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Keystone XL pipeline could cost society up to $100B a year, critics say

Jay F. Marks Published: May 7, 2013

As debate over Keystone XL pipeline continues, one group opposed to the transcontinental pipeline is claiming the project will cost up to $100 billion a year in damages to health, property, ecosystems and the climate.

Oil Change International, which is dedicated to facilitating the transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy, on Tuesday released its study on the actual cost of the pipeline, which would move diluted bitumen and crude oil from Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Read the full report here.

“Americans are fed up with footing the bill for corporate pollution. The Keystone XL Pipeline will cause billions of dollars in damages every year that no one wants to pay,” said Lorne Stockman, research director for Oil Change International.

“TransCanada is proposing a massive wealth transfer from our own pockets to Big Oil — we will pay in hospital visits, rebuilding after super storms, and in clean up efforts in communities like Mayflower and Kalamazoo.

That’s outrageous, and President Obama should reject this pipeline immediately as a lose-lose gamble.”

Developer TransCanada is awaiting a federal permit for the Keystone XL project.

Supporters contend it will be a boon to the economy and North American energy security, while opponents fear future ecological disasters and other climate impacts, citing past pipeline spills in Michigan and Arkansas.

The Obama administration denied a permit for the $5.3 billion project last year, but TransCanada renewed its application after altering the pipeline’s route through Nebraska‘s Sand Hills.

The southern leg of the project, dubbed the Gulf Coast Project, is nearing completion in Oklahoma and Texas, despite scores of protests by opponents. The 485-mile pipeline between the oil storage hub at Cushing and Houston-area refineries is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

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