Key Facts on Keystone XL
Keystone XL is an export pipeline. It would transport Canadian oil to American refineries for shipping to overseas markets. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil would never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.
Reducing demand for oil is the best way to improve our energy security. U.S. demand for oil has been declining since 2007. New fuel-efficiency standards mean that this trend will continue once the economy gets back on track. In fact, the Energy Department report on Keystone XL found that decreasing demand through fuel efficiency is the only way to reduce Middle East oil imports with or without the pipeline.
Keystone XL will increase gas prices for Americans—especially farmers.
By draining Midwestern refineries of cheap Canadian crude into export-oriented refineries in the Gulf Coast, Keystone XL will increase the cost of gas for Americans.
TransCanada’s 2008 Permit Application states “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [i.e., the U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply. This is expected to increase the price of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”
Independent analysis of these figures found this would increase per-gallon prices by 20 cents per gallon in the Midwest.
According to an independent analysis, U.S. farmers, who spent $12.4 billion on fuel in 2009, could see expenses rise to $15 billion or higher if the pipeline goes through. At least $500 million of the added expense would come from the Canadian market manipulation.
Keystone XL threatens the drinking water of 20 million people.
A rupture in the Keystone XL pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people.
The U.S. Pipeline Safety Administration has not yet conducted an in depth analysis of the safety of diluted bitumen (raw tar sands) pipeline, despite unique safety concerns posed by its more corrosive properties.
TransCanada predicted that Keystone I -- another TransCanada pipeline, very similar to Keystone XL -- would see one spill in 7 years. In fact, there were 12 spills in its first year alone -- more than 80 times what TransCanada predicted! The company was ordered to dig up ten sections of pipe after government-ordered tests indicated that defective steel may have been used. KeystoneXL will use steel from the same Indian manufacturer.
Keystone XL will cross through some of the country’s most vital and sensitive environmental areas: America’s agricultural heartland, the Missouri and Niobrara Rivers, the Ogallala aquifer, sage grouse habitat, walleye fisheries and more.
The agency was not adequately accounting for threats to wildlife, increased pollution in distressed communities where the crude may be refined, or increases in carbon emissions that would exacerbate climate change, and a variety of other issues.
“Tar Sands Pipeline Safety Risks”, National Wildlife Federation, NRDC, Others.
“On Shore Oil Disasters”, National Wildlife Federation
“Analysis of Frequency, Magnitude and Consequence of Worst-Case Spills From the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline”, John Stansbury, Ph.D., P.E.
“Pipeline ‘Safety Conditions’ are Smoke and Mirrors”, NRDC
Keystone XL is the fuse to North America's biggest climate change carbon bomb.
The Keystone XL pipeline would increase climate emissions by 24.3 million metric tons of CO2 per year. That’s equivalent to Americans driving more than 60 billion additional miles per year.
In a study funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a group of retired four-star generals and admirals concluded that climate change, if not addressed, will be the greatest threat to national security.