LETTER: Pipelines safely transport oil sands crudes

The following letter was jointly signed and submitted by the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and the American Petroleum Institute in response to a New York Times op-ed by David Sassoon, publisher of InsideClimate News.

To the Editor of the New York Times:

David Sassoon’s August 21, 2012, Op-Ed Crude, Dirty and Dangerous is long on worry and light on facts about crude oil derived from Canadian oil sands called diluted bitumen.

We have over 25 years of experience transporting diluted bitumen in pipelines safely across America. Since they began keeping detailed statistics, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shows not a single pipeline rupture caused by diluted bitumen.

Diluted bitumen is just natural oil sands with the sand, clay and water removed and a lighter petroleum like natural gas condensate added in to help it flow through the pipeline.  It has the same chemical properties as heavy crude oils from California, Mexico and Colombia, successfully transported by pipeline in the U.S. for 40 years.

Pipelines remain safer than trains or trucks, deliver raw materials for American manufacturing jobs, and allow Americans access to lower-priced North American energy sources.


Andrew Black, President & CEO, Association of Oil Pipe Lines
Brenda Kenny, President & CEO, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
Peter Lidiak, Pipeline Director, American Petroleum Institute

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