By Stephen Leahy *
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Aug 23, 2011 (Tierramérica)
The promoters of Keystone XL, a huge new oil pipeline from northern Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, claim that it will reduce U.S. reliance on oil imports from unfriendly countries.
But based on falling U.S. oil demand, the controversial Keystone XL pipeline may simply allow tar sands oil currently landlocked in Alberta, Canada to be exported to Europe, say U.S. and Canadian environmental activists.
The proposed pipeline could also be used to pump water from the Ogallala aquifer in the U.S. Midwest, one of the world’s largest, to the badly parched states in the arid southwest such as Texas, currently suffering its worst drought in history.
Pipeline industry officials often say pipelines like Keystone can be easily used to transport water, said Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, a large environmental NGO.
Therefore, “Keystone XL poses a double threat to the Ogallala through contamination from a pipeline leak or by pumping water that is already being overdrawn,” Barlow said in an interview with Tierramérica. Continue reading