It’s hard to say what has been most frustrating about my life as an activist but perhaps it’s the freaking absurdity of what continues to sell like hotcakes? Against all logic. Even though the deception can be discovered with the least bit of scrutiny? 🧐
Regardless of whether it is Big Pharma, our government, or Big Oil, my concerns about the players are finding themselves on solid ground. The proof continues to emerge on Enbridge’s Line 93 construction failures (while state agencies continue to remain silent on these as-yet-unreported concerns) and data keeps coming to light on the adverse impacts of the mRNA vaccines.
While it can be difficult to face the blowback from those who are not yet discerning the bullshit, I’ll continue to speak truth as I discover it. And I’ll be ever grateful for those who are willing to discuss life matters openly… to find truth together.
This past week shows recent concerns being wrangled:
1. The news on vaccines continues to come. None of it good, sadly, for those who’ve been inoculated with mRNA.
While we can’t expect the same here in the US, it was good to see the addressing of medical issues from vaccination in the UK. I like how he says government is supposed to be “of, by, and for the people”…. and data shouldn’t have to be pulled, like teeth, by Freedom of Information Act requests. It should just be given. Indeed. And on the Enbridge’s failures as well? Figuring out the oligarchy yet? And how it is killing us… Sometimes slowly with pollution, sometimes by the millions with an escaped gain of function research virus… And sometimes a jab at a time? FFS. Good luck, everybody.
Adverse impacts from vaccines resulting in death. It didn’t have to be this way…Standard payment of ₺120,000 provided by UK government! In the U.S., it’s best to not count on any reimbursement. Don’t count on even any acknowledgement of possible vaccine in jury? FFS. The government is still PROMOTING VACCINATION! For BABIES!
New WHO TreatyAnd what might go wrong with giving the WHO even MORE CONTROL over pandemic response? After they failed so miserably on Coronavirus? Note: Within a few months, the UK has gone from inoculating babies… to restricting the Covid vaccines to ONLY those over 75. Will the U.S. follow this lead? Nah! Too many profits to be had!! Plus, Carbon Reduction Power!!
And today’s word: Miscarriage and stillbirths Again, more requirements for requesting specific data, rather than it being included for a FOIA. What are they hiding so thoroughly? The apparent lack of data since 2020 is QUITE DISTURBING. [Video comments are really horrifying on this one. Lots of anecdotal evidence shared. This was telling: “My wife and I chose not to take the vaccine and had a healthy baby boy 2 weeks ago. While at the hospital 2 nurses commented on how wonderful it was to finally have a woman come in without hypertension and a baby that wasn’t underweight. They said Covid causes that and that’s why they’re only just seeing these issues now. I’m sure the US government has data relating hypertension in pregnant women to the vaccine and id be very curious to see it”]
2. Even the Aspen Institute is now a Propaganda Program!! For crying out loud. Next thing you know Fox News will be telling more truth than MPR? 🧐 Lots of shake ups in MSM this week, eh? Feels collapse is nearer every day and we’ll only know about it if we’re watching alternative media. Perhaps you can check out these tidbits to learn more?
Really, ALL HER STUFF IS GOOD. This is the latest… The Empire Of HypocrisyThe US is raging about Russia jailing a Wall Street Journal reporter on espionage charges, while the US is: 1) Jailing Julian Assange for doing good journalism. 2) Threatening to imprison Matt Taibbi. 3) Charging African People’s Socialist Party members with “propaganda” crimes. (Just to bring these links full circle? If you only have 2 minutes – listen to this one from 2:15…)
3. Industry failures that result in Environmental damages:
The Findings on the Keystone XL Failure in KansasThe overriding concern in day to day life here at the HARN is when Enbridge’s Line 93 might fail. With aquifer breaches throughout Clearwater County along its corridor, the most frightening place for failure is either LaSalle Valley or, my best guess, Walker Brook Valley. With this just in on the Keystone Pipeline failure last year, Walker Brook feels more likely every day. Fatigue is an obvious problem with a pipeline resting in a bog that is constantly rising and lowering with fluctuating water levels, eh?
