Keystone XL Pipeline Leads To An American Cancer Corridor

Law Breaking, Disrespect and Cancer Proliferation

Materials for the Keystone XL Pipeline extension have been transported illegally through North and South Dakota, through Native North American reserves, disrespecting the sacred burial grounds that are excavated for laying pipe.

The tar sands to be transported through the pipeline extension have already solidly been proven to cause cancer in Alberta, where a network of Cancer Corridor Hospitals was established to treat the quickly spreading disease.

The federal government stepped into the fight over the Dakota Access oil pipeline Friday, ordering work to stop on one segment of the project in North Dakota...A joint statement from the Army and the Departments of Justice and the Interior said construction bordering or under Lake Oahe would not go forward and asked the Texas-based pipeline builder, Energy Transfer Partners, to stop work 20 miles to the east and west of the lake while the government reconsiders "any of its previous decisions."

— AP; Tampa Bay Times; 9/10/2016

Lake Oahe is a reservoir of Oahe Dam on the Missouri River. It originates in central South Dakota and continues into North Dakota, covering 370,000 acres of area.

Area Of Work Stoppage On the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline

show route and directions
A markerLake Oahe -
Lake Oahe, United States
[get directions]

B markerOahe Dam -
Oahe Dam, Fort Pierre, SD 57532, USA
[get directions]

C markerCheyenne River Reservation SD -
Cheyenne River Reservation, North Dewey, SD, USA
[get directions]

D markerStanding Rock Sioux Reservation -
Standing Rock Reservation, Central Corson, SD, USA
[get directions]

Over 200,000 acres of tribal lands were lost without permission in flooding on the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations when the Army Corps of Engineers built the Oahe Dam. Poverty remains a problem for displaced Native Americans in the Dakotas, who need compensation for the loss of their flooded towns.

The XL Pipeline is a Cancer-Causing Black Snake

Oil pipe sections stacked in a field southwest of Morden, Manitoba.
Oil pipe sections stacked in a field southwest of Morden, Manitoba. | Source

People living downwind and downstream from tar sand refineries have experienced significantly elevated levels of cancer.

— Dr. Yinqun Chen

Alberta Tar Sands

Oil and tar sands are strip mined or extracted in the open pit method.
Oil and tar sands are strip mined or extracted in the open pit method. | Source

Pipeline Between Hardisty and Steele City Already Exists

Source

The Black Snake

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been branded the Black Snake, because of the sludgy, toxic, and corrosive bituminous contents it will carry if it is completed.

The tar sands to be transported in the pipe can be hazardous to human, animal, and plant health and the environment overall. However, a 2014 federal report stated that the proposed Keystone XL northern leg from Montana through Nebraska would not harm the environment. Still, the contents will harm people, things, and places once it corrodes through the pipeline.

Bitumen and its thick tar sands are highly corrosive, especially since chemicals are added to make it flow through the pipes - chemicals that do not come under US jurisdiction..

Some disagree with the government report, likening it to a 1980s study on sugar with results showing little or no harm from sugar to humans. The study was paid for by the Sugar Council.

End Points Of the Proposed Last Leg For Keystone XL Pipeline

show route and directions
A markerHardisty, Alberta, Canada. -
51 Ave, Hardisty, AB T0B 1V0, Canada
[get directions]

Alberta is home to oil tar sands proven to cause cancer among workers and nearby residents. A Cancer Corridor of Hospitals operates over a great reach

B markerSteele City, Nebraska -
Steele City, NE, USA
[get directions]

In Port Arthur, Texas, where major oil refineries are located and where the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would end, cancer rates are 15% higher and mortality rates are 40% higher than average.

— Chris Tackett, journalist. October 29, 2013

Cities Along the Intended Northern Leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline for Corrosive Tar Sands

show route and directions
A markerBaker, Montana -
Baker, MT 59313, USA
[get directions]

B markerSteele City, Nebraska -
Steele City, NE, USA
[get directions]

Major connection point for proposed Keystone XL northern leg.

