Pipeline builder Enbridge, Inc., has been working on a project for a slightly smaller pipeline that would carry 660,000 barrels of crude from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf by 2015. Over three-quarters of the 774-mile Eastern Gulf pipeline comprises a repurposed natural gas pipeline, which means that much of it is already built.
While the Keystone XL pipeline has engendered vocal opposition, the Eastern Gulf pipeline has largely gone unnoticed. But that doesn’t mean there isn't reason to be concerned. In fact, the Eastern Gulf line is only one small part of a 5,000-mile oil transport network being built by Enbridge.
“The recent news about the latest hitches for the Keystone XL pipeline may have cheered its opponents,” Thomas Stackpole writes. “But they’re going to have to start thinking a lot bigger if they want to block further tar-sands oil development entirely."