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Environmental action against Keystone XL

World Pipelines,

Environmentalists are targeting TransCanada and the proposed the Keystone XL pipeline over fears it would send hundreds of crude oil supertankers down the Atlantic coast.

The pipeline is to carry crude oil from tar sands in Western Canada to the East Coast, where it would then be shipped to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. Upon completion, the project is expected to carry 1.1 million bpd of crude oil.

Plans call for converting a natural gas line for part of the route and then building a new pipeline in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick to connect to the existing pipeline.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and other environmental groups are concerned about potential spills, and have released a report, "Tar Sands in the Atlantic Ocean: Transcanada's Proposed Energy East Pipeline," detailing their concerns.

"What we have is a proposal to move nearly 300 super tankers down the eastern seaboard, and we don't have the techniques and technology to contain and clean a spill of tar sands diluted bitumen should one happen," said Anthony Swift, the Canada project director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"TransCanada is a pipeline transporter – we do not own or operate ships for the delivery of oil," TransCanada spokesman, Jonathan Abecassis said. "Our customers determine the destination of their oil. We do note that there are comprehensive rules around marine tanker activity. Transport Canada as well as the other government agencies overseeing those activities could probably offer more information to that effect."

“Safety remains our top priority,” Abecassis said in an email to The Associated Press. “We are working in collaboration with local authorities and first responders during the development of our emergency plan to ensure that the plan is adapted to local circumstances with resources placed strategically across the route to react quickly in the unlikely event of an emergency.”


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