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Pegasus oil spill could affect pipeline projects: testimony

Keywords: Tags  Keystone, Pegasus, Mark Jaccard, Anthony Swift, ExxonMobil, TransCanada, Keystone XL, pipelines line pipe

NEW YORK — The recent oil spill from ExxonMobil Pipeline Co.’s Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas could affect the public’s view of pipeline safety, experts say.

"The risks of these projects (are) becoming more apparent to the communities they would cross," Anthony Swift of the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council testified during a House subcommittee hearing to discuss a law that would expedite approval for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Repurposed pipelines in particular could face opposition, according to Mark Jaccard, professor at Burnaby, British Columbia-based Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. The Pegasus line was reversed in 2006, which can cause added stress on a pipeline.

For example, Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada’s plan to repurpose parts of its system (, Feb. 13) could receive "more public scrutiny" following the Pegasus spill. Up to 5,000 barrels of oil are estimated to have been released in the spill (, April 10), Jaccard said.

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