2013 SkS News Bulletin #9: Alberta Tar Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline

Adrian Dix casts doubt on plans for Kinder Morgan expansion

New Democratic Party leader Adrian Dix shut the door almost entirely Monday on a proposed twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta into Burnaby, saying an NDP government would not support a major increase of tanker traffic in and out of Metro Vancouver.

NDP's Adrian Dix casts doubt on plans for Kinder Morgan expansion by Johnathan Powell, The Vanouver Sun, Apr 22, 2013

Crude-by-rail no substitute for Keystone XL

Using trains to move heavy crude oil out of Western Canada would be a poor alternative to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Canada's top energy official said on Wednesday, and a rail-only plan would likely put a dent in future oil sands development.

Crude-by-rail no substitute for Keystone XL by Patrick Rucker, Reuters, Apr 24, 2013

Environmentalists applaud opposition to Kinder Morgan expansion

NDP Leader Adrian Dix indicated that his party would also make things difficult for another oil pipeline proposal—Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion.

It's a position that's winning praise from environmental organizations which have been fighting the expansion of the Alberta tar sands as well as increases to oil tanker traffic on the B.C. coast.

Environmentalists applaud B.C. NDP opposition to Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion by Stephen Hui, Straight.com, Apr 22, 2013 

EPA balks at State's 'insufficient' review of Keystone XL route

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) objected Monday to the State Department’s draft review of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline route, saying it included “insufficient information” on environmental issues.

EPA balks at State's 'insufficient' review of Keystone XL route by Zack Colman, E2Wire/The Hill, Apr 22, 2013

Houston’s most polluted neighborhood draws the line

If the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, 90 percent of the tar sands crude that flows through it will be processed in an embattled Houston neighborhood called Manchester. Residents are joining up to demand a healthier future.

Houston’s Most Polluted Neighborhood Draws the Line at Alberta Tar Sands by Kristin Moe, YES! Magazine, Apr 22, 2013

How much does EPA’s objection to Keystone XL matter?

How much does it matter that the Environmental Protection Agency has officially questioned aspects of the State Department’s draft environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal?

A lot.

How much does EPA’s objection to Keystone XL matter? A lotby Juliet Eliperin, Washington Post, Apr 23, 2013

How safe will the Keystone XL pipeline really be?

The proposed northern portion of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport massive quantities of mainly heavy crude oil from Alberta's oil sands to the U.S., has drawn harsh criticism from groups that oppose its construction largely on environmental grounds.

They argue that the pipeline would promote further development in Alberta's oil sands, a region whose oil production is thought to be significantly worse for the environment because it spews more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than more conventional methods of oil production.

Some also argue that the type of oil the pipeline will carry – heavy bituminous crude – is more corrosive, more prone to spills than lighter types of oil, and much more costly and difficult to clean up once spilled. Let's take a closer look at this second argument and see what TransCanada is doing to ensure Keystone XL's utmost safety.

How Safe Will the Keystone XL Pipeline Really Be? by Arjun Sreekumar, The Motley Crew, Apr 24, 2013

Keystone criticism misplaced, TransCanada CEO insists

Keystone XL is “just a pipeline” that will have little impact on the pace of development in the oil sands, says the head of TransCanada Corp., hitting back at opponents who argue that stopping the project is crucial to fighting climate change. 

Keystone criticism misplaced, TransCanada CEO insists by Kelly Cyrderman, Globe and Mail, Apr 22, 2013 

Obama set to okay pipeline, former insider says

Barack Obama will almost certainly approve the Keystone XL pipeline, predicts a former senior figure in the State Department who recently brought that message to Ottawa.

Former senior U.S. State Department figure says domestic political considerations will force President to back pipeline.

Obama set to okay pipeline, former insider says, as poll shows support by John Ibbitson, Globe and Mail, Apr 22, 2013

Oil from proposed Keystone pipeline could end up exported

Whether the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would boost American energy independence is a key part of the debate over the pipeline, the biggest environmental battle in recent history. Keystone promoters say the $7 billion project is vital for the nation – but there are signs much of the oil coming through it would be exported.

Oil from proposed Keystone pipeline could end up exported by Sean Cockerham, McClatchy Newspapers, Apr 25, 2013

Significant climate impacts from Tar Sands pipeline

The bottom line, from a climate perspective: “oil sands crude is significantly more [greenhouse gas] intensive than other crudes, and therefore has potentially large impacts,” wrote EPA’s Cynthia Giles about the State Department’s attempts to assess the full implications of Keystone. “Lifecycle emissions from oil sands crude could be 81 percent greater than the average crude refined in the U.S.,” a difference that can grow “depending on the assumptions made.”

EPA on KeystoneXL: Significant Climate Impacts from Tar Sands Pipeline by David Biello, Scientific American, Apr 23, 2013

TransCanada lashes out at EPA over Keystone

The Canadian company calls the scope and tone of the agency’s comments on the pipeline that will bisect the U.S. heartland 'somewhat surprising.'

TransCanada Lashes Out at EPA Over Keystone by John H. Cushman Jr., InsideClimate News, Apr 24, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Friday, 26 April, 2013

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