Southern Leg of Keystone Pipeline is Operational

The Washington Post reports that “TransCanada will start shipping crude oil through the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline Wednesday, easing the bottleneck at the sprawling storage-tank farms in Cushing, Okla., and feeding refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.”

TransCanada is still waiting for final approval from the State Department on the northern portion of the the pipeline.

“The outlook for a State Department decision remains murky. Last week, before a meeting with Canada’s foreign minister, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the department still had to complete its final environmental-impact statement.”

This is the second EIS after “controversy discredited an earlier version and after TransCanada submitted a revised pipeline route to avoid more of the ecologically sensitive parts of Nebraska and more, but not all, of the enormous Ogallala Aquifer.”

Meanwhile, oil transport by rail has soared but has been mired by a number of dramatic accidents.

“The Association of American Railroads reported that in 2013 the number of carloads of petroleum and petroleum products jumped 31 percent over the previous year.”

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