Keystone XL —- Threatened By Safety Concerns

Pipeline Safety Concerns Threaten Oil Route’s Expansion.A key decision over the expansion of an oil route that brings crude from Canada hangs in the balance, as concerns over pipeline safety threaten to complicate the relationship between the U.S. and its largest petroleum supplier.The U.S. State Department will decide in the first quarter whether it approves another TransCanada Corp. pipeline that would bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast refineries. But a group of environmentalists, politicians and regulators says the State Department should take a closer look at the especially corrosive nature of the crude oil itself.If the agency commissions further study of the project, which would double the Keystone pipeline system’s total capacity to 1.1 million barrels a day, TransCanada could miss its planned 2013 opening date for the expansion. U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed the project at a meeting in Washington, D.C., Friday.Worries about the pipeline and the crude it will transport are growing even though half of the nearly 2 million barrels of oil a day coming into the U.S. from Canada is from the oil sands. In the wake of two environmental disasters last year—the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April that resulted in nearly 5 million barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico and the September leak in an Enbridge Energy Partners’ pipeline that discharged 195,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil in Michigan—TransCanada is facing a wave of protest against their new project.”I don’t think a good environmental study has been done yet,” Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.) said in a telephone interview. “I don’t believe they’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s.”The controversy is the latest surrounding the use of crude oil derived from Alberta’s oil sands. Environmental advocacy groups have for years argued that producing hard-to-extract oil sands crude is a major contributor to global warming, while proponents hail it as a better way to satisfy the U.S. energy appetite than depending on supply from less-friendly nations. If the U.S. keeps blocking attempts to ship Canadian crude southward, Canada will supply China through a West Coast pipeline instead, analysts say. ((04 FEB 2011))

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124543804270386.html?mod=WSJ_topics_obama

==================================================================================


GO TO FRONT PAGE

Advertisements

About this entry