May 11th, 2017

When you run a for-profit business there is only one rule: do all that you can to maximize your profits. That generally means shaving corners in ways that keep you ahead of your competitors and if those corners involve potential injury and risking legal action, well, you have to weight the potential profits against the potential losses. If nothing goes wrong, or if you don’t get caught, well you’re golden.

No for-profit enterprise can ever be safe. Safer, yes, but never safe.

Some however, are more dangerous than others.

Sam Levin, reporting in Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before fully operational for The Guardian, writes:

The Dakota Access pipeline has suffered its first leak, outraging indigenous groups who have long warned that the project poses a threat to the environment.

The $3.8bn oil pipeline, which sparked international protests last year and is not yet fully operational, spilled 84 gallons of crude oil at a South Dakota pump station, according to government regulators.

Although state officials said the 6 April leak was contained and quickly cleaned, critics of the project said the spill, which occurred as the pipeline is in the final stages of preparing to transport oil, raises fresh concerns about the potential hazards to waterways and Native American sites.

“They keep telling everybody that it is state of the art, that leaks won’t happen, that nothing can go wrong,” said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has been fighting the project for years. “It’s always been false. They haven’t even turned the thing on and it’s shown to be false.”

Everyone involved, from President Donald John Trump down the workers actually laying the pipe, knew that to be the case. The people at the top were just betting that the odds were in their favor.

Meanwhile, in Ohio: FERC stops some drilling for Rover Pipeline.

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