DALLAS — There’s a call to shut down TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, even as oil inside is headed for Texas. It’ll be about a month before the crude makes it from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Port Arthur. The oil will travel through much of East Texas along the way, including part of eastern Smith County. Tom Smith with Public Citizen says it’s not too late to stop the flow. He says federal regulators have found a number of problems with the pipeline’s construction, like concerns about coating that prevents corrosion. He wants Congress to step in. Smith says, “Yeah, there’s oil in it, but there’ve been lots of times when the pipelines have been stopped, tested to make sure they’re adequate for additional commercial operations you’re allowed.”
The pipeline is carrying tar sands, which Smith says are more corrosive and acidic than regular oil. He says it could do a lot of damage if it sinks into a watershed. He also says the gases used to dilute the tar sands are toxic.