Conservationists warn of pipeline dangers
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | 10:51 AM MT
An international group of scientists is warning that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas could cause huge environmental problems.
The Society for Conservation Biology released a report at its annual conference in Edmonton on Tuesday warning that the project could have long-lasting impacts on the environment and threaten endangered species.
If approved, the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline would pump Canadian crude oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The pipeline expansion would start in Hardisty, Alta., and continue through Saskatchewan and the United States, where it would connect with another Keystone pipeline.
Construction could begin in 2011, with the pipeline being completed in 2013, according to TransCanada.
John Fitzgerald, policy director with the society, said as oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, many people are looking to the Alberta oilsands as a cleaner source of oil.
"Some people are pointing to this as a safer alternative. And to leap to that conclusion is not necessarily wise," said Fitzgerald, who's society recently sent its report to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"One has to assess the full impact, the full life cycle of all of these energy choices before making these conclusions."
Recently, 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives came out against the project, citing concerns the pipeline would double the country's consumption of crude from the oilsands.
In a June 23 letter to Clinton, they urged the Obama administration to do a full assessment of the environmental impacts of the oilsands before allowing the project to go ahead.
The U.S. Department of State hasn't adequately assessed the risks of the proposed pipeline, Fitzgerald said.
He warns that if the department ignores environmental warnings, the proposal could drag through the courts for years.
Alberta praises project in American paper
Since it was proposed, the Keystone plan has been controversial with plenty of opposition.
So much so that, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach bought a half-page advertisement on July 2 in the Washington Post to defend it. The $55,800 ad paid for by Alberta taxpayers defends the province's oilsands environmental record.
A move Stelmach said may be necessary again.
"We will take every opportunity to ensure that the correct information, the facts are conveyed to those that are raising issues," Stelmach told CBC News.
Latest Edmonton News Headlines
- Lindale residents preparing for 2nd night away from home
- Wildfires in Brazeau and Strathcona counties are holding, but many residents in Lindale will likely not be permitted to return home today. more »
- Supporters protest bail in boy's patio death
- About 60 people protested outside the Edmonton courthouse where a bail hearing was held Thursday for the man accused of killing a two-year-old boy on an restaurant patio. more »
- Trudeau raises environmental questions over pipeline
- Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says a proposed west-east pipeline project will not go forward unless it addresses key environmental concerns. more »
- Rain, snow in K-Country prompts rescue of school campers
- A group of wet and cold school kids and their adult supervisors from Edmonton had to be rescued from Kananaskis Country on Wednesday night. more »
Top News Headlines
- How was the Mike Duffy report 'whitewashed?'
- Opposition parties pushed the government on Thursday to answer questions about the "whitewashed" Duffy report while the RCMP is also seeking more information from the Senate as part of its review of questionable expenses. more »
- 2nd suspect in Tim Bosma murder case to plead not guilty
- The lawyer for Mark Smich says the Oakville, Ont., resident will plead not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton man who disappeared earlier this month after taking two men on a test drive of his truck. more »
- Chat about the rise of binge TV watching on Thursday 7 p.m.
- After a seven year hiatus, Netflix is set to release a new season of Arrested Development -- and some fans are already predicting they'll watch all 15 episodes in one sitting. This week on CBC Live Online, host Lauren O'Neil will speak with a panel of guests and viewers like you about the rise of binge TV watching. Harmless hobby or horrible habit? more »
- SNC-Lavalin letter says Gadhafi son offered VP post: RCMP
- SNC-Lavalin's ties to Libya's former dictatorship ran so deep the company offered the son of Moammar Gadhafi a six-figure job as a vice president in 2008, according to a newly unsealed RCMP affidavit. more »
- Smudge, the Hotel Macdonald's friendliest greeter
- Lindale fire doubles in size within hours
- Hostage taking at Edmonton courthouse sends prisoner to hospital
- Photocopier bill could topple Edmonton charity
- Postal workers strike in Fort McMurray
- Edmonton driver, 62, charged in boy's patio death
- Wait time and primary care reforms stalled
- Liam, Emma, most popular names for Alberta babies
- Driver too drunk to stand, says mom of toddler killed on patio