Alberta premier takes U.S. Canadian crude accidents in stride

Tue Apr 9, 2013 6:54pm EDT
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By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A pair of recent accidents that spilled Canadian crude oil in the United States is part of doing business in the energy industry and should not prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from moving forward, Alberta's premier said on Tuesday.

"We have to be honest about the fact that if we do have energy development, there is the risk of really unfortunate incidents," Alison Redford, whose province is home to Canada's oil sands, said during a panel at the Brookings Institution.

The Obama administration is expected to decide late this summer on whether to approve TransCanada Corp's proposed 800,000 barrel-per-day Keystone XL pipeline. The project would connect the oil sands, the world's third largest petroleum deposit, with refineries in Texas.

Opponents are attempting to delay the already years-long approval process after two high profile accidents involving Canadian crude. They are urging the department to extend a comment period due to end on April 22 to 120 days from 45.

Residents are beginning to return to some of the 22 homes evacuated after Exxon Mobil Corp's Pegasus pipeline spilled thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in an Arkansas neighborhood late last month.

A few days earlier, a Canadian Pacific Ltd train derailed in rural Minnesota with a tanker car leaking several hundred barrels of Alberta crude oil.


Redford is on her fourth visit to Washington on Keystone-related matters, and is meeting with lawmakers and members of the Obama administration about Canada's environmental programs.   Continued...

Alberta Premier Alison Redford arrives to discuss the E. coli outbreak with cattle ranchers at the Bell L ranch near Airdrie, Alberta, September 30, 2012. REUTERS/Todd Korol