Illinois Tar Sands Export Pipeline
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “Currently, 99 per cent of Canada’s energy exports go to one country - the United States… To this end, our government is committed to ensuring that Canada has the infrastructure necessary to move our energy resources to [world] markets.” - cbc
TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline
The widely publicized Keystone pipeline, owned by Alberta’s TransCanada, represents Canada’s effort to transport its Alberta tar sand diluted bitumen to export terminals on the Gulf Coast. But a broad coalition including Native Americans, scientists, climate activists, and landowners have stalled the project for six years.
The Illinois Keystone Clone
Another Canadian pipeline company, Enbridge, has found a way to transport Alberta Tar Sands to the Gulf - this time through Illinois. Since May, 2009 Alberta tar sand diluted bitumen has been flowing through Enbridge’s 42” Line 61 running through Boone, DeKalb, LaSalle, and Livingston counties. Line 61 is a piece in Enbridge’s network that allows 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to flow from Alberta to the Gulf – the beginning of the Keystone Clone. One essential piece of Enbridge’s Keystone Clone is the Flanagan South pipeline from Flanagan, Illinois, to Cushing, Oklahoma that started pumping late in 2014. The Canadian company Enbridge is using eminent domain to seize property right-of-way from Illinois land owners for their pipelines.
The Line 61 Expansion
Enbridge is currently constructing pumping stations designed to increase the pressure in Line 61 to increase the flow to 1,200,000 (bpd), triple the existing flow rate and nearly 150% the flow rate of the stalled Keystone XL pipeline. Dane County in Madison has stalled the expansion progress of Line 61 by simply requesting Enbridge to provide sufficient insurance to cover the cost of Line 61 pipeline leaks.
What is in Line 61?
In addition to tar sand bitumen, Line 61 contains a cocktail of chemicals (diluent) used to allow the thick tar-like substance to flow through the pipe. At its destination, the diluent is extracted from the bitumen and pumped back north in a pipeline (Line 13) running parallel to Line 61. The chemicals in both Line 13 and Line 61 include: 1t,2-dimethylcyclopentane, 2,3-dimethylbutane, 2-methylhexane, 2-methylpentane, 3-methylhexane, 3-methylpentane, Benzene, cyclohexane, cyclopentane, i-pentane, methylcyclohexane, methylcyclopentane, n-butane, n-heptane, n-Hexane, n-Pentane, Toluene, Hydrogen sulfide, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes.
Line 61 Resources