"Port Arthur, Tex. -- The Valero oil refinery looms over the small streets of this blighted port city. A vast maze of pipes and vats and boilers, the refinery traces its rootsback 111 years, to just months after the historic Spindletop gusher that triggered the Texas oil rush."
"Today the Spindletop well is marked by a modest flagpole in a wet field just north of here. And oil isn’t bubbling up in large enough quantities to feed the refineries in this area.
So pipelines and tankers have become critical lifelines for an industry that has shaped not only the Texas Gulf Coast but America’s entire oil-based economy.
Enter the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada, a Calgary-based pipeline giant, hopes that its Keystone XL project will take Canadian tar sands oil on a 1,700-mile journey from a tank farm in Alberta, across the Great Plains and down the spine of America, and deliver it here."