Myth: Pipelines Are Bad for the Environment

Environmentalists have led massive protests in opposition to pipeline development throughout the country, including the Dakota Access pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline. These protests have led to many misconceptions about pipelines themselves. 

Pipelines are one actually of the safest ways to transport liquid in the United States. Pipelines are significantly less likely to spill than trucks or trains. One Canadian study found spills were 4.5 times more likely from rail transportation than pipelines. Most pipeline spills that happen in the U.S. occur at the processing site, not between locations along the pipeline. As long as oil and gas are needed to power the economy, pipelines should be the mode of choice for environmentalists who wish to mitigate spills. They may hate the contents of the pipeline, but they have no reason to hate the pipelines themselves. 

This post is part of a weekly series on environmental myths. You can find more myths here.