Experts Speak on KXL in York

October 02, 2013

Pipeline and other experts in fields surrounding oil transportation spoke in York yesterday on the topic of the Keystone XL Pipeline (full story from Omaha World Herald can be found here).

Experts included Brigham McCown, former head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, J. Berton Fisher, a hydrologist who regularly testifies as a legal expert on environmental matters, and others.

The event was hosted by Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence and AFP-NE helped promote the event to members around York.

“Barry Rubin, director of Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence, said the purpose of Tuesday’s briefing was to counter what he called ‘misinformation’ about the safety and reliability of oil pipelines. ‘They should be entitled to their own opinions about the project,’ he said, ‘but they shouldn’t be entitled to their own facts.'” (OWH)

Maybe the most interesting information to come from the event was from Fisher.  Here is what the OWH reported on his contribution to the meeting:

“J. Berton Fisher, a hydro­geologist from Tulsa, Okla., said the saying that ‘oil and water don’t mix’ would apply to a leak of the oil sands crude if it were spilled in an underground aquifer. The oil, which he said is less dense than water, would float.

“Fisher, who testifies as a legal expert on environmental matters, also addressed the chemicals that would be added to allow the thick Canadian crude to flow through the pipeline. He said those compounds, which include some known to cause cancer, would not move very far in an aquifer.

“He was questioned about the 2010 Enbridge pipeline rupture in Michigan, which released an estimated 1 million gallons of Canadian oil into the Kalamazoo River. In that spill, some of the oil sank to the river bottom, making cleanup more difficult and costly.

“Fisher said that when the heavy crude is exposed to air, its density can increase, causing it to sink. So the oil would behave differently in surface water than it would in an underground water supply, he said.

Experts in fields relating to oil pipelines have signed off on KXL.  Now, it’s time to put Nebraskans to work and build the pipeline!

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