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Questar Corp's Pipeline update


Last updated 8/27/2015 at 9:47am

The controversial ups and downs of Questar Corp.’s proposal to ship oil through a valley transfer site by rail prior to pumping the crude oil to Long Beach via a previously disused pipeline, looks to continue being a back and forth conversation with no solution in sight.

Although Questar Corp. announced in its quarterly stockholder report earlier this month that the Southern Trails Pipeline project would not be active by early 2017 as originally scheduled, the company has said that the nearly 60-year-old pipeline it bought in 1998, still may be put to use despite the lack of a site for the rail terminal portion of the project.

Questar Corp. plans to deliver 120,000 barrels of oil a day through the pipeline, should be of concern to all residents as Questar officials have few specifics about the project. “We haven’t really nailed anything down,” Lori Creer, director of business development for Questar’s pipeline subsidiary, said. “The project is in early development, with several sites from Beaumont to Indio under consideration for a new rail terminal”, the pipeline currently extends from a point between Cabazon and Whitewater to the coast

During meetings with the cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit’s office and Questar officials in spring 2014 regarding the project, few details have been offered.

All of the officials have described the meetings as “courtesy” check-ins in nature and have said nothing else has come of the project as of mid-summer 2014.

This should be concerning as environmentalists and others, fear moving that much crude over an environmentally sensitive area near an active earthquake fault could be a recipe for trouble.

Jeff Morgan, who leads the local chapter of the Sierra Club, vowed environmentalists would monitor the approval process closely. “The way you built a pipeline 50 years ago is not how you build a pipeline now,” Morgan said. “The older they are, the more likely they are to fail you.”

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