Exxon spill doesn’t tar Montana gov’s oil sands pipeline support

He also emphasized the boring techniques that TransCanada would use “so that none of these pipelines will be laid into these riverbeds.”

Friday’s Exxon pipeline accident, which sent as many as 42,000 gallons of oil into the river, comes as the Obama administration is weighing approval TransCanada’s proposed pipeline to bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the National Wildlife Federation and other green groups are citing the Exxon spill in their opposition to the Keystone XL project.

NRDC’s Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, in a blog post Tuesday, said Montana officials should reconsider their views on the Keystone XL proposal.

She lauds Schweitzer for focusing on the quick and thorough cleanup of the Exxon spill, but adds:

“The Exxon oil pipeline spill is another indicator that we should not be transporting even more dangerous and dirty tar sands oil endangering our precious rivers, agricultural lands, communities and wildlife.”

But TransCanada is claiming that the Exxon accident and Keystone shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath.

TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha tells Reuters that the line will be buried at least 25 feet below the riverbed and use thicker steel.

“Additionally, entry and exit points for the crossing would be extended away from the banks for the river. Thus, any risk of scour or erosion exposing the pipe is mitigated,” he told the news service.