Senior Editor

There is no celebration in this fact, no feeling legitimized with an, “I told you so.” Just a sad reality: NBC News and other major outlets are reporting that the much-maligned Dakota Access Pipeline has sprung a leak.


Apparently, the leak occurred from a tank inside a pump station in the tiny town of Tulare, South Dakota, some 200 miles from where the crux of the Standing Rock protests occurred this winter. The leak was small, about 84 gallons and has been contained and the gravel where the oil spilled over has reportedly been cleaned.

According to local authorities and media outlets in the area, the leak happened in early April but wasn’t reported because of its small size. Apparently, oil companies aren’t required to report these smaller incidents if a spill is under “five barrels, which is 210 gallons of oil, and if they clean them up quickly.”

Kind of a daunting thought, that all of these small leaks might have occurred, in oil pipelines all over the country (let alone the rest of the world) without our knowing.

It was a rough week in the oil business as far as spills go: the Federal Government halted new drilling in Ohio on a natural gas pipeline (the Rover Pipeline) after millions of gallons of drilling lubricant was dumped into a wetlands, ruining the area. Ironically, the spill was from the same Texas company that’s running the Dakota Access site.

“The Dakota Access pipeline has not yet started shipping the proposed half million barrels of oil per day and we are already seeing confirmed reports of oil spills from the pipeline. This is what we have said all along: oil pipelines leak and spill,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a release to the media.

There’s nothing fun about writing this sort of stuff.

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