Running through Boone-DeKalb-LaSalle-Livingston Counties

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Currently, 99 per cent of Canada’s energy exports go to one country – the United States… To this end, our government is committed to ensuring that Canada has the infrastructure necessary to move our energy resources to [world] markets.” – cbc

TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline

The widely publicized Keystone pipeline, owned by Alberta’s TransCanada, represents Canada’s effort to transport its Alberta tar sand diluted bitumen to export terminals on the Gulf Coast.  But a broad coalition including Native Americans, scientists, climate activists, and landowners have stalled the project for  years.

The Illinois Keystone Clone

Another Canadian pipeline company, Enbridge, has found a way to transport Alberta Tar Sands to the Gulf – this time through Illinois.  Since May, 2009 Alberta tar sand diluted bitumen has been flowing through Enbridge’s 42” Line 61 running through Boone, DeKalb, LaSalle, and Livingston counties.  Line 61 is a piece in Enbridge’s network that allows 1,200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to flow through Illinois from Alberta  – the beginning of the Keystone Clone.  One essential piece of Enbridge’s Keystone Clone is the Flanagan South pipeline from Flanagan, Illinois, to Cushing, Oklahoma that started pumping late in 2014.  The Canadian company Enbridge is using eminent domain to seize property right-of-way from Illinois land owners for their pipelines.

The Line 61 Expansion

Enbridge constructed new pumping stations designed to increase the pressure in Line 61 to increase the flow from 400,000 to 1,200,000 bpd, triple the existing flow rate and nearly 150% the flow rate of the stalled Keystone XL pipeline and the approximate capacity of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines combined.  Dane County in Madison delayed the expansion progress of Line 61 by simply requesting Enbridge to provide sufficient insurance to cover the cost of Line 61 pipeline leaks.

The Line 61 Twin

For two years, Enbridge has been planning for a possible twin to Line 61, a twin that would potentially double the flow to 2,400,00 bpd. 

What is in Line 61?

In addition to tar sand bitumen, Line 61 contains a cocktail of chemicals (diluent) used to allow the thick tar-like substance to flow through the pipe.  At its destination, the diluent is extracted from the bitumen and pumped back north in a pipeline (Line 13) running parallel to Line 61.  The chemicals in both Line 13 and Line 61 include: 1t,2-dimethylcyclopentane, 2,3-dimethylbutane, 2-methylhexane, 2-methylpentane,  3-methylhexane, 3-methylpentane, Benzene, cyclohexane, cyclopentane, i-pentane, methylcyclohexane, methylcyclopentane, n-butane, n-heptane, n-Hexane, n-Pentane, Toluene, Hydrogen sulfide, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes.

Line 61 Resources

Pics of Line 61 Road Markers and Pumping Stations

Interactive Line 61 Map

Hazardous Materials Sheets for Line 61 Contents 

ICC Order Granting Eminent Domain Authority for Line 61


Illinois is Canada’s New Super Highway for Tar Sands


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350 is the measure of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. Our ability to rapidly reduce this critical number will determine our ability to survive on Earth.