Meanwhile… ‘They’re destroying us’: Indigenous communities fear toxic leaks from Canada oil industryHow many more signs of failure by industry, how many more tornados or hurricanes or floods, how many more puzzle pieces of horror will it take for humanity to see we’re pushing the limits and literally destroying the sources needed for our survival. (If you laughed once at those Easter Island photos as a kid… might want to look real hard in the mirror next chance you get.)
4. How capitalism works…
Love this dude Matthew DesmondWhy the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep dying. Poor die at a rate of 500/day… Just because they are poor. Being poor is REALLY EXPENSIVE. SO MANY RULES that create strive for the poor while giving more help to the rich. Guess the rich got better bootstraps?
Pamphlet #13: On Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability Our laws are not designed for environmental rights… or workers’ rights for that matter!! Educate yourself on your own disenfranchisement? If you want to do something about all the madness?
What an amazing time we had at a jam packed event for AICHO -as stated in their event notice:
Dabinoo’Igan is empowering the voices that are often silenced due to Domestic Violence. “One Community, Many Voices, Stop the Silence” is an opportunity for our community to come together for the victims who are silenced. Enjoy musical performances by Erik Koskinen and Band, Anishinaabeg national music award winners Annie Humphrey and Keith Secola along with the Miziiwekaamikiinang Drum Group on April 6, 2023
AICHO is expanding our culturally responsive domestic violence shelter Dabinoo’Igan to help more victims of domestic and sexual violence in our community. …in partnership with the Ordean Foundation. All monies raised will go toward the Dabinoo’Igan Shelter expansion.
In the fiscal year 2021, the Dabinoo’Igan Shelter provided 490 unique individuals with shelter services, accommodated 2,509 bed stays, and answered over 577 crisis calls. During the same year, Dabinoo’Igan had just under 200 requests for services that were unmet due to capacity issues.
Victims of violence should never have to face these barriers when seeking safety and help.
Help us help our community in need. Dabinoo’Igan is Anishinaabemowin for “a place where you are safe, comforted and sheltered”. More about musicians, tickets, fundraiser: : https://www.aicho.org/funddvshelter
Top event sponsors: Ordean Foundation, Krenzen Auto, McKnight Foundation, First Nations Development Institute, Maurices, St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, Essentia Health, Ivy Vainio + Friends, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, National Bank of Commerce, RBC Wealth Management-Duluth, and RSM US LLP. #AICHOFundDVShelter
from the event info
This event was incredible. Terrific organizing. Amazing performances. Annie is always powerful – EVERY time I’ve seen her – and the middle guys were stars with a big booming sound – really rocked it – then Keith came out and blew our minds.🤯 Great to see David Huckfelt.
Ivy and team did a fantastic job. The Ordean guy was terrific. Really could see the coherence in the group. Good to see some friends there to support the fundraiser and we really enjoyed the after party! 😍
More time with friends all the way home, including visiting our babies!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
So many good friends and family. 💖
Working this week on getting our place organized again for kitten arrival. After swearing I wouldn’t… ever again… 😵💫 Only excuse… Overwhelming cuteness.😻😻 And they say two is easier…🧐
Deep conversations and time in the woods all made for a terrific welcome of spring. 🌱 🌺
So many good friends and family. 💖 My life keeps getting better and better.
We watch our banks… collapsing? Or being made to appear as if they are anyway.
I wonder how much longer… before all the systems ~ every one of which is showing signs of strain… to keep up with growing needs, improve upon services, or even maintain its basic foundations ~ are simply GONE.
We joke about the internet disappearing. Yet, how much is already unavailable… under the thumb that ensures no “misinformation”? (Or… maybe just moved… to a new platform… where one can still speak freely?) But is the day soon? When we simply won’t have these magic computers in our pockets to tell us…
Who to be. Which place has the best doohickey for the least output. How to get where we’re going.
Some joke about humans who cannot get from point A to B without a GPS machine directing them. The latest fad is using paper maps. (Who knew, Mom!?! You’ve always been ahead of the curve.)
