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Acknowledging significant concerns for the proposed Keystone oil sands pipeline, EPA enforcement officer Cynthia Giles wrote this week to State Department officials to request further analysis of environmental and health impacts of the $7 billion project. The pipeline would transport oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada down to Gulf Coast refineries in Oklahoma and Texas. Referencing numerous spills (12) from the existing Keystone I pipeline last year, including an 800,000 gallon spill that contaminated the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, Ms. Giles pointed to a number of concerns that must be addressed before any progress can be made in approving the project. The letter comes just days after the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued an order preventing TransCanada from restarting the Keystone I tar sands oil pipeline until the agency is convinced it is safe. This pipeline should never be approved. Not only is oil sands crude extraction an extremely dirty and inefficient method of energy production, it is a leading green house gas producer. It also produces huge quantities of contaminated water. The risks to the environment and to the health of those exposed to accidents are not worth the limited source of oil that could be provided for American consumption. We can do better than supporting Canadian production of dirty oil sands crude. It appears that the EPA may be concerned enough to put a stopper in this project. If reason prevails, it will be cemented in place permanently. I sure hope so. Read more in yesterday's NY Times. Read about the order preventing restart of the Keystone 1 in Dirty Oil Sands. Here's the letter from EPA's Cynthia Giles: letter photo credit: Vector One Media Thanks for reading!