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Keystone Pipeline spill larger than reported and US Census Wants to know – are you a U.S. citizen

According to national news, the Keystone crude oil pipeline spill which occurred on November 16, 2017 in rural South Dakota, was nearly double the original estimated size. The original estimated spill was 5,000 barrels. A spokeswoman for the Calgary based TansCanada Corp now tops the spill at 9,700 barrels of leaked oil.

The spill, and its inaccurate original reports gives further ammunition to environmental groups and other opponents of another pipeline the company has proposed, the long-delayed Keystone XL.

In November, TransCanada had shut down the 590,000 barrel-per-day pipeline, one of Canada’s main crude export routes linking Alberta’s oil fields to U.S. refineries. Immediately after the spill, and less than two weeks later, operations were restarted.

In the fall of 2016, Standing Rock - Oceti Sakowin Camp had become the center of environmental protest against the Keystone Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners. With support from other Native American tribes, organizations, national leaders, and environmental groups, Standing Rock was one of the largest gatherings of environmental protests in recent history.

Keystone has leaked substantially more oil, and more often, in the United States than the company indicated to regulators in their risk assessments before operations began in 2010, according Reuters.

Seventeen States and seven major cities push back on census question

A major lawsuit was filed by seventeen states and seven major cities in an effort to remove a controversial question on the 2020 Census, “Are you a U. S. citizen?”.

The suit against the U.S. Department of Commerce and Census Bureau argues that the question will make it impossible to fulfill the Constitution’s mandate that all people, regardless of citizenship status, be counted. This will be the first time since 1950 that a question about citizenship status will be asked on the census.

Many civil rights groups fear this will discourage noncitizens and their citizen family members from responding to the census, resulting in a less accurate population count.

Data from the census is used to determine the number of seats a state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives and can have a significant effect on the way congressional and state voting districts are drawn. Census data is also used to allocate more than billions in federal funding for hospitals, schools and other services.

Last month a coalition of 19 state attorneys general signed onto a letter to the Department of Commerce urging the question be rejected.

Opposition to asking this question also came from a coalition of former census directors. In a letter sent to Wilbur Ross (Dept of Commerce) in January, six former census directors expressed concern about the question, noting that the effect of adding a citizenship question is “completely unknown” and that adding such a question would “increase the risks to the 2020 enumeration.”

 

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