C markerHarding, South Dakota -
Harding, SD, USA
[get directions]

D markerMurdo, South Dakota -
Murdo, SD 57559, USA
[get directions]

E markerColome, South Dakota -
Colome, SD 57528, USA
[get directions]

F markerPhillips, Montana -
Phillips, MT, USA
[get directions]

G markerFallon, Montana -
Fallon, MT, USA
[get directions]

H markerHardisty Alberta, in the Cancer Corridor -
Hardisty, AB, Canada
[get directions]

I markerPort Arthur, Texas -
Port Arthur, TX, USA
[get directions]

The Black Snake Speaks

TransCanada.com:

The Keystone XL Pipeline proposes 1,179 miles (1,897 km) of 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline. It will begin in Hardisty, Alberta and extend south to Steele City, Nebraska. This pipeline is a critical infrastructure project for the energy security of the United States and for strengthening the American economy.

Cancer In the Polluted Wind Of the Pipes

A study released in the autumn of 2013 found that air pollution directly resulting from Alberta Province's giant tar sands operations affects residents downwind. These residents are placed risk with unsafe levels of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic chemicals in the air. Damage besides cancer can be found in the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system of residents downwind.

Reference: Isobel J. Simpson, et.al. Air quality in the Industrial Heartland of Alberta, Canada and potential impacts on human health. Atmospheric Environment; Volume 81, December 2013, Pages 702–709.

Corroboration of Cancer Findings

People living downwind and downstream from tar sand refineries have experienced significantly elevated levels of cancer, with ongoing follow-up studies and monitoring in progress.

Reference: Dr. Yiqun Chen. Cancer Incidence in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta 1995-2006. February 2009.

Dr. Tony Fields, VP of Cancer Corridor health related services in Alberta stated that "39 cancers found in 47 people" (83% where each has one cancer) is not higher than average. That is difficult to believe.

Native American Nations' Objections

Lakota Nation of South Dakota

The Lakota Nation of South Dakota seceded from the Untied States and blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2013 and 2014, preventing the northern leg of the pipeline from construction.

The governor of that state had allowed Canadian construction materials trucks to cross South Dakota and reservation lands without the standard fees paid to the state and without the permission of the Lakota Nation. Some natives were arrested, but the physical blockade continued.

Around Valentine's Day 2014, Members of Native American Nations in eastern South Dakota held a conference to plan further opposition to the pipeline completion. Adding to the blockade and future plans is the Nebraska state governor's right to prevent the pipeline from construction across his state - a right that courts have upheld.

First Nations of British Columbia -- Nine Pacific Northwest Coastal First Nations in BC declared a ban on oil tankers throughout their traditional territories. Reference: The Facts... http://forestethics.org/canada-tar-sands-facts. Retrieved February 20, 2014.

Lakota Nation Lies In the Path Of The Keystone XL

Lakota Nation left the United States and declared independence.
Lakota Nation left the United States and declared independence. | Source

Keystone XL CEOs Might Be Prosecuted In the Future

CEOs whose businesses are complicit in human rights atrocities -- like the mass murder of people who object to land-grabs by mineral extraction companies -- can now be tried in the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

-- Global Witness-Guardian and Telesur at telesurtv.net

NOTE: The USA is not a member of the International Criminal Court and not under its jurisdiction at this time.


Vetoed Pipeline Bills

On Friday November 6, 2015, just before Veteran's Day, the US State Department rejected the Canadian proposal for completion of the final leg of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline through the United States.

TransCanada Corp's pipeline plan to transport more than 800,000 barrels per day of tar sands through the completed Keystone XL pipe. As of mid-summer 2016, no bill to allow such has survived the US President's veto.

Most of the jobs promised with the pipeline completion are very short-term. Billionaire Warren Buffet owns the transport trucks for the tar/oil sands, but the trucks can be cleaned and the pipeline will not be cleaned. Holes will eat through pipes and damage will be done. Related cancer is a serious concern at the Canadian pipe head.

Tar Sands Properties and Solutions For Them

The completed Keystone Pipeline would transport the dirtiest of petroleum crude products into the USA from Alberta, Canada. However, the Canadian tar sands comprise the third-largest crude oil reserve in the world. This is an immense resource of energy and revenues, but do the health hazards outweigh the revenue benefits?

