Canada: Moving Oil by Trucks, Trains More Harmful Than Pipeline

Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:52 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Trucks and trains carrying oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast pose a greater environmental risk than the Keystone XL pipeline, said Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the United States.

A report by the U.S. State Department backs that up, Doer told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." He said the report states that transporting the oil above ground causes "higher emissions," "higher risks for people," and "higher costs."

"Somebody has got to stand up and say the oil is coming down. And it's either going to come down on a pipeline, or it's going to come down on rail, and it's going to come down on trucks. Somebody has to stand up and say that, because it's higher emissions the way it's coming down, as we speak today," Doer said Thursday.

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It was "more energy efficient" to transport the oil through a pipeline than by rail or truck, Doer said. People who said "no" to the pipeline were actually saying "yes to higher greenhouse gas emissions," he explained.

President Barack Obama in April announced he was postponing indefinitely approval of the project. The Senate is debating bills regarding Keystone, with support from Republicans and Democrats, to move the project forward. Doer said Canadian officials "didn't think it would be that complicated" for the United States to approve the pipeline.

Doer suggested opponents of the pipeline originally believed "if you do not approve the pipeline, the oil will stay in the ground." He said that idea had "fallen like a house of cards."

"When you look out your window and see more tanker trucks, you see more tanker cars on railways, you should know it's a consequence, partially, of not approving a pipeline and having it go on rail," he said. "The oil is coming from Canada. The oil is coming from North Dakota and Montana. It's just the way it's getting to the Gulf Coast."

Environmental concerns about the route through Nebraska had been addressed, Doer maintained, and changes were subsequently approved.

"The highest standards for pipeline monitoring and surveillance and security were put in place and approved by the state of Nebraska and by the State Department in the U.S.," he said.

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