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House Members Urge Clinton to Approve Keystone XL

February 15, 2011

Thirty members from the US House of Representatives sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter urging her to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. On February 14, the Jacksonville Daily Progress reported that the Representatives that have signed onto the letter want construction of the pipeline to begin as soon as possible so that thousands of jobs will be created. However, they do not take into account the environmental impact this pipeline will have on the region it is running through.

Many are worried that TransCanada, the oil company that will be operating the pipeline, does not have enough experience in this type of construction and maintenance. It was pointed out that TransCanada’s current pipeline, the Keystone, has only been operating since spring of 2010 and there has already been 7 recorded spills.

STOP, a group in Winnsboro and Nacogdoches, opposes the project because the pipeline — 36-inch diameter and .465-inch thick walls — will not be strong enough to carry dilbit, a coarse, unrefined oil, said STOP member Brittany Dawn McAllister.

Terry Cunha, a representative from TransCanada claims the oil that is going to be traveling through the pipeline is very comparable to other oil. However, the EPA has said that is not the case.

“Extraction and refining of Canadian oil sands crude are GHG-intensive relative to other types of  crude oil. Our calculations indicate that on an annual basis, and assuming the maximum volume of 900,000 barrels per day of pipeline capacity, annual well-to-tank emissions from the project would be 27 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent greater than emissions from U.S. ‘average’ crude,” said the EPA in 2010 after reviewing the State Department’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project. “Accordingly, we estimate that GHG emissions from Canadian oil sands crude would be approximately 82% greater than the average crude refined in the U.S., on a well-to-tank basis.”

TransCanada is hoping that Clinton will approve the pipeline by Spring 2011.

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