So how are we navigating now? Are we still following the signs of a colonized culture, hell bent on using military might to ensure its GDP? Are we still mindlessly seeking the next job, clothes, partner, car, house… that will fulfill us? Are we sensing the fruitlessness, nay cruelty, of the American Way of Life?
Many more each day, by choice or circumstance, are choosing a new way. A holistic, universal, mutual aid network way of engaging with their fellow crew members. A way that is more direct, local, sustainable, and… FUN!!! I am calling it the BEconomy.
This is a place where each of us can BE who we are… doing the work we love ~ be it cooking, researching, fishing, sewing, cleaning, growing, organizing, teaching, entertaining ~ each and every one of us… loving our neighbors as we find our way forward together… in love, for the good of all.
Some may call me a Dreamer. Nevertheless.
This feels like a big new year opening before me… And I feel it just may be… My best yet. 😍
We’ve heard orchids are fragile and take long years to bloom, yet here in Minnesota’s harsh winter climate we revered their beauty so, we made the Showy Lady Slipper our state flower. And we have many scenic byways where everyone can enjoy their beauty as they often thrive in the wet ditches along our roadways. If you haven’t seen them, make plans to do so. And act quick because the state road projects are ignoring them… Leading to their destruction… at quite the pace now.
So why doesn’t the state of Minnesota care for and protect this flower we profess to hold in such high regard?
Instead, MN Department of Transportation seems hell bent on spending our tax dollars in destroying the beauty of our state, giving away the Tree Nation relatives to the best bidding logger for his troubles, and assuring the vacationers stop coming because…
Why bother? Nothing special to see here anymore.
It seems the Department of Transportation has figured out a way to prevent fatalities along Highway 34! …a problem most of us didn’t even realize was a problem we face. Because we don’t.
Their solution involves the culling of thousands of trees along a 7-mile stretch of Scenic Byway through the Smokey Hills State Forest. (Forest, you know, as in TREES.) As part of this tree clear cutting, they will remove stumps and regrade the ditch. This is the part that eliminates the Ladyslippers.
I didn’t know much about these flowers before moving to Minnesota but definitely recall my first sighting. I was with my mom at the edge of Lake Itasca in our gem of a state park, which hosts the Headwaters of the Mississippi. She’s the one who found them and when I saw the beauty I was stunned. What soft pink color, flowing curves, and a little spot where sometimes you might find a spider or some other being enjoying in a closer view. If I was small enough I’d sure want to climb inside and see what’s happening in there! What more lovely cavern of beauty could a spider wish?
As a resident along County 2 in Clearwater County, I watched a few years ago as the County widened our road and extended their easement far to each side, clear-cutting the beauty along this scenic drive info Itasca State Park from U.S. Highway 2. Only two of us fought the easement request, saving many trees. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments since moving to Minnesota.
As my neighbor put it, “if I wanted to live on the plains of North Dakota I would have bought a house in North Dakota.”
As the project was state-funded, it required the deep cuts to the sides of the road, clearing the beauty of the trees, reportedly to allow people to avoid crashes, by being better able to see deer. Also, it process, destroying the fragile habitat of the Ladyslippers.
The result is that while we may still be living on a Scenic Byway, we no longer live in a scenic landscape. This is in part because in addition to culling most of the trees, the state also allowed Enbridge Incorporated to build a tar sands pipeline adjacent to the “Scenic drive“. This video depicts what we hope will not be the fate of those living along Highway 34, as Joeb assured me there would be no burn piles with this project. It depicts the destruction of clear-cutting we witnessed along County 2. (Now in addition to fewer trees you see more erosion barrier, still present almost a year and a half post-Enbridge Line 93-construction. I just found out last week the damages aren’t seen as “permanent” until 5 years. I’m sure all the erosion barrier will have grown into the habitat by then so the visual damages will be gone? Yet the damage remains. And continues.)
When I spoke with MNDoT on this Highway 34 clearcut I was told the Scenic Byway designation would remain. Yet I asked Joeb Oyster, project manager for the Highway 34 resurfacing:
“My guess is that the reason this was named a Scenic Byway is because of the trees. … Will it really be a scenic byway, for which to designate?”
