Keystone XL, New Mexico-style? New pipeline through NM fast-tracked for approval

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The Associated Press reports that a new oil pipeline across Northern New Mexico is now on the fast track for approval, even as oil prices plummet across the country.

While the Keystone XL pipeline designed to move oil from Canada through the Great Plains has generated national outcry as unnecessary and for the potential for negative environmental impact, smaller regional pipelines like this are going unnoticed, though their potential for damage to communities along these routes is equally great.

The U.S. Senate killed (for now) the Keystone XL pipeline last month with many members and advocates saying new pipelines are unnecessary.

(AP) – A Colorado company plans to build a 140-mile pipeline across northwestern New Mexico that would be capable of carrying 50,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

The Bureau of Land Management is considering whether to permit the project by Saddle Butte Pipeline LLC. A public meeting was set for Thursday evening in Lybrook, but it could be early next year before the agency makes a final decision.

Industry experts say the San Juan Basin – an area along the New Mexico-Colorado border known for its natural gas deposits – is on the verge of a shale-oil boom. They say a new pipeline would ensure the oil gets to market.

Environmental groups are accusing federal regulators of fast-tracking the pipeline without considering how best to manage the impending boom.