Explosions Ignite New Concerns About Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

An awful pipeline explosion that killed at least 27 people and injured over 50 others is raising fresh concerns about safety. The explosion, which destroyed at least 30 homes Sunday morning happens on the eve of a decision from the U.S. State Department on whether to green light a massive dirty fuels pipeline through 2,000 miles of the American heartland.  

San Martin Texmelucan in Mexico pinpointed on a Google Map.

Investigators are saying the cause of the explosion in San Martin Texmelucan, in Puebla state, was probably the work of thieves who drilled in the line to steal fuel.  Such breaks-ins are on the rise Mexico.

CNN reports video from the scene showed a huge billowing wall of smoke that reached into the sky. Rescue workers could be seen walking through the still-smoldering streets.

Twelve of the people killed in the blast were children, the state news agency Notimex reported.


In U.S. pipeline news, federal investigators are saying they may subpoena witnesses to testify in Washington, DC about the deadly Pacific Gas & Electric Co. natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California last September.

National Transportation Safety Board members voted during the weekend to hold a hearing on the explosion and fire that killed eight people and destroyed 37 homes.


The frequency and recurrence of pipeline other fossil fuel safety incidents was the subject of a report, “Assault on America“, released by NWF earlier this year. From 2000 to 2010, the oil and gas industry accounted for hundreds of deaths, explosions, fires, seeps, and spills as well as habitat and wildlife destruction in the United States. These disasters demonstrate a pattern of feeding the addiction to oil leaving in their wake sacrifice zones that affect communities, local economies, and our landscapes the report found.

Incidents occur on a monthly and, sometimes, daily basis across the country but sadly only a portion of these make the front page or evening news.

Instead of building more dangerous pipelines, like Keystone XL, which would double our imports of tar sands fuel, NWF is urging the Obama administration develop clean energy alternatives more quickly. You can send a message to the administration by taking action here.

| , , ,
Published: December 20, 2010