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Not for the US market after all — the Keystone XL pipeline will be used to ship tar sands oil to Texas for refining and export to Europe!

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7th September, 2011 — It appears that the Keystone XL pipeline is not about oil security for the USA, but about getting Canadian tar sands oil to Texan refineries to convert it to diesel and export it to European markets.  On August 31st, the non-profit advocacy group, Oil Change International published a report based on US EIA data, corporate information for investors and market analyses, which showed that Trans-Canada, the pipeline owner, already has export contracts in hand for the refined product.

9 thoughts on “Not for the US market after all — the Keystone XL pipeline will be used to ship tar sands oil to Texas for refining and export to Europe!”

      1. The end of fossil fuels is on the oozirhn. More and more people are realizing that fossil fuel consumption is changing the planet so quickly and so drastically that before another 100 years passes, tens of millions of people will be forced tto move from low lying land. Glaciers that provide drinking water for billions will be gone and droughts will make land that was once fertile and productive a wasteland, giant storms will routinely devastate coastlines. And the truth will come out. Gas companies knew this would happen. They have been sabatoging research, blackballing climate scientists, all in the name of profits. Just like the cigarette industry did. And America will be given the lion share of the blame for not dealing with this before it became a catastrophe, and rightly so. Republicans, in bed with big oil will be held accountable in the history books, as well they should. American should have been a leader in stopping this man made disaster. Instead, republicans were bought off and they held off progress for decades. They will go down in history as the bad guys here. Bush, Cheney and the Halliburton gang all tied together by oil profits.

    1. In addition to the ptreost, a ‘national act’ to call people across the nation not to use cars the weekend of 9/3-4 would really send a unified strong message. There needs to be a lead organization to galvanize this national act. Green energy is where the future jobs lie from the raw material suppliers, to manufacturing, to installation, to reconstruction and new construction, and all subtrades that support and are connected to these green initiative industries, directly and indirectly would create a domino job growth effect across all sectors of businesses. If our efforts here fall short then we should insist that all companies having stakes in the pipe line must contribute into a clean-up/preventive escrow account amounting to what would be the total sum of miles multiple by one million ($1,000,000.00/per mile) because we the public should not be paying to clean up their mess while they make profit off of us. I will be lending my support on the 3rd.

    1. Two points. First, I think you’d be teetbr served taking up your point on whether, the real truth here is that there is no anthropogenic warming of any significance, there never has been and it is extremely unlikely that there ever will be, with all of the national academies of sciences or perhaps the 98% of all climate and atmospheric scientists who work on this topic and who disagree with your basic premise. I’ll follow the peer-reviewed literature in terms of forming my impressions of the severity of the climate change problem, and the conclusions there, while not consistent on the magnitude of impacts, are very consistent on the best estimate not being zero impact.Second, you seem to ignore that the proponents of this pipeline have significant commercial interest in getting it built it’s not just the environmental groups which have a financial gain in play from their opposition. As such, they present numbers which maximize the probability of the pipeline getting built. I doubt that TransCanada would sign a guarantee to employ agreement based on the numbers in the Perryman report. I agree that there are significant economic benefits from the pipeline, but the pipeline is not a social program. As long as proponents continue insisting on promoting it as such, people will not take their positions as genuine. I would hazard a guess that most environmental groups involved in this debate are more concerned with minimizing environmental impact than TRP is with maximizing employment.Andrew

      1. I’m not sure I follow your opening comment. The post was simply to note that the argument by KXL proponents and allies that the pipeline will provide oil to the US seems to be destroyed by the fact that they already have contracts in place to export the product to Europe. In other posts, I have talked about the value of delaying/halting the pipeline as an indirect way of slowing growth of tar sands extraction.

  1. Rundle ,I think you overstate the role of GHG’s in the KXL bdtaee by emphasizing a GHG-based solution. I would rank GHG’s as a distant 3rd or perhaps 4th in importance among the concerns leveled against KXL. Most likely to derail the project may be concerns about pipeline safety. The proponents of the pipeline have been broadsided by a lot of unfavorable events, some of which are their own responsibility. These incidents have been compounded by poor response to requests for information from regulators and ignoring concerns voiced by environmental groups which have now been almost taken as fact. Second, I would look at the choice of the route itself. The route is clearly chosen to be as direct as possible, which makes sense from an engineering perspective, but the question of why they don’t simply follow the existing Keystone right-of-way is valid. If you are going to run a new right-of-way, then the process necessarily becomes tougher. Third, although it may be the one which ends up first, is the question of economic vs. physical need . The case for the KXL pipeline is one of matching products to markets, not of physical cross-border capacity, and here again the proponents have not done a great job of making their case consistently. You can make a credible argument that the additional cross-border capacity is not needed given current production growth forecasts in Alberta. The regulatory regime is designed to allow new infrastructure to be build to serve new demand, not to allow infrastructure to be built to displace oil from another jurisdiction. That might be the biggest test. Anyway, I might be proven wrong, but I certainly don’t think anyone will be wishing they’d signed deals for 30Mt/yr of emissions offsets when the decision comes down later this year.Andrew

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