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New Pipeline Proposal Stokes Enviro Fears of a Keystone XL East

May 21, 2012
(E&E Daily)

Environmentalists battling Canadian oil companies over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf Coast and another link west to Asia are now girding for what they see as industry's Plan C: Move heavy crude to the East.

At issue is a plan announced by Enbridge Pipelines Inc. to reverse the flow of a pipeline that now carries 240,000 daily barrels of imported oil west from Canada's East Coast.

The pipeline company paints its proposal in the same hue that the White House has used in extolling the economic upside of the United States' current oil boom, emphasizing the value to Canadians of relying more on their nation's presently underpriced oil sands crude, but environmentalists see a bigger game afoot.

"It sounds like it really is Trailbreaker in disguise," Conservation Law Foundation attorney Ivy Frignoca said in an interview, referring to the East Coast project that Enbridge jettisoned in 2009.