The EPA says another lesson of is that tar sands spills can send harmful air pollution, such as benzene, into nearby communities. "Given these concerns, it is important to ensure that the future response and remediation plans will protect communities from impacts due to spills," the EPA's letter statesThe EPA wants the State Department to require TransCanada to be ready, in case of a spill, with special equipment on hand to contain and clean up sunken oil. It also wants TransCanada to set up additional systems to detect leaks early, especially in ecologically sensitive areas and places where the pipeline crosses streams or near drinking water wells.Apparently the State Department (and really who better to contemplate pipelines?) thought it would just be another pipeline system, as opposed to a toxic timebomb. It's almost as if they just took what the lobbyists told them at face value. But still, as we've been repeatedly told by our brave politicians, the whole point of the pipeline is to get all that delicious crude into America's gas tanks for energy independence.
Oil Change International, a group fighting the Keystone pipeline, argues that is clearly not true. The group used census and U.S. energy data to figure out how much is now exported from the Texas refineries expected to handle the majority of Keystone oil. They found 60 percent of the finished gasoline produced last year in those refineries was exported. “Keystone XL proponents are saying this is about energy independence and obviously it’s not,” Oil Change International executive director Steve Kretzmann said in an interview.It is really just about someone saying in about two-decades they couldn't have anticipated such a disaster, while all the decision-makers have retired to considerable pensions -- far away from the middle of the country. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]