CREDIT: Environmental Protection Agency
Last week, Enbridge applied to build the largest pipeline yet from North Dakota oil fields. The planned route in North Dakota overlaps in an area that recently saw a Tesoro pipeline leak 20,000 barrels of oil. Enbridge’s pipeline would move millions of barrels of oil from the Bakken Shale formation, where a drilling boom has squeezed existing pipeline capacity, into Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Even now, Enbridge is still cleaning up the heavy tar sands oil that spilled into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River three years ago.
Typical oil spills pale in comparison to the challenges posed by heavy tar sands crude. That’s the very reason the Kalamazoo River spill has hit the $1 billion mark in cleanup costs, since the bitumen proved nearly impossible to dredge up from the riverbed.