Yeah, that's worth an exclamation point—UPDATE 2010.08.06: oh, wait, probably not.
TransCanada has withdrawn its request for a safety waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation for construction of its Keystone XL pipeline. Senator Jon Tester of Montana announced today that that TransCanada says it will back off its request to operate the pipeline at higher pressure than normal for the thickness of steel proposed. That move alone could cost TransCanada as much as $1 billion. Sen. Tester says "TransCanada also agreed to bury the pipeline at a depth of four feet, conduct frequent inspections and treat the pipeline with an anti-corrosive coating."
Every one of these steps decreases the chance of oil spills like the ones we've already seen on TransCanada's new Keystone pipeline. Keystone XL still represents a significant threat to our wetlands and aquifers. But if we can't convince the government that Keystone XL is an unnecessary extension of our addiction to ever dirtier oil, we can at least take pleasure in this significant victory for environmental safety.
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