These substances are described as the thick, scummy, corrosive tar-and-sands from which petroleum can still be refined. The substances will damage the pipe with corrosion and create additional jobs in the repair and maintenance sector of Oil & Gas. One solution to that is to develop a heavy duty, anti-corrosive lining for the pipeline, much like the white anti-corrosive lining we now have in many commercially prepared vegetable cans in the USA.

However, some linings of many vegetable cans contain carcinogens - BPAs or bisphenol-A. Enamel and epoxy based linings are safer, but much more costly. Glass is the safest healthy container for foods. (Reference: Eden Foods. http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=178 Retrieved February 20, 2014.) We will likely not see glass linings in the Keystone XL Pipeline, because of cost and figuring how to connect glass sections without the rush of heavy tar sands breaking the seams.

Some Americans and many global citizens seem to feel that the Texas Oil Industry feels entitled to Canadian tar sands with which to build further fortunes at a time when hundreds of additional oil wells are being drilled in North Dakota.

The ND wells supposedly eliminate the need for more pipelines, since ND pipes flow roughly west to east to Chicago. Indeed, the Bakken-Williston crude deposits are said to furnish potential energy for all of North America for 100 years. "How much oil does Texas need?" ask some voices.

The Canadian tar sands would be refined and shipped back to Canada at an expensive price, thus making big money for Texas refineries on the Gulf of Mexico (see below).

Addressing the Issues

The Jungle
The Jungle

During the early 20th century, a lack of laws allowed businesses to misuse employees and to ignore cleanliness and safety issues. Children fell into vats of meat products and no one did anything about it. Today, several manufacturing processes cause cancer and personal injury attorneys are busier than they can handle! The Jungle - Unhealthy business in America. If author Upton Sinclair were alive today, he might be writing about oil refineries and oil transporting pipelines instead of meat packing plants.

 
During October 1972, a Texas-New Mexico oil pipeline burst and sent 285,000 gallons of crude oil into the environment. Any pipeline might burst.
During October 1972, a Texas-New Mexico oil pipeline burst and sent 285,000 gallons of crude oil into the environment. Any pipeline might burst. | Source

Proverb: Having Texas Cake and Eating It Too

Concurrently, some Texas residents and some politicians say that they want the Keystone northern leg completed, but that they also want to secede from the Union.

The second sentiment appears in numerous headlines that many of us have seen several times from 2009 to date, during the Obama Years.

These forsakers of the Union would not be able to use the federally funded pipeline (unless the USA charges a cripplingly high fee, probably), but they may feel entitled to use it, since it is on Texas land. Texas cannot reasonably expect both secession and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Texas is growing in the Aerospace Industry, Transportation (including Oil & Gas), and even Alternative Energies. Some are asking, therefore, why we would refine Canadian tar sands and send oil back to Canada.

One answer must be the high potential revenues for Texas refineries, unfortunately set in lower-income counties where lower-income people are exposed to carcinogens and chemicals that interfere with cardiovascular health. There is little remedy for related chronic illnesses or hope in having refineries moved..

Alberta Cancer Corridor

Fort Chipewyan, the Cancer Corridor, and Three New Cancer Treatment Centers

show route and directions
A markerFort Chipewyan, Alberta -
Fort Chipewyan, AB T0P, Canada
[get directions]

B markerLethbridge, Alberta -
Lethbridge, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Cancer treatment center.

C markerGrand Prairie, Alberta -
Grande Prairie, Alberta
[get directions]

Cancer treatment center.

D markerRed Deer, Alberta -
Red Deer, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Cancer treatment center.

Some Effects Of Tar Sands Refining In Canada

People living downwind and downstream of these refineries are exposed to benzene, toluene, sulfur dioxide, and heavy metals (at least mercury and lead). All are toxic and sulfur dioxide can readily result in cardiovascular problems.

In February 2014, Alberta Health Services listed 6,800 job openings in the Province of Alberta, over 2,450 of these jobs related to cancer treatment and prevention. A portion of these are in the Cancer Corridor, which is more about treatment in the 2010s than the spread of cancer, but Alberta cancers seem to be often tar-sands-refinery related.

