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New York Times Opposes Keystone XL as Dangerous, Unnecessary

April 4, 2011

On April 2, 2011, the New York Times published an editorial in opposition to Keystone XL, noting:

    The environmental risks, for both countries, are enormous….

    In the United States, the biggest potential problem is pipeline leaks. The Keystone XL would carry bitumen – which is more corrosive than crude oil – thinned with other petroleum condensates and then pumped at high pressure and at a temperature of more than 150 degrees through the pipeline.

    Last July, an older bitumen pipeline in Michigan spilled 800,000 gallons of the stuff into the Kalamazoo River. A new TransCanada pipeline that began carrying diluted bitumen last year has already had nine spills.

    The Keystone XL would cut diagonally across Montana and the Nebraska Sand Hills – a delicate region of porous, sandy soils – to northern Kansas before heading south to the Gulf. It would also cross the Ogallala Aquifer, a shallow underground reservoir of enormous importance for agriculture that also provides drinking water for two million people. A pipeline leaking diluted bitumen into groundwater could have disastrous consequences.

    For this reason, Senators Mike Johanns and Ben Nelson of Nebraska have vigorously opposed the planned route of the Keystone XL. Still, political pressure to win swift approval has been building in Congress. Moving ahead would be a huge error. From all of the evidence, Keystone XL is not only environmentally risky, it is unnecessary.

It’s unusual for the New York Times to express an opinion about a pipeline project out in flyover land, but this one has attracted an unusual amount of national and international attention.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Branden Pronk permalink
    April 4, 2011 3:08 pm

    After reading through your blog, I can be quite confident in the assumption that you have never set foot in Alberta, nor have you actually seen Fort McMurray and the surrounding area with your own eyes. Your perception would be quite different if you actually took a trip up here.

    Your “facts” are often distorted or blatantly wrong. I almost hope the Keystone XL doesn’t get built, just so the US has to live with the consequences. There is a far greater market for our oil in China. They are more than happy to buy our oil.

    Here are some interesting numbers:

    US oil reserves: ~19 Billion bbls
    US domestic oil demand: ~20 million bbls/day

    Canadian oil reserves: ~178 Billion bbls
    Canadian domestic oil demand: ~2 million bbls/day

    The oil sands mine I work at has ~8 Billion bbls of reserves alone, more than 1/3 of total US reserves. That is only on 1 of our properties.

    You obviously have a loose grasp on economics if you believe the US can survive for long on it’s own. It’s funny that the only groups to lobby against the oil sands come from outside Canada.

    I know you won’t post this comment, but I just wanted to let you know how I felt concerning your portrayal of the subject.

  2. April 4, 2011 3:24 pm

    We post every comment that isn’t spam and isn’t abusive. Thanks for contributing.

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