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For Immediate Release: April 18, 2016

Jane Kleeb,, 402-705-3622
David Turnbull,, 202-316-3499
Andy Pearson,, 612-600-5951
Winona LaDuke,, 218-280-1720
Lindsay Meiman,, 347-460-9082
Jonathon Berman,, 202-297-7533
Dallas Goldtooth,, 708-515-6158
Aldo Seoane,, 605-319-8151

Whistleblower: Bad Welds Will Cause More Tar Sands Pipeline Spills

According to a TransCanada whistleblower, the recent leak in TransCanada’s Keystone I tar sands pipeline is unlikely to be the last.

The spill, which dumped 16,800 gallons of tar sands crude onto a South Dakota farmer’s property, was likely caused by a leak at a transition-weld point. Former TransCanada engineer Evan Vokes has raised serious concerns that there will be many more spills like this, due to a culture of cutting corners and failing to prioritize safety concerns within TransCanada.

“The problem is that there’s hundreds of these types of joints in this pipeline,” Vokes noted, any of which could spring a leak which would likely go undetected by the company for hours.

This serves as yet another reminder that–despite the outlandish claims being made by TransCanada in its attempt to circumvent President Obama’s decision through secret trade tribunals – Keystone XL would have posed a serious threat to land and water along the route, and President Obama was right to reject it.

It also calls further into question why officials would even consider allowing tar sands companies like TransCanada to build pipelines across our communities. Environmental and landowner groups Oil Change International and Bold Nebraska are now calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration to shut down the Keystone pipeline and conduct an immediate pipeline integrity review before allowing any more oil to flow through it. Combined, these petitions already have over 10,000 signatures.

But the problem with risky pipelines go well beyond TransCanada. Whether it’s Keystone I or Energy East, or the Alberta Clipper expansion – run by Enbridge, which has a similarly egregious safety record – the facts are clear: leaky tar sands pipelines are the rule, not the exception, and for the sake of our land, water, communities, and climate, we should block these pipelines and keep dirty tar sands in the ground.


SIGN: Shut Keystone down for an immediate pipeline integrity review.

View Bold Nebraska’s timeline and aerial photos of the TransCanada Keystone pipeline spill.