Thought Piece

Not to be undone by the Washington Post reporting, the New York Times begins its story with the following headline: “With Big Spill to Clean….” then, the reporter breathlessly writes about “the images of South Dakota grassland blemished by 210,000 gallons of leaked Canadian crude oil….”

Continuing, the reporter opines that this week’s leak is “grimly familiar,” even though the last “spill” happened in 2011. The actual spill “blackened roughly 100-yard radius in a grassy field.” In other words, the spill was roughly the radius of a football field.

Besides the overheated rhetoric and emotionalism, there is the matter of too much reliance on two local neighbors, who are clearly emotional. In fact, the “Times report” ends with neighbor Lillian Anderson saying: “If those commissioners in Nebraska care anything about their state, their people and their grandchildren and children to come, they will turn it down in a heartbeat.” Ms Anderson went on to finish: “There is nothing I think safe about this.” Nothing safe about TransCanada pipeline?

Thank goodness, there were a few sane quotes earlier in this piece from a South Dakota environment scientist and energy expert. If only the Post and the Times could resist sensationalizing and politicizing these kind of stories.

With Big Spill to Clean, Pipeline Owner Seeks Keystone XL Approval