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August 06, 2010

Pipeline Company Rescinds Risky Proposal … For Now

Amid two massive oil spills, public pressure was apparently high enough to force TransCanada to back down from its permit request to pump the world’s most toxic crude at over-zealous pressures. In doing so, the company made a telling statement about the risks their pipelines pose, acknowledging their proposal was unsafe from the start.

But they made sure to allow for a “request for a special permit in the future”. TransCanada is making a smart PR move, because pumping at lower pressures still allows the company to meet its prospective deliveries, while making them appear sensitive to safety concerns.

They stood by their commitment to use thinner-than-standard steel, a move that will expose American communities and vital aquifers to increased risk, but will save the company close to a billion dollars. No sign of shying from that proposal- actually building an up-to-par pipe would provide the minimum safeguards against another disaster, but a fraction of their profits are on the line!

The Enbridge pipeline disaster in Michigan spill is the latest of more than 2,500 significant pipeline incidents that have occurred in the United States over the last ten years, resulting in 161 fatalities and 576 injuries. There are no safe pipelines, and TransCanada knows it.

This thinly veiled publicity stunt is yet another attempt by big oil companies to dupe the American people into believing their practices are safe. We have been reassured time and again by companies like BP and Enbridge, only to see the all-too-real consequences of their negligence in the form of devastating toxic spills.

We cannot allow another oil company to placate us again with a bait-and-switch ploy at appearing 'safer', while simultaneously forging ahead with risky practices that protect nothing but their profits. TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline is a risky project that will undermine well-paying, green jobs at home, and expose 27% of America’s irrigated farmland to oil contamination.

We cannot afford another pipeline disaster, and we don't need a multi-billion dollar project that directly undermines America's clean energy future. We must stand up and tell the State Department that another risky pipeline carrying the world’s dirtiest crude will never be in the national interest.

Main Switchboard for State Department:

202-647-4000
TTY:1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)

-- Gabriel DeRita

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