Alberta Tar Sands Oil Is Already Flowing and Leaking Into the United States


tar sands oil handful

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

[T]he House passed a bill that is a power grab by the big oil companies, TransCanada pipeline, and Canada to build a fourth more direct Keystone XL pipeline to Steele City, Nebraska.  It would increase capacity and profit, but it is not necessary for the tar sands oil to flow in the US; it already is.As Politico reported on the House vote, "The House approved legislation Wednesday to green-light the Keystone XL oil pipeline (the fourth optional segment), giving Republicans a messaging victory heading into the Memorial Day recess."

It's a symbolic victory -- and an assertion of big oil power -- because Alberta Tar Sands oil is already flowing into the US as revealed by two prominent branch line leaks in Arkansas and Michigan.

On April 29, InsideClimateNews ran a story asking about the toxic Alberta Tar Sands spill in Arkansas:

... When did the pipeline begin leaking? When and how did the oil company find out about it? How quickly did the company act? How much oil spilled from the pipeline's 22-foot-long gash? And what condition was the line in before it ruptured? [...]

Native American activist Winona Duke recently wrote an op-ed in the Duluth News Tribune warning of expanding the Enbridge pipeline, which is already carrying Alberta Sands oil into the US:

Tar sands oil is 16 times more likely to breach a pipeline than regular crude oil, according to a February 2011 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, Pipeline Safety Trust, and the Sierra Club. [...]

One more time: Enbridge could nearly double how many barrels per day flow through those pipeline veins of the Alberta Clipper. Now consider our ecosystem. Wetlands are like sponges; they soak up everything: the good, the bad and the oil spills. [...]

In the Keystone pipeline case, the administration granted a special permit to TransCanada. The waiver allows the proposed pipeline to operate at 80 percent of the minimum yield strength of the pipe rather than the maximum of 72 percent required by federal regulations....

[...] The contention of [a] reader with a knowledge of the oil industry is that TransCanada has said it will not transport Alberta tar sands oil unless the new larger capacity northern pipeline is built.

But why then is there a widespread belief that tar sands oil is already being stored up in Cushing, Oklahoma, the Keystone Pipeline hub, pending the opening of the southern leg? [...]

It is already happening. Ask the residents of cities in Arkansas and Michigan for a start.

Please read the entire post here.