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Continued: Minnesota PUC to review Enbridge oil pipeline expansion

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 5, 2013 - 7:53 AM

Enbridge said expansion is needed because oil customers, including Twin Cities refineries, could be slapped with quotas as pipelines become oversubscribed.

The climate activists’ strategy to stop pipelines may not stop Canadian oil imports. RBN Energy, an oil industry consulting firm in Houston, recently reported that at least seven unit train loading terminals could be operating in Alberta by 2016, with capacity to haul away 550,000 barrels per day on tank cars. In the Gulf Coast, refiners are building terminals to unload the oil. And North Dakota already ships most of its oil by rail.

Enbridge has defended the safety record of the Alberta Clipper line, saying the pipe’s outer, anti-corrosion coating is better than that of the 1960s-era line that failed in Michigan. The company also says that hazardous material incidents on railroads are 33 times higher than on liquids pipelines, even though pipelines ship 16 percent more ton-miles than rail.

 

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090 • @ShafferStrib

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  • For a video report on the pipeline go to StarTribune.com

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