When the County 2 project was being revealed, several of us met with the County Engineer Dan Sauve at the public meeting asking him what would be done to save the Ladyslippers. He expressed no concern for the flowers saying only, if we wanted to remove them, we were welcome to do so. So we did!
Dozens of us, in the summers before construction, were out there taking hundreds of these beauties to new homes in hopes we can restore the ditches by returning them post-construction. It seems these days if there’s anything you’d like done in your community you best do it yourself.
And if there’s anything you want protected you best do that yourself too because the state isn’t working for protection on our behalf. I’m not sure who they’re listening to exactly, but it’s not the people who have lived here, whether for generations or millennia, or just a few years like me.
A simple solution, perfect for a scenic tree-lined drive – a few informative speed limit signs – could do the trick. Yet did the state consider this? Apparently this idea was beaten out by an idea that culling trees on the south side of the road – at a cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers – will save money in chemical costs because with the trees gone, they won’t need so much salt in winter.
If you’ve passed 3rd grade, you likely see the folly in their plan. You know about the low angle of the sun in winter… and how it would mean hundreds of feet of trees would need cut. Even if this idea was one that made sense, it would be destructive beyond belief virtually eliminating any Scenic on the Byway.
If you’ve passed high school economics, you likely realize it’s gonna take an awful lot of salt savings to make up for, what is it now, almost $16M in logging costs?!? That’s a WHOLE LOT OF SALT!
And what of those vacationers? The ones who used to come here to see the Ladyslippers? Their dollars will be spent elsewhere as we create a dull and lifeless Minnesota.
How’s that helping out children, Tim Walz? Clear-cutting their landscape. Ever hear of Easter Island? The more I watch, the less I can judge those Easter Islanders. Our “leaders” and “managers”, charged with protecting our natural resources, are giving them away as they clearcut more each year. And to what end?
I don’t know if you’ve driven many of the roads in Minnesota, but I’m sure I’ve seen stretches of wide open road – not a tree in sight – and still… A snow and ice encrusted reality!
I have to say their solution is likely to create even more of the problem they were trying to avoid in the first place. The only thing I’ve noticed on County 2 since they widened the road and stripped the easement from trees is that people drive as if they are now on an open runway: faster than ever.
At a meeting with the public last night in Detroit Lakes, we learned of all the ways not only MNDoT but also the Federal Highway Administration have FAILED to follow proper protocols that include working with Scenic Byway folks to adhere to their rules regarding Scenic Byways, which this stretch of Highway 34 in the Smokey Hills is currently designated.
Why is it -with this much public opposition, including Tribal Nation voices – that the agencies, state and federal, refused to meet with the public? They were all invited to the public hearing last night, but refused to attend and hear the near 150 voices that quickly mustered on a Tuesday evening to hear what is happening to our world.
Trees = Pipelines?
I heard yesterday of training given at the Minnesota DNR for their employees. It seems they tell their people that, if they are approached by citizens who ask about pipelines, the Department of Natural Resource policy is to NOT ENGAGE.
Maybe Minnesota Department of Transportation has a similar policy for citizens who ask about the Trees?
As Dan and I made our way home from Nagaajiwanaang (Fond du Lac Reservation) on New Year’s Eve, I felt wonderful Peace.
It seems I’ve done all I can in the past year to bring good, find solutions, offer my help, and do my best to win*. And it was good to feel that success alongside good friends and collaborators who are so supportive.
This is a blog post about the letter I wrote last week to 55th Chief of Engineers, Lieutenant General Spellmon, of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding my concerns on Enbridge’s Line 3/93, especially here in Clearwater County. I meet with the County Commissioners tomorrow to review these concerns and discuss response readiness.
Boozhoo, Lieutenant General Spellmon,
I’m a retired Metallurgical Engineer writing from 1855 Treaty Territory regarding growing concerns for the current Enbridge worksite at Walker Brook in Clearwater County, Minnesota. These concerns were only heightened by the December 7 Keystone pipeline rupture at Mill Creek, a geography so similar to ours with a creek adjacent to an uphill pipeline corridor. We appreciate the work you are doing there in response to the latest Keystone pipeline failure. We are hopeful to prevent a need for similar response at our location, which geologically is far more water-filled and unstable than that of the Kansas plains.