The natural gas used to refine tar sands could heat three million homes a day. The water required is three million barrels a day among Canadian tar sands refineries. Many critics see these figures as a waste of resources. Refining tar sands leaves growing toxic lakes at the end of production, these lakes growing by 1.8 liters (475,510 gallons) every day. A way of neutralizing or eliminating them is needed.

Reference: Forest Ethics. The Facts – Canada's tar sands are the newest – and dirtiest — frontier of oil production. http://forestethics.org/canada-tar-sands-facts Retrieved February 21, 2014.

In the USA, the primary tar sands refineries would be located at the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. Toxic chemical byproducts would present an enormous disposal problem and health risk.

NOTE: A resident of Galveston near the refineries complained to me many times that drilling and refining should continue to grow as much as possible in Texas and elsewhere, because the Oil & Gas Industry has "never made anyone sick." Then her husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Tar sands refining poses to cause a greater number of health problems than does Texas crude refining.

Cancer Creeps Up To Peace River, Alberta, Canada

show route and directions
A markerPeace River, Canada -
Peace River, AB T0H, Canada
[get directions]

Families began showing severe symptoms of poisoning and tumors from oil tar sands.

B markerHardisty, Alberta -
Hardisty, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Start of north leg of Keystone XL Pipeline (in the Cancer Corridor). Edmonton & Calgary have large cancer treatment centers.

C markerGrand Prairie, Alberta -
Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Location of a major new cancer treatment center, resulting from oil tar sand cancers.

D markerRed Deer, Alberta -
Red Deer, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Major New Cancer Treatment Center

E markerEdmonton, Alberta -
Edmonton, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Cancer Treatment Center

F markerCalgary, Alberta -
Calgary, AB, Canada
[get directions]

Cancer Treatment Center

Symptoms Attributable To Tar Sands Refining

A family living beside a tar sands refinery in the town of Peace River in Canada began to suffer multiple unheard-of symptoms of illness. The dad developed eye-twitching tics and headaches, then facial or head tumors.

His wife and toddler began falling down in the house frequently for no reason. Another toddler in the family developed grey facial skin and constipation. This suffering family learned that several other local families were facing similar physical problems.

Six nuclear and/or extended families finally moved and many symptoms disappeared.

Reference: Tar Sands Refugees. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/18/3217921/tar-sands-refugees/# Retrieved February 20, 2014.

A Possible Texas Cancer Corridor

Keystone XL Pipeline in Texas: Refineries Already Operating

show route and directions
A markerHouston, Texas -
Houston, TX, USA
[get directions]

B markerPort Arthur, Texas -
Port Arthur, TX, USA
[get directions]

Parallels With Oil Rigs and Refineries In the Gulf Of Mexico

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Part of caption; "In 2009 production averaged 900,000 barrels per day.  At an average price of $75/bbl, that works out to $25 billion that is cycled through service companies and employee salaries and expenses." - Roy LuckOil boxes filling in a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas sometimes between the end of the Civil War and 1915.
Part of caption; "In 2009 production averaged 900,000 barrels per day.  At an average price of $75/bbl, that works out to $25 billion that is cycled through service companies and employee salaries and expenses." - Roy Luck
Part of caption; "In 2009 production averaged 900,000 barrels per day. At an average price of $75/bbl, that works out to $25 billion that is cycled through service companies and employee salaries and expenses." - Roy Luck | Source
Oil boxes filling in a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas sometimes between the end of the Civil War and 1915.
Oil boxes filling in a refinery in Port Arthur, Texas sometimes between the end of the Civil War and 1915. | Source
Source

Refineries Already Operate in Port Arthur, Some Residents Sick

Port Arthur suffered the same residential flight from the city in the 1960s that occurred in Detroit. Hurricanes and the expanding Texas Oil & Gas Industry caused much of the flight from Port Arthur. Much of the city is a ghetto, much of it abandoned, and a housing housing project sits next to a large oil refinery. Residients of the project hope to be moved out and away from the refinery.

