Recent comments made by the head of energy giant TransCanada might have just put the spotlight on the power of the movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
The company’s CEO, Russ Girling, told media this week that TransCanada was looking into the option of transporting crude from the Alberta tar sands by rail, amidst continued delays and uncertainty over Obama administration approval of the pipeline.
“We are absolutely considering a rail option,” Girling told Reuters on Wednesday, adding, “[W]e’re in discussions now with [our customers] over the rail option.”
“It’s not a path that we had envisioned going down,” Girling also said, speaking to Bloomberg, adding that the change “requires modification of our current contractual relationships.”
Girling also mentioned exploring the rail option speaking to The Hill on Thursday, saying that he told his customers his company would look at that option “expeditiously.” The Hill adds:
But it would be no easy task, as the Globe and Mail points out, because getting the tar sands crude from Alberta to the Nebraska-Kansas border to the completed section of the Keystone XL “would also require large numbers of scarce tank cars.”
In addition, Anthony Swift, an international attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Bloomberg, “To be able to move 800,000 barrels a day of tar sands,” roughly the amount TransCanada expected to pump through the Keystone, “would require the largest off-loading terminal in the world.”
“The few companies engaged in it have indicated that it’s not a particularly profitable business,” Swift said.
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