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NEWS: Pipeline fights could curtail tar sands expansion

The Council of Canadians help #Surround the White House to stop KXL.

The Globe and Mail reports, “The broadening support that critics of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL have garnered is doing more than threatening a proposed pipeline. It has become protesters’ best chance at curtailing the expansion of Canada’s oil sands industry. …Protesters have long complained about growing development in the oil sands, but have never been able to slow activity in Alberta’s bitumen-rich north. But by focusing on pipelines, rather than attacking dozens of oil projects themselves, critics have found an effective approach in their effort to thwart expansion in the broader oil sands industry. …Observers argue all of these pipelines are needed to keep up with Canada’s forecast production growth in the oil sands. Blocking one or more means bitumen production will have to slow because existing pipelines will be full by 2015.”

“Opponents of the planned Keystone XL pipeline have persuaded Nebraska lawmakers, including the state’s Governor, to consider whether it has the power to force the crude conduit to take a new route, and the U.S. State Department may also seek a redesigned plan. Detractors also charge that conflicts of interest tainted the pipeline’s approval process, and the U.S. government is now reviewing these allegations. It all adds up to a possible delay for the project perhaps stretching beyond 2012.”

“There are three proposed pipeline projects slated to move oil sands crude out of northern Alberta to other markets:

  1. the $7-billion Keystone XL, which would shuttle 700,000 barrels of oil a day to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico;
  2. Enbridge Inc.’s $6.6-billion proposed Northern Gateway, designed to carry 525,000 barrels a day to a port in Kitimat, B.C., so tankers can take oil to Asia;
  3. Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion of its existing Trans Mountain system, which would cost around $4.3-billion to take an added 400,000 barrels a day to Burnaby, B.C.”

In the pipeline fight, the Council of Canadians is: