by Paul Hammel, Nebraska Examiner
December 8, 2022
LINCOLN — Canadian pipeline company TC Energy shut down its Keystone Pipeline on Wednesday after an oil leak was detected about 8 p.m.
The leak released oil into a creek in Washington County, Kan., about 20 miles south of a pipeline terminal at Steele City, Neb.
The company, in a press statement, said an emergency shutdown was done after a pressure drop was detected in the pipeline, which traverses eastern Nebraska and delivers oil from Alberta’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast and in southern Illinois.
There was no immediate word on how much oil was leaked. TC Energy said containment booms were deployed to control downstream migration of the release.
As of Thursday morning, the system remained shut down as crews worked to contain and recover the oil.
“We are proceeding to make appropriate notifications, including to our customers and regulators and will work cooperatively with third parties to effectively respond to this incident,” the company said.
The Keystone pipeline segment across Nebraska has been operating since 2010.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a larger, 36-inch pipeline project by TC Energy, sparked a controversy pitting environmentalists, who argued that the tar sand oil would increase climate warming, against energy interests, who maintained it made sense to get energy from a friendly neighbor.
Then President Barack Obama denied a permit for the XL project in 2015, but it was resurrected by President Donald Trump when he took over in the White House in 2017.
President Joe Biden, shortly after he took office in 2021, reversed course, and TC Energy eventually abandoned the project after approximately 8% of the project, from Alberta to Steele City, had been built.
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