We’ve been watching Walker Brook valley with concern since early August when we noticed Enbridge’s timber matting access road had been reinstalled west of Clearwater County 110. In late August, my partner discovered an open hole above the pipeline corridor and we began watching this place even more closely. [47-degrees, 47-minutes, 63-seconds, and -95-degrees, 28-minutes, 35-seconds.]
This photo shows upwelling as indicated by surface ripples. Since then, we’ve taken several hikes in to monitor and test at this location, concerned about impacts to the land and water quality.
Located within a 399-acre section of state tax land and County Memorial Forest, this crossing of Enbridge’s Line 3/93 pipeline at Walker Brook is in a precarious valley of deep glacial till and forested peatbog very similar to LaSalle Valley, where Enbridge is also currently struggling to remediate multiple upwelling water locations. These two valleys are like mirror images of each other on either side of the Mississippi River Line 3/93 crossing, where Enbridge experienced multiple frac-outs into the large wetlands of Mississippi River headwaters. This is clearly a fragile geology, full of water, which opponents to the Line 3 project testified was too much of a risk for a Tar Sands pipeline project.
We see now, that heeding citizen warnings would have been prudent. The applicant’s route was a bad idea that was not given enough geotechnical or hydrological study to assure prevention of avoidable tragedies. We remain disappointed that the USACE refused to perform an EIS as that work may have saved us these troubles. A year after Enbridge began flowing tar sands crude through their pipeline, we still await resolution of upwards of 4 dozen sites of deep groundwater upwellings, many of which, based on Enbridge’s lack of transparent communication regarding their environmental failures both during construction and since formal construction ended, we believe the state remains ignorant.
As a retired Metallurgical Engineer, my concerns include those regarding the pipeline integrity in Walker Brook Valley. If the pipeline is floating in a veneer of peat and/or being fatigued by the fluctuating water levels, the stresses could exceed designed metallurgical limits. I am concerned the Canadian Corporation, as evidenced in this video, has found this installation to be more problematic than expected. We know that Enbridge has struggled to complete their work at this crossing for over a year, yet there has been no release of information on this site to the public, save that done by Waadookawaad Amikwag in their announcements and webinars. Nor does it appear the DNR or MPCA are communicating with Clearwater County Commissioners or the County Land Commissioner on this concern. As this is Clearwater County Memorial Forest, public land with multiple deer stands as hunting remains open this weekend, we still have no notice of this danger to the public from the state or federal agencies. We are concerned that Enbridge alone knows of the risks here and that state and federal agencies may remain uninformed.
You received memos from Minnesota US Representative Betty McCollum, on 10/14/22, and Representative Ilhan Omar more recently, regarding the concerns of Waadookawaad Amikwag, a citizen scientist group seeking your assistance for federal investigation of this situation. As USEPA recently replied to Representative McCollum’s memo, we look forward to receiving your response soon as well. We are hopeful for a robust response to our specific concerns of deep underground upwelling water flows.
I write today with evidence of recent dirt piles adjacent to the Enbridge Line 3/93 corridor; another possible indication this project in the valley may involve pipeline integrity concerns.
In addition, we hold concerns for the excessive water removal from the valley as Walker Brook feeds The Red River of the North. Water being pumped up the hillside and over the Laurentian Divide now overwhelms the Enbridge dewatering station and flows across County 110 north of the project site, as indicated in the photo below. These ponds and brook that result are situated in the Mississippi River watershed and the excess water appears bound for Daniel Lake in the Clearwater State Wildlife Management Area. How will these millions of gallons of water being moved from one watershed to another impact both watersheds and the wildlife and people who rely on them?
Finally, we are concerned to know if this location has been reported to PHMSA and if their representatives might be of assistance to watch closely over this worksite of concern. And we urge your Engineers to ask Waadookawaad Amikwag for assistance as they are watching closely and have data and evidence on the nature of this concern that might be helpful in resolution.
We look forward to watching state and federal agencies build relationships of trust with the public monitors to ensure full enforcement of the Clean Water Act in Clearwater County and across Minnesota.
