Ever since the British Petroleum (BP) Gulf oil spill and the rising of gas prices, the oil industry has been under public and government scrutiny, according to Reuters. This does not bode well for the still-unapproved TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project that would transport oil from Canada to Texas, crossing through Oklahoma and five other U.S. states along the way. Multiple oil accidents, in Alberta and along the Keystone pipeline system, have raised questions on the pipeline’s safety, its environmental impact, and whether or not it is ultimately in the nation’s best interests.
The most recent TransCanada oil accident occurred in southern North Dakota along the first phase of its Keystone pipeline system. A valve broke at a pumping station releasing approximately 500 barrels of Canada heavy crude into the facility, and also caused a geyser of oil that reached above the treetops. This occurred only 10 months after the pipeline began carrying bitumen from the oil sands mines in Alberta to refineries in Illinois. The local landowner notified emergency personnel about the geyser of crude oil but TransCanada had apparently already shut down the line. This marks the 11th reported accident at stations along the Keystone pipeline since May 21, 2010.
These oil accidents have brought heavy criticism on TransCanada, Keystone XL, and the oil industry as a whole, not just from environmental groups and advocates, but the general public and the national government as well. TransCanada’s inadequate risk assessment and environmental impact reports, in addition to their seeming lack of proper safety and reinforcement protocols, have raised the question of whether the Keystone XL system should be nationally approved. The answer is expected at the end of this year.
If oil stations along the Keystone pipeline are not safe, there is no telling where the next oil accident will be; perhaps Oklahoma is next. Oklahoma oil accidents are very dangerous, both to employees, residents, and the surrounding environment. Oil companies have an obligation to provide proper safety equipment and follow the correct procedures to keep their employees safe. Unfortunately, however, maximizing profits seem to be the oil industry’s main purpose. As such many companies cut corners when it comes to employee safety.
If you or a loved one has suffered illness or injury as the result of an oil accident in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City oil accident attorneys at Maples Law Firm, LLP, can help you seek compensation for your losses. We can help you hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions. Call us today for a free consultation at 1-888-226-6159.