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Report: Tar Sands Oil Boosts Pipeline Risks

Report: Tar Sands Oil Boosts Pipeline Risks

A map of current and proposed oil pipelines carrying raw tar sands oil in the U.S. and Canada. (From the report: Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks)

Host: Rebecca Williams
Show date: 02/17/2011

An oil pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy Partners broke last summer. It spilled more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River.

A new report warns a corrosive type of oil flowing through pipelines in Michigan might lead to more spills.

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz is with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Sheís one of the reportís authors.

She says the pipeline that broke last summer was carrying raw tar sands oil. Itís also called diluted bitumen.

ďDiluted bitumen or the raw tar sands oil is more acidic, itís more corrosive, itís very thick so you need high pressure and heat to have it go through a pipe."

Enbridge did not agree to be recorded for this story. But in an email statement, an Enbridge spokesperson said there can be several different types of crude oil in any of their pipelines at any given time.

Read the report

Response to the report from the Alberta government

NRDC response to the Alberta government


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