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  • The Right Way To Think About the Keystone XL pipeline

    The Right Way To Think About the Keystone XL pipeline

    By Michael Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute
    Published: Nov. 24, 2014

    Amid the back-and-forth in Congress recently over the Keystone XL pipeline, which will ship fuel from Canadian oil sands to Texas to be processed and sent on to global markets, it’s become increasingly hard for Texans and Americans to decide whether they support the project. The project is worth supporting, but only with the right …

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    • Quote 2
      CrisisMaven said on Dec. 10, 2014 at 9:29 a.m.
      Indeed you are risking to build "stranded assets" if you push on with the pipeline right now. The oil price (and gas prices following suit as usual) has fallen further and it looks as if tar sands as well as fracking operations will not be profitable and several operations may go into bankruptcy as they are highly leveraged. Either both governments decide this to be a strategic project to be in place when the economy picks up further and the oil may truly be needed or else they shelf it. Economically it certainly is not a feasible project right now.
    • Quote 2
      Al Nacnud said on Nov. 26, 2014 at 12:42 p.m.
      The KeystoneXL pipeline is an unneeded and misdirected allocation of political and financial capital. The US does not need Canadian low quality crude to achieve energy security. Gulf Coast refineries, particularly those in the middle Texas Coast, should be refining US domestic crudes produced, in the case of the middle Texas coast, less than 100 miles away in the burgeoning Eagle Ford trend. Eagle Ford oil is higher quality, lower sulfur and immediately adjacent to refining infrastructure. What or how would anyone think that Canadian tar sands development equates to US energy security? There are huge profits to be made from the pipeline construction project alone and even larger asset life long profits from natural gas sales that fuel the tar sands extraction process. No one seems to mention the gas utilization side of this equation. This is really the carbon emissions challenge that has been dodged. The Canadians should be marketing their resources as they see fit but why should the US not build a pipeline from - say - the Bakken in North Dakota to the Gulf Coast if we are going to do anything like tis. That is capital expenditure absolutely directed at US energy security and not subject to a foreign government's (Canadian) jurisdiction. Lastly, Gulf Coast refineries have historically processed large volumes of crude from South America to be returned as refined products in the originating areas. A dire by product of purposed displacement of South American crude by importing Canadian tar sands sourced oil will be an immediate and potentially devastating destabilization of South American economies that depend on US refining capacity ( btw- the US makes a lot of money from this). We - the US - will inevitably be needed to clean up the economic collapse of the impacted countries. I will close by asking our Washington leaders to stand up in public, debate and make the case to the citizens of the US that Canadian tar sands production makes the US more energy secure. Let's make it a national referendum after open debate has taken place. Winner takes all.

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