Thank you for your consideration. Miigwech Bizindaawiyeg.
Sincerely, Jami Gaither Alida, MN 218-657-2321
cc: Michael S. Regan, USEPA Alan K. Mayberry, PHMSA Timothy Gaither, PHMSA U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Minnesota 4th District U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Minnesota 5th District Anna Hotz, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Randall Doneen, Minnesota DNR Waadookawaad Amikwag Sheriff Darin Halverson, Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office Andy Anderson, Clearwater County CCSO EMS Bruce Cox, Clearwater County Land Commissioner
Got word from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Secretary Seuffert Friday that it was posted to the Docket!!
Spent part of the weekend reviewing details on the massive 588,000+ gallon Keystone Pipeline “spill”… as the industry likes to call even these massive outpourings of oil from their pipeline failures.
Just a Spill. Really?!? Note how oil moves uphill from the failure site. You know spills that go uphill anywhere in your world?
Sure looks like a blast site to me. Was there so much pressure the crude exploded into the land?
So many questions. And sadly, no likely confirmed answers anytime soon – potentially for years – while investigators determine what happened and what will be required for remediation and to prevent recurrence. The lack of public transparency to what our fossil fuel companies get away with is appalling. If we knew, we’d surely do something about it?
Which is why they work so hard to assure the details stay under wraps… as best they can. This is why citizen monitoring groups like Waadookawaad Amikwag are so critical.
As a quality engineer who has read through reports on these kinds of investigations, including documents from the Kalamazoo failure and the Consent Decree that followed, I am doubtful for true accountability. I’m doubtful we will see much investigation by independent forensic engineers, let alone any real change to prevent recurrence. We see over and again how little PHMSA holds carriers accountable. So forgiving when the company fixes the failures in their control documentation and trainings… even after years of non-compliance. This is how stuff like this happens! Do they not understand that? No accountability means no reason for Enbridge to not do the same thing again. Yet, why should PHMSA even try? No one is watching. No one who has the will and ability to do anything about it anyway.
Besides, how can one truly be accountable for cleanup of a mess like this?
The type of oil in the Keystone pipeline is sludgy and often sinks to the bottom of waterways – making it more difficult to clean than conventional crude oil. …
Amy Burgin, a river ecosystem expert, said the public will need more specifics to understand the potential ramifications of the spill. …“Rivers are not meant to stay put — they move and they move whatever gets into them,” she said. “So oil is something that becomes very difficult to clean up from an aquatic system.” Burgin is a scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey and Center for Ecological Research and a professor at the University of Kansas Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.”
Same stuff Enbridge is shipping through Walker Brook valley tonight.
Most of what has been lost can never be remediated.
Update: Adding some more good references.
The ill-fated Keystone Pipeline has spilled yet again. On December 7, the pipeline leaked near Washington, Kansas, resulting in a spill of at least 14,000 barrels – over 500,000 gallons – of tarsands, benzene and other unknown chemicals into nearby land and waterways, the largest US oil spill in nearly a decade. It’s worth understanding, in part because it serves as a cautionary tale for carbon pipeline development.”
I found this comment interesting: “TC Oil was in the process of running an ILI tool. The ILI tool is currently downstream of the failure location. TC Oil had bypassed the Hope, Kansas, pump station, the next station downstream, in preparation for the roll to pass when the failure occurred.” Paul did too.
Interestingly, the CAO states that TC Energy was running an in-line inspection (ILI or smart PIG) at the time of the rupture, and that this tool was south of the rupture site. An ILI is sort of like an ultrasound, NMR or CAT scan for a pipeline. Assuming the tool was being run with the flow of the oil, this suggests that TC Energy may have very recent ILI data on the pipe segment that burst.Generally speaking, pipeline ruptures and other disasters are caused by a combination of factors. While official reports may identify a primary cause, such as a defective weld, the defect could be caused by a combination of underlying reasons, such as rushed work, inadequate training, defective materials, etc. The forensic analysis of pipeline failures is a well-established science, so hopefully, PHMSA will look more deeply than the direct technical cause.”
