"East River, there were far more challenges regarding acquisitions of easements. That went much more smoothly West River," Hanson says. "West River, there was a pragmatic discussion and concerned questions, not the generally excitable atmosphere we had East River" [Peter Harriman, "East-West River: The Great Divide," that Sioux Falls paper, 2010.08.22].
Hmph. West River landowners must be more inclined to swallow the corporate line that oil leaks are just a normal part of business.
Speaking of which:
A small break in a BP pipeline that has leaked at least 1,700 gallons of petroleum into sewers in the northwestern Indiana city of Hammond could take days or weeks to pinpoint and fix, officials said Wednesday.
"We're at the point now where BP is literally trying to locate what could be a pinhole-sized leak," Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott said [Tom Coyne, "Officials: BP Fuel Leak Could Last Days, Weeks," AP via Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 2010.08.19].
Sure, 1700 gallons is a small spill... until it happens on your land, or pollutes your well. And that's from a pinhole flaw. How much oil will spill out of a similar defect in a Keystone pipeline pumping hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil under high pressure each day? And West River landowners are o.k. with this?
Actually, it might make sense that TransCanada could snap up pipeline easements more easily in West River. Here in East River, the Keystone pipeline runs under cropland where owners run lots of heavy plows and combines that I might be nervous about dragging across a thin metal tube filled with toxic combustible material. Out in West River, the heaviest thing a rancher might run across the pipeline is his pickup or a really big bull.