Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

North Dakota pipeline spill

The pipeline leaked an estimated 176,400 barrels of crude into Ash Coulee Creek near Belfield, North Dakota. (Photo: North Dakota Department of Health)

Pipeline 150 Miles From Standing Rock Spills Over 170,000 Gallons of Crude

Monitoring equipment failed to detect the breakage, and it is unknown how long the pipeline was leaking before a landowner discovered it

Nika Knight

A pipeline just two and half hours' drive from the Indigenous water protectors' ongoing stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline has leaked over 170,000 gallons of crude oil into a tributary of the Little Missouri River and into a hillside, it was reported late Monday.

Monitoring equipment failed to detect the leak, and it is unknown how long the spill near Belfield, North Dakota had gone on before a local landowner discovered it on December 5.

At least two cows have been confirmed dead near the site of the spill, reports the Pioneer Press.

The Belle Fourche pipeline is operated by the Wyoming-based True Companies, which is the same company behind the 2015 pipeline rupture in Montana that sent over 40,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River. Indeed, at that time it was reported that the operator had a "checkered environmental history," with 30 recorded pipeline leaks and multiple federal fines on its record.

Bill Seuss, an environmental scientist with the North Dakota Health Department, told the Associated Press that the investigation into the cause of the most recent spill is ongoing, and cleanup efforts may last into the spring.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, has repeatedly insisted that the pipeline is "safe," but water protectors have argued that it is not a question of if it will leak, but when.

"But it will be safe THIS time, right?" wrote Honor the Earth national campaigns director Tara Houska on Facebook, sharing a report of the latest spill.

The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration notes that there have been over 11,000 reported "significant incidents"—meaning spills, injuries, deaths, and costly accidents—involving pipelines since 1996.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New York Taxi Workers Stage Hunger Strike to Demand Medallion Debt Relief

"They are an essential industry here in New York City," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "and we need to make sure we're doing right by them."

Julia Conley ·


'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo