TransCanada revises Keystone XL route

Sept. 6, 2012 at 7:44 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The National Wildlife Federation said revisions by TransCanada to the route for the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska suggest it's a bad idea in general.

The Canadian pipeline company said it submitted an environmental report to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality outlining an alternative route for the Keystone XL pipeline through the state. The pipeline is designed to carry crude oil derived from oil sands operations in Alberta.

TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said TransCanada shares the same environmental concerns as Nebraskans.

"The identified route, along with our commitment to implement additional safety requirements above and beyond those required for any other pipeline, ensures the protection of Nebraska's resources," he said in a statement.

The state's DEQ found an earlier alternative met state requirements in avoiding the sensitive Sand Hills area. The DEQ, however, said that route crossed areas that are technically outside the Sand Hills region but contain fragile soil structures that have "surface features very similar to the Sand Hills."

TransCanada said its latest revision avoids the area and "crosses fewer miles of threatened and endangered species habitat, fewer streams and rivers and considerably fewer miles of severely wind erodible soils."

Joe Mendelson, NWF climate and energy policy director said, frequent revisions to Keystone XL suggest the pipeline is a bad idea in general.

"Each new map amounts to a catalog of which property owners will suffer and what habitat will be placed at risk," he said in a statement. "The best approach is to ditch Keystone XL entirely and embrace clean energy solutions that don't spill or explode."

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