Keystone Alternative Will Kill 6 People a Year: Report

Oil trains would cause fatalities, says State Department analysis

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2014 2:22 PM CST

(Newser) – An alternative to the Keystone XL pipeline could pose a danger of its own, according to a State Department analysis. If, instead of the pipeline, trains were used to transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day, the vehicles could cause six new railroad fatalities and 49 additional injuries per year, Reuters reports. Rail would also result in the spillage of some 1,200 barrels of oil per year, the official report says, compared to 500 barrels for the pipeline. The assessment comes from a federal report that found little environmental reason not to move forward with the Keystone project. The State Department will give President Obama its final recommendation later this year.

But the Association of American Railroads says the report isn't fair. It "factored in casualties that are predominantly those of trespassers on railroad rights of way, unrelated to the hazardous commodities being transported," the group's president says. Meanwhile, John Boehner was quite clear on his pipeline stance today, NBC News notes. "Complex? You think the Keystone Pipeline is complex?" he asked a questioner. "It's been under study for five years. We build pipelines everywhere in America every day. Do you realize there are 200,000 miles of pipelines in the United States? … There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline. It's time to build it."

In this May 24, 2012 file photo, some of about 500 miles worth of coated steel pipe, originally for the Keystone oil pipeline, is stored in Little Rock, Ark.
In this May 24, 2012 file photo, some of about 500 miles worth of coated steel pipe, originally for the Keystone oil pipeline, is stored in Little Rock, Ark.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
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