‘Keystone XL Clone’ to Pump Tar Sands Oil Starting Next Year

By Anastasia Pantsios

As Republicans get set to test their new majority in the U.S. Senate and their complete control of Congress to push through approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a new investigative report by editor Lou Dubose at the Washington Spectator reveals that the construction of a “Keystone XL clone” pipeline with almost the same capacity is already taking place. While TransCanada continues to battle the public outcry against its Keystone XL project, another company, Enbridge, is quietly building the Alberta Clipper pipeline. Like Keystone XL, it will pumped 830,000 oil barrels (bbl) a day of tar sands bitumen crude oil from the Alberta oil fields to U.S. refineries.

The Alberta Clipper is an already-existing pipeline with a 450,000 bbl a day capacity. In November 2012 Enbridge applied for the permit to ramp up capacity to 800,000 bbl for the pipeline which runs from Alberta to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast where the oil will be refined and exported.

The Alberta Clipper is an already-existing pipeline with a 450,000 bbl a day capacity. In November 2012 Enbridge applied for the permit to ramp up capacity to 800,000 bbl for the pipeline which runs from Alberta to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast where the oil will be refined and exported.

In six to eight months the Canadian tar-sands spigot opens to full capacity,” wrote Dubose. “Barring litigation or action by the State Department, Enbridge will achieve what has eluded TransCanada. And it will have done so with scant attention from the media and without the public debate generated by campaigns against the Keystone XL.”

The Spectator analyzed State Department documents, annual reports and interviews with Enbridge officials and lawyers to learn how the company pushed through a pipeline virtually identical to Keystone XL without a public process or attracting much attention. While a pipeline that crosses international borders requires presidential and State Department approval declaring that the project is “in the national interest,” the Spectator says Enbridge used a creative interpretation of an existing 1967 permit to circumvent the law and public opinion.

The Alberta Clipper is an already-existing pipeline with a 450,000 bbl a day capacity. In November 2012 Enbridge applied for the permit to ramp up capacity to 800,000 bbl for the pipeline which runs from Alberta to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast where the oil will be refined and exported. Fed up with delays, the company wrote to the State Department last June, telling it that they planned to go ahead with upgrades with or without a permit.

“Enbridge wasn’t asking,” said the Spectator. “It was informing the State Department of its plans to press ahead.”

Pipeline opponents, including environmentalists and community activitists, will find Enbridge’s history of negligence and secrecy unsettling.

Enbridge is the company behind the July 2010 oil spill on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history, when a segment of its pipeline ruptured. Three inspections over the previous five years had detected a defect in the pipeline which the company had not repaired because in its judgment it did not reach required repair level under federal standards. It did not provide this information when an Enbridge executive testified about pipeline integrity and spill detection to a House committee ten days before the rupture. And it has repeatedly fought attempts to require safety measures to protect communities and the environment against the impacts of possible spills

Read the full story at EcoWatch.

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Categories: Environment, Environmental history, Environmental policy, Fossil fuels, Pollution, Public Health, US News

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11 replies

  1. “Watch them like a hawk” because energy /oil companies have vats of money, time and lawyers to find creative ways to work aound regulations and the American people to get non interference to get their tar sand oils to a global market.
    Here is another part of the story that affects Minnesota.

    http://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2014/11/how-keystone-xl-size-pipeline-project-moving-ahead-without-us-review

    A lawsuit was filed on 11/12/14 by a tribal nation, and enviromentals groups.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reblogged this on danallosso and commented:
    This one goes through my county, and they want to ramp up capacity until they’re carrying more than Keystone XL was going to carry. Guess it’s time to start paying attention!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Taxpayers will be stuck with the clean up cost. By the way, fracking/oil corporations have not done any research or funding to clean up this new type of spill. They are still using the same old tools and they do not work in this case. There will be spills. There have been entire communities damaged and yet we hear nothing. When we consider that over 800,000 being piped everyday, no pipe system we currently have will handle that. Larger pipes/fixtures/etc just will not protect the USA. It is not even a US corporation.

      Canada refused their pipe-line agenda multiple times. They are dealing with the mess Keystone XL has created and can not be un-done while fracking in their nation. We do not hear about it but this corporation has not been responsible or reasonable..

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/29/photos-keystone_n_5404159.html

      Liked by 2 people

  3. But will they have the same initiative to build 5 times the mileage of water pipeline?

    Liked by 4 people

    • I wish water was higher on the list. Oh, how I wish. We are behind every civilized nation in green energy. I lived in Colorado for a long time and I saw how important water was to our survival. I wonder if most know where our fresh water comes from. The Rockies, natural underground springs, lakes, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Outstanding post, gen. I believe you saw the excellent article on the Kalamazoo River spill for which InsideClimate News won a Pulitzer Prize last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Konigludwig for the link to the article.

    Like

  6. They are doing a Lot of environmental damage…all for money.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Update: one or two articles on the Net have insinuated that the pipeline companies are going to have current moderate to heavy losses on building the pipeline with the current world oil prices that don’t appear to be diminishing anytime soon. The price of oil and the fact that OPEC or ISIL control of oil on the black market, hasn’t diminished production may spell a sooner end to the pipeline. ooops

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, I read several interesting articles which are logical. I find it ironic that the global oil companies are putting this ugly mess out of mind – hopefully out of money for a long long time.
      When I look at the damage they have already done, the cost is permanent. It would take money to stop them.

      Liked by 1 person

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