Regardless of Keystone future, oil rolls on rails in Minnesota


Debate over the proposed the Keystone XL pipeline has been fierce, and the project has become emblematic of a national debate over climate change.

Proponents say the project that would bring Canadian oil to the U.S. Great Plains would create badly needed jobs and be a key step toward North American energy independence. Critics say it would pose a big threat to the Earth’s climate because it would add billions of metric tons of global warming pollution to the atmosphere.

A long-awaited State Department draft report released last week made no clear recommendation on whether the U.S. should approve the pipeline, but it also downplayed some of the warnings from environmental activists, Politico noted.

What does any of that have to do with Minnesota? Regardless of the project's future, large quantities of the Canadian oil that the pipeline is designed to carry will still be ferried into the United States on Minnesota railroad tracks, the Star Tribune reports.

The oil-by-rail shipping business in Canada affects Minnesota because two major carriers, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, have gateways into the United States through the state, the newspaper reports. A CN route goes through Duluth and CP has a track through the Twin Cities, the newspaper reports.

The railroads say oil-loading terminals already operate on their rail networks, and more are being built for the same crude that the Keystone XL pipeline would carry, the newspaper reports.

The XL project, proposed by TransCanada aims to construct a 1,179-mile pipeline from Canadian tar sands in Hardisty, Alberta, through Montana and South Dakota to Steele City, Neb., as part of a broader pipeline network.

President Barack Obama early last year rejected the application for the XL route, citing environmental concerns, but the project is still very much alive, Reuters reported.

Next Up

Lindsay Whalen

Whalen's Gophers start season with only 7 players available

Whalen isn't happy that a transfer wasn't granted immediate eligibility to play.

Screen Shot 2020-12-02 at 9.21.08 AM

Baby steals the show in Minnesota family's viral TikTok video

Definitely busting out that wobbly baby move at the next party...

George Floyd protest

Activist groups release 'The People's Budget,' call for $53M Minneapolis police cuts

The People's Budget, spearheaded by Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block, would cut more than $53 million from MPD's budget.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Man dies weeks after November mini bike crash in Lakeville

The crash involved in mini bike and a van in Lakeville on Nov. 9.

gov. tim walz

Walz to be joined by first responders at COVID press conference Wednesday

Some departments have been forced to shift staffing or suspend service due to COVID-19.

Eddie Rosario

Report: Twins place Eddie Rosario on outright waivers

The outfielder's time with the team appears to be coming to an end.

radio station, microphone

Christian music broadcaster revealed as buyers of Go Radio

Educational Media Foundation. operates the K-Love brand, which has a presence already in the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 5.04.39 PM

St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York