Keystone XL Pipeline "Voluntary" Safety Measures Actually Minimum Required By Law

keystone xl pipeline protest at white house photo

Daily protest against the pipeline will take place outside the White House for the next two weeks. At the time of this writing, over 100 people have been arrested. Photo: Milan Ilnyckji for Tar Sands Action/CC BY
NRDC pokes some big holes in the claims made by Keystone XL developer TransCanada in arguing that no further scrutiny is needed of the proposed tar sands pipeline. The new analysis shows that the 57 special conditions laid out by pipeline safety regulators which were "voluntarily" agreed to are mostly the minimum safety conditions required by law.Writing in NRDC Switchboard, Anthony Swift says,
These conditions hardly justify the argument that due diligence for Keystone XL is unnecessary. They do, however, explain the abysmal record of past TransCanada pipelines which were approved with 'special conditions.' Two of these pipelines began operation last year with similar lists of conditions. One has since had a dozen leaks and the other exploded.

All of which makes it worthwhile to remind readers that though TransCanada expects the possibility of 11 serious spills in the 50 year lifetime of the pipeline, independent analysis shows that a more realistic estimate would be 91 spills in that time.

Read more: The 57 special conditions and what they accomplish for Keystone XL as set forth by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
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