House Hearing Reveals Shortcomings of Pipeline Safety

NRDC: Reckless Optimism is No Substitute for Due Diligence

WASHINGTON (June 16, 2011) -- A House energy and power subcommittee hearing today underscored a disturbing reality: the government cannot offer any assurance that transporting tar sands diluted bitumen through oil pipelines is safe.

"This is especially alarming in the case of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline because it would be built through one of America's most important freshwater aquifers, the Ogallala," said Anthony Swift, policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"This is all the more troubling because Keystone XL pipeline's sister -- Keystone One -- has already had twelve spills in the first year of its operation. It is therefore critical that the review process for XL be put on hold until the government can answer that central question over safety,'' Swift said. "We must not let reckless optimism stand in the place of prudent due diligence. The time to get to the bottom of this is now, not after another horrible spill.''