Keystone, Powertech are similar
Published: Thursday, February 28th, 2013
We’ve been reading a lot lately about the Keystone XL Pipeline project from Canada to the southern United States and the Powertech uranium mining project in Fall River and Custer counties in South Dakota. Both are what you would call controversial projects with a plethora of pros and cons to digest.
On the con side of both projects are those who say the projects have the potential to damage the environment now and for future generations in America. On the pro side are those who say both projects will meet all environmental guidelines and are necessary if we are to be more energy dependent in this country.
Let’s tackle Keystone first. The Keystone pipeline is designed to transport shale oil from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, east past Regina, Saskatchewan, and south from Winnepeg, Manitoba. It then runs south through eastern North and South Dakota, to Steele City, Neb. just above the Kansas state line. This distance is 1,179 miles. It then goes east to southern Illinois, then south to Cushing, Okla., and Houston, Texas, refineries.
Yes, pipelines do break from time to time. The BP Alaskan pipeline has had several notable leaks. (Where have we heard of that London BP company before?) On Aug. 9, 2006, the pipeline leaked 267,000 gallons of oil on the North Slope. That’s a lot of oil. On July 18, 2010, it leaked 2,100-4,200 gallons on the frozen tundra. That’s a little better.
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