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Texas Perspectives is a wire-style service produced by The University of Texas at Austin that is intended to provide media outlets with meaningful and thoughtful opinion columns (op-eds) on a variety of topics and current events. Authors are faculty members and staffers at UT Austin who work with University Communications staffers to craft columns that adhere to journalistic best practices and Associated Press style guidelines. The University of Texas at Austin offers these opinion articles for publication at no charge.

Columns appearing on the service and this webpage represent the views of the authors, not of The University of Texas at Austin.

  • 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

    The project is worth supporting, but only with the right kinds of environmental protections in place.

    • Quote 2
      Al Nacnud said on Nov. 26 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.
    • Quote 2
      Ted Harris said on Nov. 25 at 2:37 p.m.
      As you mentioned, the pipeline would become a 1,200 mile fuse to a Canadian carbon bomb; but more than that, it would facilitate, speed up and make more profitable the destruction of millions of acres of western Canada's forests. The whole strip-mining-for-tar-sands thing is unbelievable. Many Canadians hate what is happening, and nature-loving Americans should hate it, too.

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