Judge tar sands oil on facts, not fears

THE GLOBE’S April 10 editorial, “Arkansas spill raises concerns on piping tar sands oil through New England,” raises concerns about the possible transport of oil sands crude oil from Canada through pipelines in New England. Oil sands crude has properties similar to other heavy crudes and has been safely transported by pipeline for decades. Both scientific research and industrial experience have determined that bitumen-derived crude oil is no more corrosive in transmission pipelines than other crudes.

Like New England, Canada takes its responsibility for the stewardship of our shared environment very seriously. We’ve committed to the exact same greenhouse gas reductions as the United States — 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. We are already halfway there.

Pipelines are currently one of the safest methods of transporting large volumes of crude oil over long distances. In the case of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, it is currently undergoing a rigorous environmental review in accordance with US law. An independent review by the Department of State found that Keystone XL “would have a degree of safety greater than any typically constructed domestic oil pipeline system.”


Ultimately, there are no differences in the effect of oil sands crude on pipeline integrity compared to other types of crude; and decisions on its transport should be made based on the facts.

Pat Binns

Consul General of Canada
to New England