Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Report Finds: Keystone XL Would Increase Gas Prices and Reduce National Security

Energy
New Report Finds: Keystone XL Would Increase Gas Prices and Reduce National Security

Public Citizen

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is likely to increase gas prices contradicting claims by pipeline proponents, a new Public Citizen report finds.

Public Citizen also concluded that because the Keystone pipeline is designed to promote exports from Canadian tar sands, it will reduce national energy security—not bolster it, as pipeline backers claim. The report, America Can’t Afford the Keystone Pipeline, documents rapidly increasing Chinese national government interests in Canadian tar sands, further confounding security claims.

“Keystone XL proponents are relying on two key arguments to urge the project to be approved: reduced prices for U.S. consumers and national energy security,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program and report author. “Our analysis shows that the pipeline is almost certain to fail to advance either of these objectives.”

The State Department is reviewing TransCanada’s application for the pipeline; comments are due by April 22. A final decision on the pipeline is expected this year.

The Keystone XL pipeline is slated to transport tar sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, where the product will be refined, and then exported overseas.

Public Citizen analyzed a variety of data and found that average U.S. gasoline prices over the past year would have been as much as 3.5 percent lower had there not been any exports of oil. This translates to between 8 and 12 cents per gallon.

Because the pipeline is designed to send oil from Canada to overseas markets (Canadian Energy Minister Ken Hughes recently said that it is a “strategic imperative” to get petroleum products “to the ocean, so that we secure global prices for our products”), it will not enhance U.S. energy security. In fact, a major purpose is to divert tar sands oil from U.S. Midwest refineries, where it is refined and sold in the domestic market, to the Gulf Coast, for export. That means the pipeline will work to raise—not lower—prices for U.S. consumers.

The fact that the oil will be shipped outside the U.S. raises questions about the validity of claims that the pipeline will improve national energy security. In fact, not only will U.S. consumers not see the oil, but much of it will be owned by China, which is the largest foreign investor in Canada’s tar sands, representing 52 percent of all foreign investment since 2003. The report documents the many Chinese companies that have bought into the Canadian tar sands, including China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation and China Investment Corporation.

“China has every right to undertake its investments in Canadian tar sands, but those investments do not advance U.S. energy security,” Slocum said.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.

——-

 

A seagull flies in front of the Rampion offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom. Neil / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

A key part of the United States' clean energy transition has started to take shape, but you may need to squint to see it. About 2,000 wind turbines could be built far offshore, in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast, in the next 10 years. And more are expected.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less
Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less