TC Energy was originally named TransCanada. The Keystone Pipeline was TransCanada’s first major crude oil pipeline development project. It was in a race with Enbridge to provide pipeline capacity to export tar sands oil from Canada to the US. TC Energy and Enbridge were competing for a share of a limited market. TC Energy started construction on the Keystone Pipeline in 2009 and it came online in the spring of 2010, just months before Enbridge brought its new Alberta Clipper Pipeline into service.”
RUSHED construction… like Line 3’s 9-month installation – a contributing factor?
Further there’s this (which mean really just go read his whole article!!):
In part due to higher-than-expected steel prices, competition for labor and materials, and perhaps management errors and inexperience in oil pipeline development, the Keystone Pipeline construction project suffered from a 145% cost overrun for its Canadian portion, and a 92% cost overrun for its US portion. Some of TransCanada’s customers, including Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing, LLC, the National Cooperative Refinery Association, and Sinclair Oil Corporation, were not best pleased and sued TransCanada in a Canadian court to void their long-term contracts, because the projected costs to use the Keystone Pipeline were much more than expected. It seems likely that during construction TransCanada knew about the cost overruns and may have been cutting corners to save money.”
On another interesting factor.
It’s distributing and fascinating. Hard to believe how these culprits are allowed to keep failing… Over and again… Just can’t see how it happens without some help from government or grift. I remember steel mill days. I know how things are in the real world. I used to ask new hires in training,”What do we make here?” Steel. That was the typical answer. I told them what we make is money, steel is just how we do it. This was the reality I learned in the male-dominated industry. Part of the reason I left was not being heard. If only I’d known that kind of ‘ignoring me’ was nothing on what the state of Minnesota can dish out.
I’d like PHMSA to come to Walker Brook and, if it applies, use this same language from their order in Kansas for Enbridge’s Line 3.
After evaluating the foregoing preliminary findings of fact, and having considered the characteristics of the pipeline, including the prior failures of the pipeline; the hazardous nature of the material (crude oil) transported; the uncertainty as to the root cause(s) of the Failure; the existing and potential additional impacts to property, the environment, and wildlife; and the possibility that the same condition(s) that may have caused the failure remain present in the pipeline and could lead to additional failures; I find that continued operation of the Affected Segment, as defined below, without corrective measures is or would be hazardous to life, property, or the environment, and that failure to issue this Order expeditiously would result in the likelihood of serious harm.”
I’ll give Paul the final words with the close to his very thorough blog.
The Rest of the Story
We won’t know the rest of the story for months. It will take time for the busted pipe to be removed, inspected and tested, and for PHMSA to release information about the cause. That being said, it’s likely that TC Energy already has a pretty good understanding of what went wrong, but due to liability concerns it won’t say anything in public.
The point of this blog is to highlight that many factors may contribute to failures, which is one of the reasons they are so difficult to prevent. The universe is constantly figuring out new ways to challenge humans, with the result that no pipeline is perfectly safe. Moreover, it is critical to consider not just the immediate causes of ruptures, but also all of the background factors that contribute to accidents, such as lack of experience, commercial pressures, competition for labor and material resources, new technology, increased project scale, product variations, etc.
While the chance of a pipeline failing at any particular location is quite low, the fact is that pipelines do fail and harm people and the environment. If a pipeline is built, it should be routed with an understanding that pipeline ruptures cannot be entirely prevented, such that routes should avoid families, vulnerable communities (such as nursing homes), businesses, and geohazards. Moreover, pipelines should be built to the highest possible safety standards without being rushed to completion by inexperienced developers.The Keystone Pipeline release saga provides a cautionary tale for the proposed tsunami of carbon pipelines. There is a risk that the tens of thousands of miles of proposed new carbon pipelines will be rushed to completion by inexperienced companies, in competition with each other for scarce labor and materials, regardless of working conditions, on routes chosen to minimize cost – all to rake in obscenely generous federal tax credits – thereby laying a foundation for a follow-on wave of carbon pipeline ruptures that harm or even kill the humans and animals living near them.
All that being said, the safest pipeline is one that is never built.”
