In a Matter of Weeks, Crude Oil Will Flow Through the Keystone Pipeline in Texas

Categories: Environment

peppersprayed.jpg
Brandon Thibodeaux
Almost a year ago, I drove out to the East Texas pine country, where young men and women were fastening themselves to heavy excavation equipment, enduring scalding blasts of pepper spray from chuckling local sheriff's deputies.

Being there, you could almost believe that these kids were slowing the Keystone pipeline's progress through Texas to its massive gulf refinery complex. Even if it were only for a few days, it felt like it amounted to something. Meanwhile, nearby tiny hamlets were banding together to safeguard their water supply against the very legitimate threat of a diluted bitumen spill. One landowner whose property was bisected by the pipeline even managed to secure a brief injunction against pipeline company TransCanada. Other landowners challenged the company's use of eminent domain to secure right of ways through private land.

See also: There Will Be Tar Sand

But this is Texas, a land woven with mainlines and gathering lines and distribution lines, where property rights generally take a backseat to almighty crude. They were never going to win. TransCanada just announced that the southern portion of the Keystone pipeline -- stretching from the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil hub to the Texas coast -- is 95 percent complete.

It will begin carrying oil to refiners in a few weeks.

The section carrying diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands mines to Cushing remains under review. The mines represent a huge reservoir of carbon. The State Department says the mines get developed with or without Keystone. President Barack Obama has said he would not approve it if the pipeline exacerbates "the problem of carbon pollution." How he interprets that equation remains to be seen.

But it's also where the protests, the climate activism, have left their mark. Even TransCanada's CEO admitted the review process was "hijacked by activists that are opposed to the development of all fossil fuels."

He sounds worried, and he should be. The process has dragged on for five years now. The message is theirs. What is the climate legacy of the Keystone? The kids out in the pine woods may have lost Texas, but they framed the debate.


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18 comments
TexMarine
TexMarine

Solution for you hippies out there; move to New Mexico.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

It's going to be interesting to see when this thing cracks open and floods the weekend property of a wealthy North Dallas home owner. Reeeaaal interesting.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Liberalism is not so much an ideology in our society as it is a shield, a defense mechanism for a lifestyle.

free of obligation.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@TexMarine Solution to you Neanderthals out there - go fight a war somewhere and stop a few bullets.

Siege_A
Siege_A

I hope you don't have kids. You're basically approving of a horrible future for them.

TexMarine
TexMarine

Kind of like their headline yesterday about some kook wanting to "blow up" an abortion clinic with a Molotov cocktail.

gmit
gmit

@holmantx and those evil businessfolk have learned how to pit one side against the other

Anti-Keystone = Pro Railroad 

Anti-Fracking = Pro Coal 


Railroads and coal = the oldest monopolies going and these "activists" are out there working for them and not even smart enough to know it

TexMarine
TexMarine

"Not true!" said billionaire Al Gore.

TexMarine
TexMarine

Sorry to break your heart little lady, but the only war left to be fought will be lost by you and your lot.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@Siege_A Oh, well never mind then? I figured you'd have learned from the last time you "hoped" for something. If you managed to procreate, ship them off to New Mexico too.

dalesmith2013
dalesmith2013

@TexMarine , it will.  Corporations don't care about what they do to screw up the environment.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@gmit Actually, most of us are working against them all. You just don't know it.

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