the anti-vaxxers. We don’t have time to explain it to you.

  48. Daniel Buresh

    Good Jerry. I hope they put all the nuclear waste in the dakotas, wyoming, and other low population areas. It only makes sense.

  49. mfi-what the heck is a tinyurl and why should I care?:) is it a conversion tool?

  50. mike from iowa

    DB-there are all kinds of nasty chemicals in this toxic cocktail. Mother Earth can’t keep swilling all this stuff without serious repercussions.

    Like gun control,there never is a good time to discuss this. If not now-when???

  51. Lanny V Stricherz

    Yes, it is a conversion tool and you should care because it shortens the url to which one is trying to go. Sometimes clicking on the longer url does not tak one to the website and or is nearly impossible to cut and paste.

  52. jerry’s cite says:

    A 1,000-megawatt natural gas plant takes a few years to permit and build and costs up to $1 billion for the most efficient, combined-cycle model. A similar-sized nuclear reactor however could take five to 10 years to develop and build and cost more than $5 billion.

    isn’t natl gas still considered the primary transitional power source away from coal/oil?

  53. mike from iowa

    leslie-tiny url lets you take yooge urls and turn them into shorter ones. See my example to jerry @ 11:15. Tiny url is a simple download and it is free. Mine is on my Google toolbar and I still don’t get paid to push this. It is the best thing since sliced bread.

  54. Lanny: “Wonder why there are no new nuclear plants coming on line?”

    The same reason that people were in a panic about SARS or bird flu or that mom’s talk to their children about stranger danger even though none of those things are real viable threats to the typical citizen. Because the media likes to sensationalize stories for their own benefit and nothing raises ratings or sells more papers than scaring people.

    Or did you really think Flint is the only city in the US dealing with lead contaminated water?

    We have aircraft carriers and ships traversing our oceans each and every day with nuclear reactors powering them. In some cases they can travel for 25 years before needing to be refueled because of how efficient Nuclear is. Yes there have been a few isolated incidents the majority of which due to human error and few of which would occur today with modern reactors which include redundant safety systems, but if you add up all of the deaths that have resulted from nuclear energy in the past 50 year it is less than the number of deaths attributed to coal electrical plants in a few months.

    Coal power plants are estimated to kill over 13,000 people in the US each year alone! It is much worse in China and other developing countries that rely upon coal.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.600-fossil-fuels-are-far-deadlier-than-nuclear-power/

    hc: “That is unlikely considering future global demand. In the U.S. 75% of the population own a car compared to 9% worldwide.”

    How many of those cars were powered by gasoline engines 30 years ago that thought MPG numbers in the teens was perfectly average vs. how many cars do you feel will be powered by electricity in the next 30 years?

    All of the big automakers are investing HEAVILY in electric vehicles – and for good reason. This also isn’t just a US issue. In fact, the US actually lags many nations in terms of green energy. Obviously things aren’t going to change overnight and we can’t expect the world to get rid of gas burners in the next few decades – but the point is we are already seeing a shift, and that trend won’t be slowing down. Our demand for oil is slowing due in part to alternatives and due in part to being more efficient. No reason to believe that won’t continue which is probably why oil company stocks have taken a major hit in the past year and why even nations like Saudi Arabia are banking on alternative sources of energy because they know they need to plan ahead for when the world no longer needs their oil.

    That’s a good thing and we should embrace it.

  55. mike from iowa

    My apologies,Lanny. I didn’t see your reply to leslie before I entered mine.

  56. Lanny V Stricherz

    None needed MFI, she addressed her question to you. If anyone should apologize it is me.

    Craig, you are inserting lemons where I and others on here had apples. Is coal and oil horrible? Absolutely. But I think that as others have pointed out, solar and wind are the much better alternatives to nuclear.

    You and Daniel Buresh can have your opinion about nuclear, but I have seen pictures that show other results than what Daniel claims on DU and talked to veterans who have other stories as well. But it is just like the deniers of the effects of Agent Orange during Viet Nam. We found out 25 or thirty years later that the stories that the veterans were telling were factual. It was the DOD that was lying.

  57. happy camper

    A new Escalade (15/21 mpg) is almost $100,000 makes me want to barf personally, but these millennials that think it’s cool to be green right now will be the next yuppies in a few years with a couple kids and they’re gonna own cars, pickups, SUVS. Look what people drive it’s mostly ego.

