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bitumen

In this July 13, 2015 photo, protesters gather outside the U.S. Oil Sands commercial tar sands operation, in the Book Cliffs, in eastern Utah. On a remote Utah ridge covered in sagebrush, pines and wild grasses, a Canadian company is about to embark on something never before done commercially in the United States: digging sticky, black, tar-soaked sand from the ground and extracting the petroleum. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

1st U.S. tar sands mine set to open for business in Utah

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The impending opening of the nation’s first tar sands mine has become another front in the battle across the West between preservationists and the energy industry.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, right, listen as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Senate tees up votes on Keystone XL, exports, climate

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The chamber is expected to vote on as many as three amendments to GOP-backed legislation to authorize the TransCanada Corp. pipeline on Tuesday, with more than four dozen other possibilities on the horizon.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Keystone XL foes seek health study on pipeline

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Two Senate Democrats on Friday strengthened their push against the Keystone XL pipeline, unveiling a letter from public health groups urging the Obama administration to study the medical risks associated with the project.
Welders work on a joint between two sections of pipe during construction of Keystone XL's southern leg in Prague, Oklahoma. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

TransCanada makes final appeal for Keystone XL

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Keystone XL is the safest and most environmentally sound way to transport Canadian and North Dakota oil to Gulf Coast refineries, TransCanada Corp., said in its last-ditch appeal for the pipeline’s approval. The Calgary-based company’s assertions joined more than 100,000 comments filed with the State Department, as it weighs whether Keystone XL is in the “national interest.”
Ol sands - a mixture of clay, sand and bitumen -- are removed from a Suncor mine in Alberta, Canada. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Oil-sands cargos face tougher US rail-shipping rules

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Train shipments of crude are under review across North America after a U.S. emergency order requiring new safety measures to prevent accidents.
(Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Keystone XL foes want focus on spill clean up

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Dilbit is made up of bitumen, a thick, sticky hydrocarbon harvested in Canada that is too hard at room temperature to flow through pipelines on its own. To ready it for pipeline transport, companies dilute the bitumen with natural gas liquids or other substances.
Crewmen work a site for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood County, Texas. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Feds meet with enviro groups as Keystone decision nears

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As the State Department readies its final review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, environmentalists on Monday stepped up their fight against the project.
(AP photo)

Canada at crossroads in bid to become energy superpower

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Canada’s bid to become what Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls an energy “superpower” is at risk as approval delays for new pipelines threaten an industry already hurt by high costs and rival production.
A Keystone XL pipeline protester demonstrates outside of the White House on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press)

Keystone foes target rail projects to thwart oil sands exports

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Environmentalists opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline are expanding their fight against imports of Canadian heavy crude oil by trying to block rail projects that offer another way for it to enter the U.S.
(Kimberly White/Bloomberg News)

New website tracks tar sands shipments to West Coast

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Activists fighting Canadian oil sands launched a website that tracks tanker ships carrying the diluted bitumen from the oil sands and even alerts you when a “tar sands tanker” sails into your area.