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The Keystone XL Pipeline
Transcript of The Keystone XL Pipeline
Proposed Additions (XL)
Environmental Regulations ENV K110: Diba Khan-Bureau: Three Rivers Community College 2015
Keystone XL Pipeline Proposed
Phase 4 and the Future Decisions
Phase 3a and 3b
Starts in Cushing, Oklahoma, where American-produced oil is now added to the pipeline.
Runs south 435 mi to Nederland, Texas
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3
What is the Keystone Pipeline?
Completed in 2010
Approx 1,850 miles long pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta in Canada to the junction of Nebraska and Illinois
Built in 2011
Approx. 291 miles
Connects pipeline from Steele City, Nebraska through Kansas to Cushing, Oklahoma
Pipeline in Nebraska
3a: Built in 2014
3b: Currently in Construction
Houston Lateral pipeline is approx. 47 mi
Pipeline is from Liberty County, TX to refineries and terminal in the Houston area.
Phase 4: XL
Start in Alberta, Canada, same area as phase 1
327 miles on new pipeline
Enter the U.S. at Morgan, Montana and join at the existing Steele City, Nebraska.
This phase has generated the greatest controversy, because its route will be over the top of the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska.
The Ogallala Aquifer
One of the world's largest aquifers running through 8 states.
Provides water to nearly 1/4 of U.S. Farmlands.
If drained it would take around 6,000 years to refill naturally
Depths vary between 5-1,000 ft.
Nebraska's agriculture brings in about $3.5 billion, which depends massively on the aquifer.
Possible Negative Impacts on the Environment
Phase 1: Received a Presidential Permit in 2008
Commissioned in 2010 with an initial capacity of 591,000 barrels per day
Phase 2: Added due to Cushing, OK being a centralized oil hub for the South.
Proposed Phases: Pipelines that cross international borders of the U.S. requires a Presidential Permit.
The President through Executive Order (EO) 13337, directs the Secretary of State to decide whether a project serves the national interest
Before making a decision the Department asks for the views of eight federal agencies identified in EO 13337.
Regulations on Keystone
Regulations on Keystone
The Secretary of State needs to issue a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, regarding the pipeline
It needs to fully satisfy the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), and any law that requires federal agency consultation or review.
The Department acts consistent with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as part of its comprehensive NEPA.
Through EO 12898, the Department Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.
The Council of Environmental Quality has provided guidance for addressing environmental justice.
The Final Supplement EIS is a technical assessment of the potential environmental impact related to the proposed pipeline.
Notable changes released in March 2013: expanded analysis of potential oil releases; and expanded climate change analysis; updated oil market analysis incorporating new economic modeling; expanded analysis of rail transport.
If a possible spill occurred it would pollute the aquifer.
If a possible spill occurred it could go undetected for up to 14 days=7.9 million gallons of oil!!
A spill could have the potential to cause a contaminated plume half a mile long.
Toxic runoff into local waters
17% more carbon dioxide is emitted when refining oil sands than the average barrel of crude refined in America
A new proposal is to shift the pipeline over to a more clay based soil area, which is far less permeable then the sand hills soil. This occurred because that sand hills are a unique mixture of wetlands, porous soils and a shallow water table where in some points water actually bubbles up forming freshwater lakes.
An oil pipeline system starting in Canada and ending in southern United States.
Commissioned in 2010: Sole Owners: TransCanada
Keystone XL pipeline refers to the proposed phase 4 to extend the pipeline from existing point in Canada.
What is tar sands oil?
Will not flow naturally, needs to be heated or diluted
Oil sand which is either loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone
Contains a mixture of:
Because of its impurities in tar sands, the compound has to go through an energy intensive chemical process of extraction and refinement
What is tar sands oil?
from tar sands oil
Pollute water ways
Leak toxic waste
Increase effects of global warming
up to 4x faster!!
Pollute drinking water
Possible spills would effect the mid-west farmers and land
Pipeline runs through the land of several Indigenous Tribes: Some are already displaced
Pipeline runs through Tribal land and reservations mainly in South Dakota and Oklahoma
Guide to the Pipeline
Information from the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the US State Department
Jobs and economic benefits
Groundwater: Diluted or synthetic crude oil would float on water if spilled
River and Stream Crossings: All water crossing would have a vegetative buffer strip, drainage diversions structures, and sediment barriers
Economics: Long and short term benefits: Jobs and wages
The Keystone pipeline begins in Hardisty in the Alberta province in Canada since 2010.
Pictured, an aerial view of a pond, leftovers from the extraction process, near Fort McMurray, Canada.
US EPA rated the report on the EIS as "Insufficient Information"
Potential spills in the Ogallala aquifer
Surface water pollution
Several hundreds of acres of wetlands affected along the entire route.
Threats to the Clean Water Act (CWA)
Potential drinking water contaminated
Health of people to breathe polluted air from refineries processing tar sands oil
Phase 4 plans to...
Increases from 591,000-1.1 Million barrels per day
Long term commitment of 910,000 barrels per day for 18 years.
Capital investment of approx. $12 Billion
327 new miles of pipeline in Canada
Construction of 38 new pump stations
Why is the President stalling the decision of Phase 4?
Obama suggests that environmental impacts would outweigh any economic benefits.
Issues could bear on our national interest including security, safety, and environment.
Many jobs created, but not permanent.
Pending lawsuits against Pipeline XL.
Who is in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline?
10% Don't Know
Lawsuits may be holding up the decision of Keystone XL
Three Nebraskan landowners filed a lawsuit saying the pipeline is unconstitutional
Landowners in Holt and York Counties filed lawsuits against TransCanada to stop the company from using eminent domain power to access their land.
Louisiana Federal Judge, dismissed lawsuit filed against oil, gas, and pipeline companies.
What is Environmental Racism?
The enactment of any policy practice on regulation that negatively affects the environment of low-income and or racially homogenous communities at a disparate rate than of affluent communities.
Low income minority Manchester neighborhood of Houston is home to some of the countries most toxic air due to oil refineries and petrochemical plants.
Community activists worry that Pipeline XL will make air worse.
... a 56% increase risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia among children who live within 2 miles of Houston ship channels as opposed to living within 10.
There are two sides of the Keystone XL Pipeline decision:
Global Climate Concern
Will the President decision be soon?
Senate fails to override Obama's Keystone Pipeline Veto on 03/04/15
Other Environmental Concerns:
Disaster warning: the area under the Keystone XL Pipeline is likely to experience earthquakes.
Geologists have noted and warned that where recent Oklahoma earthquakes have been occurring is situated under the proposed path.
Animal and wildlife habitats affected
Sierra Club: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline: Petition
Sierra Club explains climate disaster
President Obama continues to veto construction