    Oil stocks has dived simply because of the glut from increased production of shale then compounded by the middle eastern countries NEED the income, so they upped production hoping to put the new guys out of business. As a result the U.S. is getting much more efficient though there’s a break even point that has been met for some of them. Bankruptcies are happening now but it’ll come back. Boom and bust is a reoccurring event in oil/gas since inception. TC wouldn’t want to build the new pipeline to Canada without lots of number crunching. Canada and Mexico now supply most of our imports.

  58. mike from iowa

    How many of you nukular power lovers are dieing to go live near Chernobyl or Fukishima,Japan?

  59. Lanny V Stricherz

    Something of which I was not aware until going to this website http://tinyurl.com/z2tls8j

    The Keystone1 is actually doing what the Keystone XL is intended to do eventually, take the tarsands to the gulf.

  60. my point was, because of political hacks and science deniers, tipping points have, well, tipped and now Antarctica is looking like “big ice cliffs that will break” and slide into the sea faster, raising sea levels, of course, AND in a hundred years, TWICE as fast as ICCP just estimated.

    the hullybaloo about taking 100 years to transition away from CO2 and Methane disasters in process today using fossil fuels, ’cause the infrastructure is there (why do you think they persisted in this infrastructure anyway, despite scientific clarion calls)’, is just so much more delaying tactics of the corporate profit niche unconcerned with anything other than their own gated communities, privatized armies and short term profit.

    NOW TELL US DANIEL, DID YOU JUST PULL THAT 100 YEAR BENCH MARK, study the science before emotionally discombobulating? and if so, shall we assume that is the common sense u espouse?

    Best interests of world population of 8 bill (soon) vs. 1,810 billionaires at the top of the 1% of the world?

    that makes about 10,000 rich people and family members that over-consume, over-indulge, over-manipulate the worlds systems, costing the rest of us with their excess.

    sounds like Marxism? communism? the f word -ism? Donald trump? http://www.salon.com/2016/04/03/put_the_blame_where_it_belongs_bush_reagan_kissinger_and_the_real_history_of_the_rise_of_isis/

    db, if you’ve read this far, i’m just yankin’ yer chain. I don’t disagree w/ all u support concerning the nuke business, having a plant mgr in the family. but deep bore holes in SD, packaged and railed to, over Rapid City’s notorious crossings, as receptacles sounds a lot like dumping raw garbage in the ocean, far enough out to sea where it is not immediately obvious.

    so am I missing something in the future of fusion?

  61. Lanny V Stricherz

    You know MFI, that may be part of why I am so anti nuclear. I lived within two miles of the Pathfinder plant here in Sioux Falls when they shut it down. It was the first nuclear plant in the world to closed down and it took them nearly three years to do so.

  62. happy camper

    Even if they aren’t producing they have contracts to pay the transporters who’ve invested in all the infrastructure. Can’t get blood out of a turnip, so these transporters who were thought to be insulated from the price of oil are finally buckling too. You can follow these with ETFs like AMLP and related headlines. Bershire Hathaway just bought a stake in Kinder Morgan this stuff isn’t going anywhere.

    Leslie I have a hard time understanding just where you’re coming from.

  63. Lanny V Stricherz

    Not surprising, Happy. He owns the tracks that haul the oil and coal and also has put billions into purchase of new cars for the trains. Two years ago when I rode Amtrak in ND, I saw hundreds if not thousands of the new oil cars and the easiest way to know that they were new, is that their serial numbers were consecutive on car after car.

    120 years ago, he would have had trustbuster Teddy Roosevelt all over his case.

  64. sorry, i’m a lazy “typist”.

    1. good cite lanny. “it is likely that if product spilled in South Dakota it is diluted bitumen, also known as dilbit.” I had asked poorly it was crude or some other product.

    “Dilbit is indeed crude oil,” Mark Cooper, TransCanada’s public affairs officer, wrote DeSmog in an email. But that statement isn’t accurate.
    “Dilbit is not the same as crude oil,” Vokes told DeSmog. “It is processed crude that has more benzene in it than crude oil.”

