TransCanada to Build a Tar-Sand Pipeline in East Texas

Keystone XL

TransCanada's map for the proposed pipeline.

While the Department of Energy took a step towards cutting the emissions of the state by approving a Carbon Capture and Storage project for Texas which will start early next year, a nasty tar-sand Pipeline is set to penetrate through Texas land and be completed by late 2011. The first segment of the line which extends from Alberta to Illinois has already been completed and will be functioning next month. The second segment (Texas and Oklahoma) of the Keystone XL line will be built by the Canadian oil and pipeline company, TransCanada.

The line will end in Houston, where the crude oil will be refined. In addition to the fact that pipelines are not the safest to be around as we saw a couple of them blow up just in the past week, the line will carry tar-sands, one of the dirtiest sources of oil. This source of oil is estimated to have as much as three times more emissions than other oil sources when produced, keep in mind that it will be refined in Houston, a city that is already in non attainment of federal air quality standards.

TransCanada also applied for a special permit to build the line thinner than what the standards require. The segment already built in Illinois was approved for using a thinner pipe, a method which the United Steelworkers had warned last year that it “would increase the risks of ruptures, leaks and spills and lessen pipeline safety by the use of thinner pipe and greater operating pressure.” State Department approval for the Texas-Oklahoma segment is pending.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.