Oil Sands Limited by Transportation – We Should Keep It That Way

Oilprice: Pipelines Can’t Handle North American Oil Boom:

The production of oil from Western Canada is expanding to the point that existing pipeline capacity is overwhelmed. Canadian pipeline company Enbridge aims to get its Northern Gateway project built for exports from Canada’s west coast. TransCanada, meanwhile, anticipates crude oil deliveries will expand from Canada to southern U.S. refineries by way of the Keystone XL pipeline. Expanding oil production from North America, however, may be too much for pipelines to handle and suppliers will need to look to more-expensive rail to get their oil to markets.

…ITG finds that in order to accommodate the oil boom, crude oil deliveries by rail will have to climb to 1.6 million bpd by 2017 in order to keep up. Rail deliveries, its report finds, will have to expand at a rapid clip even if “all planned pipeline projects, such as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway, proceed.”

Yes, this is a throttle. Indeed we should oppose train shipments of tar sands as well. The stuff has to stay where it is.

Reuters reported:

A mile-long train hauling oil from Canada derailed and leaked 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota on Wednesday, as debate rages over the environmental risks of transporting tar sands across the border.

The leak – the first major spill of the modern North American crude-by-rail transit boom – came when 14 cars on a 94-car Canadian Pacific train left the tracks about 150 miles north west of Minneapolis near the town of Parkers Prairie, the Otter Tail Sheriff’s Department said.

Alternet.org adds:

Michigan is still trying to clean up from a tar sands pipeline spill in July 2010 where over a million gallons ended up in the Kalamazoo RIver. It has been a monumental mess ever since and a signal about how the industry views human health and environmental safety

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