    Dilbit spills in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Mayflower, Arkansas, proved more problematic to clean up than crude oil spills. It took Enbridge four years to complete remedial efforts ordered by federal regulators, and in Mayflower, some homeowners had no choice but to relocate. It was thought that some of the homes nearest to the spill would never be safe to live in again. lanny’s cite

    2. Daniel’s defense of big oil (like guns) is related to science denial which the 1% is all about to protect short term excess from accountability for world environmental catastrophe. that is where it is all going. 100 years is too late.

    therefore pivot from fossil fuels NOW, transition with greener burning natl gas as a transition, do what jerry asserts about wind/solar/geothermal ect. sustainables, and of course keep innovating and try to solve the nuke dilemma. f**k the 1% right f**king now.

    don’t deny science, and don’t try to neutralize Obama’s climate agreement, and all the other shenanigans T,N & R coddle. hc, I had a better answer but the coffee shop wifi expired at the very moment I pushed “post”:)

  65. Roger Cornelius

    It would probably take the assistance of a Congresswoman or Senator to get the air space over the spill closed.

  66. Lanny V Stricherz

    Oh, I don’t think any of our three in Washington would do something like that Roger. We could probably blame King from Iowa or the governor of Nebraska.

  67. the bit about Marxism and how it relates to the forest for the trees, is this fascinating salon article cited above that shows what democrats have been fighting for 40 years plus, all coming to ahead now, with republican mal-management of political power.

    so Daniel’s faux complaints about know-nothing emotionalists in defense of short-term profit is directly related to the existence of ISIS and rising sea level. If people like kim jung un don’t get us all 1st, trump, the GOP and Koch Bros. certainly will, imo, based on science and unspun facts, the best I can determine them.

  68. mike from iowa

    Great link,Lanny. Often wonder who our gubmint works for. I can’t think of a single reason to prevent flyovers unless this stuff is prone to massive explosions or TC and the fed don’t want the truth to get out.

    Way off topic-Merle Haggard passed at age 79.

  69. I was thinking maybe toxicity/fumes of a true chemical spill like chlorine. this is the loophole TC is using here, perhaps, to keep a wrap on press. mc thought that dangerous. ewwww

    beep,beep, beep—splat—dead embedded journalist. Protesters too. gotta manage that PR. hmmm. wonder why corporations are having such trouble with their products and services and reputations for dishonesty?

    I kno, blame the media, protesters.

  70. Lanny V Stricherz

    They are just following the bankers’ lead, Leslie. Hell, none of them went to prison after bilking the people of the world out of trillions of dollars, so why worry.

  71. Paul Seamans

    By going to the Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) website you can find that for equal amounts of oil shipped that rail transportation leaks less oil than pipelines.

    Also on this site you will find that the average amount of oil recovered from a spill is in the range of 10 – 15%.

  72. mike from iowa

    Paul that is just emotional stuff,not facts. :)

  73. Douglas Wiken

    The US should be working on Thorium salt reactors. They are safer and easier to run than Uranium-based systems. The isotopes produced last long, but not nearly as long as those from nuclear plants. Oak Ridge tested these successfully, but Adm. Hyman Rickover raised hell against them because the Uranium plants produced isotopes he wanted for nuclear submarines.

    Montana has plenty of Thorium. The Thorium plants are also easier to make from small to large sizes.

    Wind, solar, and improved hydro power could convert all US energy away from fossil fuels.

    Another big mistake was some of the terms of the missile treaty with Russia. The nearly bomb-proof missile silos were demolished. They could have been used to store nuclear waste safely.

  74. Paul Seamans

    PHMSA’s website always emotionally effects me, mike.

  75. Whatever happened to the freedom of the press? The people need to know about these incidents so they can better decide whether or not to support fossil fuel companies requests. They are obviously hiding something and the people have a right to know what it is.

  76. mike from iowa

    Didn’t the space shuttle use nuke power?

  77. Francis Schaffer

    Mark Winegar – I believe most of the press quit exercising their right to be free; present company excepted Cory. I always thought it would make more sense to build the refinery in North Dakota and pipeline the finished product until I realized that then the people who own the oil and are best friends with the refinery owners would limit their market for the end product. By pipelining the oil to the refinery, they can market the diesel, gas, etc to anyone in the world. So much for cheaper products for us.

  78. Jake Cummings

    Just when I think a generational shift re. conservation and environmental degradation in nigh, comments like Daniel’s “drill it (oil) and dump it (nuclear waste)” acid rain on my parade.

