Keystone Pipeline Spill Shows Enduring Danger of Tar Sands Oil

WASHINGTON – The Keystone tar sands pipeline was shut down today after a spill in North Dakota, reportedly more than 378,000 gallons. The Keystone pipeline has had more than a dozen spills since it went into operation in 2010.

Following is a statement from Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“There’s a reason tar sands oil is known as the ‘dirtiest oil on the planet.’ Tar sands oil is simply not worth the increased risk of pipeline failure and massive global environmental costs. The North Dakota spill is just the latest problem casting serious doubts on whether corrosive tar sands can ever be safely moved, especially when pipelines cross farms and waters in the U.S. heartland, as the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would do. In this moment of climate crisis, this spill underscores, yet again, the need to move away from dirty fossil fuels and toward clean energy.”

A blog on the troubled history of the pipeline is here:


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​


Related Press Releases