Pipeline spills stir new criticism of Keystone XL plan

Posted: Apr 5, 2013

Written by

DAN FROSCH, New York Times
Red Butte Creek

Two recent oil pipeline spills have prompted new criticism from opponents of the proposed Keystone XL project, while raising more questions about whether the federal government is adequately monitoring the nation’s vast labyrinth of pipelines.

In recent years, critics have said that the pipeline agency has allowed pipeline companies too much autonomy in regulating their own operations. In 2011, Congress approved legislation that increased maximum fines that pipeline operators face for safety violations, among other measures.

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would also move heavy Canadian crude, leapt on the Exxon spill, reiterating their contention that crude drawn from Canada’s tar sands region is too risky to transport and especially vexing to clean up.

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