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Confusion Over Actual Capacity of the Keystone XL Pipeline

March 10, 2011

In a vast majority of news articles and stories, it has been reported that if the Keystone XL pipeline project is approved it will carry roughly 500,000 barrels of oil per day. However, in federal regulatory filings, TransCanada has estimated that it could carry up to 900,000 barrels per day. So why such a discrepency in the estimated bpd (barrels per day)? Solve Climate News reports that TransCanada claims that it is normal to report two different numbers. One represents commercial capacity and the other is used for regulatory filings. Opponents of the pipeline project believe it is a way for TransCanada to mislead the public about the actual demand for the pipeline.

Paul Blackburn, staff attorney for Plains Justice, an environmental group that opposes Keystone XL, charges that TransCanada’s widespread use of the lower figure is masking this reality.

“They use that figure because it makes it sound better,” Blackburn told SolveClimate News. “The question is whether the pipeline is needed, or whether the pipeline should be as big as it is.”

With such discrepancies, it makes people question how truthful the large oil company is being to the public over the project.





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