InClimate 777; Line 61 Bigger Than Keystone

Keystone XL gets all the press, but way big pipes in Wisconsin are getting ready to push far more dirty thick tar sands oil through the USA. The nation’s largest tar sands crude pipeline is being created, constructed and is destined to be operated by the most accident-prone oil distributor in the nation without an environmental impact study. Enbridge Energy’s Line 61 runs from Superior, WI to the Illinois border. The northern end is close to the Canadian border already getting oil from the Alberta Clipper line. The transfer over the border is in place and pumping, so it is not threatened by a Presidential veto. Line 61 has been amped up from its initial 400,000 barrels per day to 560,000 last August and a planned expansion to 1.2 million barrels per day by 2016. The figures dwarf Keystone’s planned 800,000 barrels per day.

Enbridge has the Western Hemisphere’s worst record on spills and the largest inland oil spill in US history under its belt. A 2010 spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River is still not completely cleaned up, but already cost about $1.2 billion. Line 61 has been creeping through mostly unnoticed and probably by company design. Pumping stations have to be souped up to handle the heavy black goo and the one at Waterloo, WI has only a Dane County zoning committee standing in the way.

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