Putting Pipeline Spills in Historical Perspective

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Just yesterday the TransCanada Keystone pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. This comes at a crucial time as the Public Service Commission of Nebraska is about to decide on a permit for the proposed expansion of this fossil fuel conduit: the Keystone XL pipeline. Oil pipelines, including Keystone XL itself, are a subject that has been frequently addressed here on The Otter – La Loutre in the last few years. To help put pipeline spills – and their inevitability – in perspective, here are some selected posts:


Sean Kheraj – Tracking Canada’s History of Oil Pipeline Spills (November 8, 2013)



Sean Kheraj – Indigenous Voices and Resistance in Oil Pipeline History: The Dene Tha’ and the Norman Wells Pipeline (November 18, 2016)



Phil Wight – Down the Line: Exploring the Environmental History of Pipelines (January 23, 2017)



Jessica Helps – Embedded Wounds in the Histories of Pipelines and Petro-Chemicals (November 10, 2014)



Daniel Macfarlane: Funneling Controversy: The Keystone XL Pipeline (November 28, 2011)



Daniel Macfarlane – Teaching Media Literacy Through Environmental Disaster: The Kalamazoo River Oil Spill (January 18, 2017)


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Daniel is an Associate Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. He is co-editor of The Otter-La loutre and is a member of the NiCHE executive board. A transnational environmental historian who focuses on Canadian-American border waters, particularly in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin, Daniel is the author of "Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway" and co-editor of "Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship" and "The First Century of the International Joint Commission." He is completing a book on Niagara Falls (expected publication in 2020), and his in-progress research projects include Canada-US environmental diplomacy and a co-authored book on the environmental history of Lake Ontario. Website: https://danielmacfarlane.wordpress.com Twitter: @Danny__Mac__

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