Original Keystone Pipeline Shuts Down, Safety a Concern

Today, TransCanada, the energy giant proposing to build the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline announced it is shutting the original Keystone pipeline it operates. They say the line will be shut for three days due to an undisclosed “anomaly.”   The line was shut down less than a year agodue to mechanical problems, and has had regular leaks since it came online, leaking on average once a month in its first year of operation.  Like Keystone XL, TransCanada claimed when proposing Keystone 1 that it would be the safest pipeline ever built.

Conservation groups and now the Canadian government are expressing concern that TransCanada lacks a safety culture. The same lapses resulted in numerous incidents by their competitor Enbridge, including the deadly explosion pictured above.
NWF strongly opposes Keystone XL and has said for years that tar sands pipelines are inherently risky and require more study before they become more commonplace and a bigger threat to wildlife than they already are.

Joe Mendelson, National Wildlife Federation climate and energy policy director responded to the news saying,

The reason TransCanada needs to keep shutting down Keystone is because pipelines are inherently dangerous. When a pipeline carries heavy tar sands, the risks multiply. Canadian tar sands are not inherently better or safer, quite the opposite, they require the construction of massive and unstable infrastructure that will eventually fail.  The best approach to our energy challenges isn’t building more pipelines, it’s embracing clean energy solutions that don’t spill or explode.

The news comes just days after the Canadian government said it was launching a probe of TransCanada for lapses in its safety culture.

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Published: October 18, 2012