TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) shut part of its Keystone oil pipeline system after a 5,000-barrel leak in South Dakota, the company said on Thursday, four days before neighboring Nebraska was set to decide on the company’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.
Opponents of TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline seized on the spill, saying it highlighted the risks posed by the XL project – which has become a symbol for environmentalists of fossil-fuel pollution and global warming.
TransCanada said in a statement it discovered the leak in the town of Amherst at 6 a.m. on Thursday after systems detected a drop in pressure, and that it was working with authorities as it investigates the cause.
South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources spokesman Brian Walsh said the leak came from an underground pipeline and that it had been contained at the site.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made Keystone XL a key plank in his energy policy and handed TransCanada a federal permit in March, reversing former President Barack Obama’s decision to reject the line on environmental grounds after years of study.
Trump has argued that the 830,000-barrel pipeline, which would serve as an extension of the existing Keystone system linking Alberta oil to U.S. refineries, will lower fuel prices, shore up national security and bring jobs.
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