The road portion of this road trip actually started Friday, when we took a rented car (a Ford Flex more suited to taking high school kids to their prom) and set off for Hardisty, the small town (population 639) in Alberta where the Keystone XL pipeline would actually start.
We drove past seemingly endless prairie and after a couple of hours we came around a bend and saw a field of large oil tanks perched on a small hill.
Though the U.S. permits applications are still pending at the State Department, TransCanada already has its permits in Canada and there is a lot of activity at the site. Cranes were lifting segments of new pipeline and workmen were putting down foundations for pipelines, buildings and pumping stations. It’s the same site where TransCanada’s existing Keystone pipeline begins. (Yes, the existing Keystone and the bigger proposed Keystone XL are different pipelines. It’s a little confusing. Before the first Keystone opened, TransCanada was mainly in the gas pipeline business, not oil.) Read More