Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

"Should Alberta's cross-border oil pipeline be extended to Texas?"

Should Alberta's cross-border oil pipeline be extended to Texas?

July 9, 2011
CBC News

Alberta's energy minister says he's going to push Ottawa to promote TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. government.

Keystone pipelineTransCanada's $7-billion Keystone Pipeline project would more than double the volume of oil shipped from Canada into the United States. (Eric Hylden/ Grand Forks Herald/Associated Press) "I'm certainly going to try to persuade [Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver] that the federal government, now that they have a majority, needs to take a more active role in promoting this project," Ron Liepert told Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio's The House.

The current Keystone pipeline is nearly 3,500 kilometres long and pumps 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Hardisty, Alta., to refineries in Oklahoma and Illinois.

The proposed pipeline extension, Keystone XL, would bring Canadian oil all the way to Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico.

If the expansion wins regulatory approval, TransCanada expects it to start up some time in 2013.

The expansion would more than double the volume of oil shipped from Canada into the U.S. And Liepert said a pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast would expand Canada's energy industry beyond the U.S. market.

The project has faced opposition in the U.S. Critics don't like the idea of what they call the "dirtiest oil in the world" making the trip through the American Midwest.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has expressed concerned about the risk of oil spills that could affect drinking water and sensitive ecosystems, as well as the effect of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the expansion.

The current Keystone pipeline has experienced leaks, including a small one in Kansas in June and a larger one in North Dakota in early May.


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