Here's one more reason to block the Keystone XL pipeline

Supporters say the oil is going to be transported by rail anyway. But that's not necessarily true.

Freight trains
(Image credit: (David McNew/Getty Images))

The policy debate over the Keystone XL pipeline (as opposed to the political one) in many ways boil down to railroads. Supporters of Keystone say there's no point in blocking the construction of massive pipeline that will traverse the United States, since the projected 510,000 barrels of oil the pipeline would transport could just be moved around on trains. Either way, they say, the oil is coming out of the ground and it's going to be burned.

However, there is reason to think that transporting a monstrous influx of new oil by rail would be a lot more difficult than many imagine.

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