At least two dozen refineries have been at work in the Oil & Gas Industry in and around Port Arthur since the 1950s. One Viet Nam veteran states that he recalls at least 22 (see reference in next paragraph).

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory places Jefferson County among the very worst in the nation for air releases of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, and reproductive disorders. In a state that regularly records in excess of 2,500 toxic emissions events per year, Port Arthur is near the top of the list of offending cities. Data collected by the Texas Cancer." Reference: Natural Resources Defense Council/On Earth. Ted Genoways. "Port Arthur, Texas: American Sacrifice Zone."

Next Steps To Solutions

  • Since the serious human health and environmental risks are higher with tar sands refining than with our petroleum crude oil refining, preventative measures should be developed with which to reduce the risks. Risks include those in pipeline transport and in tar sands byproducts (lakes of toxic sludge).
  • One alternative is to continue to block the completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • Health risks in towns and cities near oil rigs already operating in the Gulf of Mexico need immediate attention, or the residents should move away from the toxins. Some may need government help moving, perhaps Disaster Area aide, taking as an example the residents of a housing project in Port Arthur, Texas.

© 2014 Patty Inglish

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very interesting. I guess it is just cost but everything I just read should be able to be dealt with appropriately. At a bare minimum we Californians pay over a dollar per gallon in taxes. Why doesn't that money provide solutions to the pollutions?


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

To what exact use do our gasoline taxes go, I wonder. In Ohio, they tell us it goes to road repair and construction, but right now, my city has so many potholes that one can hardly drive down any street. Our Pothole Reporting website and phone number are jammed full. Suburbs are fixing their potholes more quickly. I think there is a city tax as well as fed and state on gasoline.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

I just heard a National Public Radio story about former U.S. Geological Survey director Marcia McNutt endorsing the Keystone XL pipeline after having formerly opposed it. She says she changed her mind because it's become clear that killing the pipeline won't stop exploitation of the Canadian tar sands. Transport will simply shift to trucks and trains, which are not only more expensive but environmentally much more dangerous. I think she's probably right about that. So, maybe the focus should be not on stopping the pipeline but on using the controversy as an opportunity to require the most stringent safety measures possible.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Thank you for brining this issue to awareness. I can understand the concern with this pipeline construction. I hope they find a way to complete it without causing harm to people and the environment.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

That's a good idea. I still wonder why Texas wants to tar sands when they have plenty of other oil resources.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

The US senate will vote on the Keystone bill on the evening of Tuesday November 18, 2014. If the bill passes and is not vetoed, then TransCanada Corp's pipeline will transport 800,000+ barrels per day of cancer causing, corrosive tar sands.


firstday profile image

firstday 22 months ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

It must be stopped. Pray this does not go through, if it does there will be war with the Native Americans…it must stop now.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

I hear that at least two tribes or nations in South Dakota will renew blocking efforts of the related roadways to stop the pipeline; you may be correct about that war.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

Interesting! --

The president of a South Dakota-based Rosebud Sioux native American tribe says it will be an "act of war" if Congress authorizes construction of the #Keystone XL pipeline. "We are outraged by the lack of intergovernmental cooperation."


handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 22 months ago from western pennsylvania

If it goes thru tribal lands and they don't want it then it should not be built there. It should be their choice.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

I agree. The tribe is set to close its borders, effectively closing the roads.


solarcaptain profile image

solarcaptain 22 months ago from california

Not so fast. The president has no further need to try to please

his persistent detractors. He may simply say nothing and let his pocket veto do the talking. At one time civility haunted the corror-

dors of congress and things got argued over compromised on and passed. Now most everyone just whines.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

But the issue may resurrect with a Republican-majority senate in 2015 , so a veto today may, in effect, be only a delay.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

From the Guardian, US Edition: Senate rejects the Keystone XL pipeline bill

41 ‘no’ votes in the senate means the bill will not pass.

6:20 PM 11/18/14


solarcaptain profile image

solarcaptain 22 months ago from california

Nice job. I learned a lot from your work and will get back to following you as before. Thank you.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America Author

Thanks very much!

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