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NEWS: Barlow begins tour in city looking at shipping Alberta oil on the Great Lakes

The Duluth News Tribune reports, “Officials at Calumet LLC, owners of the Superior oil refinery, are considering building a $25 million crude oil transfer dock in Superior, where oil would be loaded onto tankers and barges and moved across the Great Lakes to refineries in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and even the East Coast.”

Superior, Wisconsin is located on the western tip of Lake Superior, adjacent to Duluth, Minnesota (the two cities together form a single metropolitan area called the Twin Ports).

“Oil purchased by Calumet would run from Alberta and North Dakota to Superior over existing Enbridge Energy pipelines. Calumet would then move the oil into its own short pipeline system from the refinery area to a new waterfront facility at the former Georgia Pacific Plant. …It’s estimated that, because of the small size of the supply pipeline, the terminal could fill a single tanker or barge about once every three or four days. ….The typical tanker is just over 400 feet long and can hold about 77,000 barrels… A typical barge is about the same length and can hold up to 118,000 barrels.”

“Despite concerns about potential environmental catastrophe, Calumet seems well on its way to moving oil out of the Twin Ports by boat. Calumet will seek permits and do preliminary work this year and would conduct dredging, dock, pipeline and storage construction in 2014 and be ready to ship oil by March 2015.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has written, “There are currently 17 major refinery projects either being planned or developed around the Lakes. The biggest is the BP refinery in Whiting on the south-eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Indiana, which is in the midst of a controversial expansion project aimed at boosting its capacity to process bitumen from the Canadian tar sands. Already, the plant’s unpermitted modifications have resulted in a significant increase in nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. An expansion of the Murphy Oil plant in Superior, Wisconsin could damage 300 to 500 acres of wetlands and consume 5 million gallons (almost 20 million litres) of water from Lake Michigan every day.”

Barlow starts her 7-city tour in defence of the Great Lakes in Duluth this April 4.

More on that tour at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=19278.