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The current route of the Keystone pipelines would cut straight through 219 miles of North Dakota’s forests, prairie, wetland, and farmland, transforming the breadbasket of the world into the pipeline corridor of the continent. A safer route for one or two pipelines along the I-32 right of way was Keystone’s first choice but was abandoned for unknown and probably political reasons – or perhaps because they planned all along, unknown to the people of North Dakota, to inflict not one but many potentially leaking pipelines on our water and soil.


This is the Keystone pipeline’s current route. It parallels the Sheyenne River for about 80 miles, from Aneta to south of Fort Ransom, where it goes under the Sheyenne River. That is eighty miles of pipeline, with a leak anywhere along it likely to get into the river, Lake Ashtabula, or the Fordville Reservoir (near the lake) long before it could be detected.


Lake Ashtabula shows on this map as a green winding strip near the bottom. The pipeline actually continues south from the lake, just past Valley City, and south to Fort Ransom.


Please click the map for a larger view.


The picture at right shows the pipeline route immediately past Valley City. Please click on the map to see a larger version.






Pictures below: The elevation of the pipeline is 1400 feet near the interstate highway three miles east of Valley City (left). The elevation of the river, right, ranges from 1207 (normal) to 1220 (top of emergency dikes). This is a drop of 200 feet over three miles – contrary to the testimony of Keystone’s expert witness Heidi Tilquist, who testified that the land was “flat” and an oil spill “would not reach the river.” Elevations are similar over the 80 miles where the pipeline would parallel the Sheyenne.


Elevation 3 miles east of Valley City: 1400


See Path of an Oil Spill.


Click pictures for a larger view.

Elevation of River: 1207


This is the original route along the I- 32 right of way. It would make use of land that has already been disturbed in building the highway rather than cross wetlands and irreplaceable native prairie. A leak along the highway would be detected much more quickly than a leak in a wetland or a farmer’s field. And it is on the other side of a moraine (a high gravel ridge) from the river and lake. The land here slopes eastward all the way to Fargo – which is 55 miles away and which an oil spill would never reach.


Please click the map for a larger view.