Houston-based Phillips 66 Pipeline Spills 25,000 Gallons of Gasoline On Crow Reservation

Spills happen. Pipes rupture and the stuff being transported inside the pipes comes out, generally making a mess. Whether it's your water pipes ( or, heaven forbid, the ones that move your sewage) at home, or the pipes toting oil and gas in the pipelines that crisscross the country, pipes break, stuff in them spills and it's only a matter of time, but it will always happen eventually. (Gives the whole thing about not crying over spilled milk a whole new depth, right? Imagine being a plumber, coming home and finding someone sobbing over milk all over the floor. You'd have absolutely no sympathy for them.)

However, if you want to think in terms of mess, look no further than the spill up in Montana. Last week, a Phillips 66 pipeline spilled an estimated 25,000 gallons of gasoline on land in the Crow Reservation up around Billings, Mont., though officials said there were no health threats expected from the spill, according to the Associated Press.

The spill happened in a remote area, away from houses and people that could be expected to be troubled by such things. The Houston-based oil refinery and chemical company stated that the amount spilled was likely less, but the thing that gets interesting about all of this -- aside from the fact that it happened on Native American land, another little reinforcement that maybe the worries held by Native Americans about the Keystone pipeline aren't exactly coming out of left field -- is that the same line has seen at least three spills in the past 20 years, according to AP.

Officials are investigating what caused the most recent bust in the 8-inch underground line. The spill is described as taking place somewhere remote -- and granted there are a lot of places in that part of the country that answer to that description -- but this "remote spill" happened 15 miles away from Lodge Grass, Mont., a town of 432 people. As small as that is -- there are larger graduating classes in Houston high schools each year -- it's a fair wager that the spill doesn't exactly feel "remote" to them.

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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray