With the mapping of the estimated route of the Kansas leg of the Keystone XL, the Keystone Mapping Project (KMP) is able to offer a complete interactive map of the entire U.S. Keystone XL route from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Kansas leg of the Keystone XL is officially known as the Keystone-Cushing Extension. The Cushing Extension was completed in February of 2011 as Phase Two of the larger Keystone Pipeline project. Extending 300 miles from Steele City, Nebraska to Cushing, Oklahoma, the Cushing Extension was designed to connect two pipelines from Hardisty, Alberta – the Keystone and the Keystone XL – to Gulf Coast pipelines terminating at oil refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas. The Keystone XL itself was Phase Three of the larger Keystone Pipeline project and originally consisted of two pipelines, the first beginning at Hardisty, Alberta, running through Morgan and Baker, Montana, and meeting the Cushing Extension at Steele City, Nebraska, and the second traveling south from the Cushing Extension in Kansas to Gulf Coast refineries. The Gulf Coast pipelines were later spun off as a separate phase, the Gulf Coast Extension. Only the Keystone XL Pipeline (now Phase Four) from the Canadian border to Steele City, Nebraska remains unbuilt.
With the aid of publicly available aerial photography I have approximated the Cushing Extension route, thereby completing the mapping of the entire Keystone XL Pipeline route from the Canadian-Montana border to Port Arthur, Texas. I am presenting this map on the KMP as a separate add-on map as the Cushing Extension was never part of the Keystone XL environmental reports as commissioned by the Department of State (DoS), including the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), and the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS). These reports and their lack of essential mapping data are the primary focus of the KMP’s mapping efforts. Unlike the other maps that comprise this project, the Cushing Extension map remains unofficial as it was not sourced from state, Federal, or company documentation.
For Kansans concerned about the particular hazards posed by the transport of tar sands oil, also known as diluted bitumen, the orphaned EIS status of the Cushing Extension remains controversial. This route was not subject to the same level of environmental review as either of the two larger pipeline projects that it is part of – the Keystone and the Keystone XL.
To some degree, all the maps posted on this site are,in effect, unofficial as it cannot be confirmed if their milepost marker data is the same as referenced in the FEIS, SEIS, and FSEIS. This means that the KMP maps, while the most complete Keystone XL maps available to the public, cannot be correlated with the DoS’ official environmental impact reports and, thus, the reports cannot be properly evaluated for environmental impacts.