From Green Right Now Reports

After the Tar Sands Blockade, a group that’s trying to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, reported about welding issues on the newly installed project, Texas Public Citizen spoke with residents living nearby in East Texas.

These residents have witnessed or heard of numerous incidents in which crews returned to re-weld or repair sections of the pipeline in Texas, the southern leg of what will be a 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Houston-area refineries.

TransCanada, the pipeline operator, has defended itself against criticisms about the integrity of the pipeline, which also have come from a whistleblower, who worked on the pipeline.

The whistleblower, Evan Volks, worked for the company for five years until being dismissed in May 2012.

He told a Canadian Senate hearing last week that he suspects there have been “breaches of construction quality” in portions of TransCanada’s Keystone XL already laid in Texas, according to an article in the Huffington Post.

Company spokesman, Shawn Howard, replied that TransCanada takes “safety and compliance issues seriously” and takes “great exception”
to Vokes’ claims that the company operates with a “culture of noncompliance.”

“Our track record and the safety of our energy infrastructure network shows that we do [take safety seriously],” Howard said.

Advocacy groups have long pointed to TransCanada’s track record, however, as raising questions about the difficulty of conveying heavy tar sands oils by pipe, which requires heating the oil and mixing it with chemicals into a tarry solution called “dilbit” for diluted bitumen oil. They say that an earlier U.S. pipeline installed by TransCanada in 2010 has already leaked a dozen times.