Keystone XL to flow west?

New route for controversial pipeline could impact California

Following a federal decision to delay the controversial Keystone XL pipeline originally intended to run from Alberta to Texas, Canadian firms are now considering a route westward to Vancouver, B.C.

California oil refineries would play a key role in such a route, as they are well equipped to refine the heavy, low-quality crude oil produced by tar-sands-extraction methods, according to New American Media. California’s ports also provide a natural gateway to the oil market in Asia.

There is currently no clear route for oil to reach California from British Columbia, but the plan is to use the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, along with an expansion of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline that would triple oil-tanker traffic in the Vancouver area.

The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline is already facing strong opposition from environmental groups; thousands have already signed up to speak at public hearings.