Keystone source cause remains unknown:
The order said TC Energy was running an in-line inspection using a device inside the pipeline that was some 80 miles (129 kilometers) past where the pipeline ruptured. Such devices are designed to fit tightly inside and are known as “pigs” because early wooden ones squeaked as they went through.
Three university petroleum engineering instructors who reviewed the regulators’ order ahead of Associated Press interviews pointed out the testing, which federal guidelines call for doing at least once every five years.
“That timing is definitely suspicious,” said Jennifer Miskimins, head of the Colorado School of Mines’ petroleum energy department. “It is like blowing a pea through a pod.”
She along with instructors from the University of Tulsa and Pennsylvania State University said moving a pig through the pipe would have required additional pressure. …
Mike Stafford, the University of Tulsa instructor, said such a location is typical of where pipes tend to fail. That’s because oil contains a little water that tends to separate, and when oil is carried up hills that water flows back down, causing corrosion.
While Sanjay Srinivasan, the Penn State professor, was skeptical that corrosion was to blame because it is a slow process, he took note of the failure occurring in a section with a lot of bends.
“It’s not unusual for those kinds of locations to go through some severe stress that can cause these things,” he said. ”If there is any weak spot, that’s when it’ll show up.” …
The regulators’ order said TC Energy cannot restart operations for the 96-mile (155-kilometer) Keystone segment from Steele City, Nebraska, south to Hope, Kansas, without their permission. It also said the company must reduce the operating pressure by 20% inside that segment of the pipeline.
The company also must identify the cause of the spill and submit a plan for finding similar problems elsewhere and conducting additional tests by early March.
So far, TC Energy has recovered 2,598 barrels of oil mixed with water from the 14,000-barrel release… So, how much oil was recovered exactly? We’ll never know…
Update 12/15/22 A bit of history on Keystone and its process.
Now the U.S. has invested heavily in switching the United States to renewable energy with the Inflation Reduction Act, and a major oil spill resurrects concerns about the transportation of oil.
It is poetic timing. On Friday, as part of their yearlong investigation of the fossil fuel industry, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform released documents from executives at major oil companies revealing that they recognize that their products are creating a climate emergency but that they have no real plans for changing course.”
A while back, my friend Nookomis Deb Topping, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of R.I.S.E. Coalition, invited me to take a road trip to Mackinac to testify against the Proposed Line 5 Tunnel Project in the Straits of Mackinac. [Another Dumb Enbridge Idea…] Here’s what we told the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on what Enbridge promises… vs. what they will deliver.
The people in Michigan were very interested to see the Enbridge post-construction landscape in hopes it might open the eyes of the USACE to help them say, “No,” to Enbridge’s next dumb idea. Anyone can see these are grave concerns – and this one, as yet unreported to the public – indicates when Enbridge asks, we must say, “NEVER AGAIN!!”
That Was Then… This is Now.
This past week, Waadookawaad Amikwag revealed twosites of upwelling water concerns, of dozens we’ve uncovered, along Enbridge’s Line 3/93 corridor. These ongoing concerns mean continued infiltration of our wetlands and bogs, doing unknown levels of harm.
We saw 198 members of the public engaged to hear our Presentation of Findings and 100 attended the Q&A discussion with the public later that evening. Eighty of them stayed for an extra twenty minutes of Q&A after the Action at the top of the hour! They were very interested in our work and so many questions remain unanswered.
We hope to get fact sheets and more updates out to the public soon. Keep up to date by subscribing to the Waadookawaad Amikwag YouTube channel. And Waadookawaad Amikwag has a website pending release.
Now, as winter closes in, we see more and more Enbridge presence at Walker Brook. Why do they need to have lights on at night? What are the risks? What is the state allowing them to do now? Without our knowledge. More importantly, without Tribal Consultation.
Walker Brook damages are even visible on Google Maps now from photos taken earlier this year. You can see here the entire valley full of destruction. Closer in, the degraded hillside is evident. Closer still, you can even see the sinkhole that’s opened in the ground above the Enbridge tar sands pipeline.
Of course, it’s worse today. Enbridge has 24/7 monitoring now. Only God and the MPCA know what they’re doing to the land and water now.