    I still must concede that I can appreciate not wanting to inundate the spill site with protestors who could impede mitigating the degradation that has already occurred. Plus, the protestors should probably be picketing PUC and DENR offices, as they are the entities who have abdicated their responsibilities in the face of gubernatorial assurances that “any economic development is good economic development.”

  79. lanny, I kno, though I have been encouraged by some recent wall street prosecutions by justice. there are 3 systems in usa-blue collar, white collar, and the criminal system for brown people. Madoff was a distraction.

    the banking commission in SD under rounds needs scrutiny. it all flows from the governor’s office. puc, dci, denr, tourism, regents, ag. don’t kno how separate our state supreme court is.

  80. Occupy was the best thing I have ever seen. Except they got “ran out”. china has Tiananmen. SD has Wounded Knee. USA has Black Power. France has a revolution.

    stand up to corrupt power.

  81. A no-fly zone—I didn’t realize the FAA did that for oil spills. But apparently they did the same for Exxon in Arkansas in 2013:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/04/03/exxon-s-skies-why-does-exxon-control-no-fly-zone-over-arkansas-tar-sands-spill

    …to prevent, as MC suggests, dangerous air congestion above the site that cold interfere with aircraft being used to spot spill areas and support the clean-up.

  82. happy camper

    Would you want a helicopter flying over your head? There was a media update this morning though who is Forum News Service:

    “I’m confident they’re going to make it right, but we’ll see what happens when everything is done,” Schultz said via phone Wednesday. “When everything is over with, we’ll see how well they compensate me.”

    “So far, they’ve been kind, courteous and informative,” Schultz said. “I’ve got no complaints about how they’re handling it.”

    http://www.inforum.com/news/4004074-investigation-continues-keystone-pipeline-oil-spill-south-dakota

  83. Lanny V Stricherz

    Yesterday, the same governor who was pushing all of this economic development stuff as being so great for the people of South Dakota, sent an email out about how disappointed he is in the Obama administration. The Department of Labor announced new rules for fiduciary responsibility for those who are dealing with the public’s retirement funds. He and 35 other Senators opposed the existing rules and now are fighting against the new rules being promulgated by the Labor Department. You do understand that any rules that protect the public from the vultures whose greed knows no bounds is inherently bad.

    Let the banks and financial advisers steal your retirement funds, the way they did with the Teamsters and so many other unions before them, and let a foreign company come in and eminent domain your land, it is all about economic development.

    KELO news came out with a piece about how good the new fiduciary rules were for protecting the public, less than three hours after the email from Senator Rounds.

  84. Lanny V Stricherz

    Best part of your post, Happy, the website that you cited, shows that the Feds now have and inspector on the ground. Wonder why the Republican debates about two years ago right now, had all the candidates wanting to get rid of the EPA?

  85. mike from iowa

    mfi you need tiny url,dipstick. I have it and did not use it this time. You can bet I will chastise myself severely, over and over and over. :)

  86. Craig, here is the latest from Europe regarding coal fired plants. Yep, they are going wind and solar and tossing out king coal except for Poland that is, but they will soon follow. http://ecowatch.com/2016/04/07/europe-quits-coal/

  87. It even gets better. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/party-like-its-2015_us_57067bf4e4b0b90ac2716482 Transcanada is just like big pharma, creating markets for crap we do not need.

  88. Lanny V Stricherz

    Great link, Jerry, but you forgot to warn the climate change deniers not to read it.

  89. db-heard the news today? nukes are not competitive to renewalble electric generation. npr, 5 mins ago.

  90. Nice Jerry – that is a trend we are seeing across the globe. Unfortunately the US seems a decade or two behind the curve, but we will get there because the citizens demand it. People are finally starting to realize the hidden costs of fossil fuels.

  91. Lanny V Stricherz

    Thanks Craig, Absolutely. I would encourage everyone reading this blog to think the next time before they start that auto, (unless it is electric) do I really need to take the car or would I be better off walking.

    We can get those fossil fuel companies to quit jacking the price every time that they think we are about to start using our cars more, and help the environment besides.

  92. Daniel……the better option is WIND & SOLAR …………….. So stop shining the Koch Brothers shoe and join the 21st Century with the rest of us.

  93. ” hidden costs of fossil fuels.”

    yes, the pathway to wealth. in every industry. get the public to pay for your infrastructure, your environmental mitigation, your minimum wage workers, and for your political viewpoint that super-patriotism, God, Generals and limited government is the answer. the dying GOP. let us hope.