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No Good News for Keystone XL

October 19, 2010

The last few days have offered no good news for the Keystone XL pipeline, a 36-inch high pressure pipe buried 4-6 feet deep and heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, proposed to traverse the U.S. from Montana to the Gulf Coast. Canadian pipeline company TransCanada’s plan to use eminent domain against American landowners for this pipeline to the Alberta tar sands has run into serious opposition.

An article distributed October 17 by the Associated Press noted the long delays that Keystone XL is experiencing, especially when compared to the swift approval of the first Keystone pipeline that runs from North Dakota to Illinois (carefully avoiding Minnesota and Iowa, which have tighter pipeline siting and abandonment regulations than their westerly and southerly neighbors). Then on October 18, the Center for Rural Affairs came out publicly in opposition to Keystone XL. The language below is from the Center’s press release to Montana news outlets. Montana’s environmental and siting review of the pipeline is not yet complete.

“CFRA media director John Crabtree says they carefully considered the rural economic development potential, as well as the risks to landowners affected by the project.

‘The economic benefit of the jobs created in building the pipeline and servicing and maintaining it over time – we don’t think that those economic benefits outweigh the potential environmental damage.’

TransCanada is running advertising campaigns in several states touting the economic benefits of jobs and tax revenue. Crabtree says his organization would rather see resources poured into local renewable energy projects.

‘We support developing clean energy resources that we have right here in places like Montana, and we should be looking at decreasing our reliance on foreign energy sources.’

Another strike against the pipeline, according to Crabtree: the EPA estimates that squeezing oil from the tar sands in Canada and delivering it to U.S. refineries would result in nearly double the greenhouse gas emissions as other oil delivered to U.S. refineries.”

But here’s a bonus round question. If Enbridge goes ahead with its Monarch pipeline expansion from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast, linking up with major Midwest pipeline capacity that already delivers to the Cushing terminal, will it even matter if Keystone XL is built or not?

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