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Keystone XL: DilBit Through the Heartland

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Defective Steel

Pipeline construction saw a major boom from 2007 to 2009. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) inspection of seven pipelines built during the boom revealed that five showed expansion anomalies indicating significant amounts of defective steel. Several mills had provided defective steel, but 88% of the pipe with expansion anomalies was traced to a manufacturer based in India: Welspun Power and Steel.

Welspun provided 47% of the steel for Keystone 1.

TransCanada confirmed on February 2, 2012, that they will not be using any steel from India to build Keystone XL.

An email to Energy and Commerce Committee staff from TransCanada's government-relations staff said: "We have not sourced any steel from India." But days later (February 17, 2012), TransCanada confirmed in a press release that 10% of the steel in Keystone XL will come from Welspun, India.

Other examples of TransCanada's openness and transparency include....

December 31, 2009:    TransCanada confesses that Keystone XL would cause an increase in gas prices.

June, 2010:    TransCanada cites a recent study that claims Keystone XL would reduce gas prices. From the TransCanada website: "... supplies from reliable sources leads to lower costs, thereby putting downward pressure on prices."
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September 26, 2011:    Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's President of Energy and Oil Pipelines, declares that the route for Keystone XL has been exhaustively analyzed, and it would be next to impossible to change it now.

October 11, 2011:    In a meeting with Nebraska State Senators, Alex Pourbaix insists that moving the route for Keystone XL would jeopardize the project.

October 18, 2011:    "... it is possible for us to move the route to avoid the Sandhills." (Alex Pourbaix)

November 14, 2011:    TransCanada announces they will change the route of Keystone XL.

November 29, 2011:    Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada, declares that re-routing the pipeline would be easy.
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December 2, 2011:    Alex Pourbaix cannot promise that Keystone XL's "crude oil" will not be for foreign export....

That's a very important point. Keystone XL will supply the global market--a pipeline through, not to, the U.S.


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Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novels and earlier essays can be found at http://www.starchiefpress.com/

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