By Laura Barron-Lopez - 06/04/14 04:05 PM EDT
Keystone XL pipeline developer TransCanada rejected the report commissioned by billionaire Tom Steyer, which found that the project is a prime target for terrorists.
TransCanada released a statement slamming the report conducted by the retired Command Master Chief SEAL David Cooper for Steyer's action group NextGen Climate.
"The comparison to above-ground pipelines in Iraq is misleading and is comparing apples to oranges," TransCanada said.
The pipeline developer went on to blast Steyer for picking on Keystone, and not the miles of other pipelines in the United States.
"There are 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. – enough to circle the globe 100 times. Keystone XL is just 1,100 miles. Did Tom Steyer study other pipelines to assess their threats of attack as well?" TransCanada said Wednesday.
The pipeline developer, which first applied for Keystone's permit nearly six years ago, stressed that the oil-sands pipeline would be closely monitored by the Transportation Safety Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
The report by Navy SEAL Cooper highlights the vulnerability of the pipeline to terror threats, and the likelihood of one happening due to the brand-name attraction of Keystone, which is at the center of a nationwide debate.
"Why has Tom Steyer, who is committed to killing Keystone XL and the jobs and energy security it would provide, solely focusing on this pipeline alone?" TransCanada said. "If he were truly concerned about the safety of Americans then a broader assessment of all critical infrastructure would have been more appropriate."
Cooper responded to TransCanada's claims, stating they have yet to address his findings directly.
"It doesn't address the really strong points in an argument that can't be denied. For example the fact that Keystone XL would be easy to attack - and that its high profile would make it an especially attractive target," Cooper said in a statment.