THE FALLACY OF THE KEYSTONE XL

The Keystone XL (the KXL) has caused quite a stir – Republicans are weeping and wringing their hands that 20,000 jobs have been lost and that we will never free ourselves from our dependence on foreign energy.  What a misguided fallacy the Republicans and TransCanada – the Canadian energy company seeking to construct the pipeline – are pulling on the public.  The KXL will not create steady employment, and it will not “cut” our dependence on foreign oil.

Job creation will be temporary with estimates ranging between 7,000 to 20,000 jobs depending on the source.  Earlier this year, a lawsuit was filed against TransCanada  alleging it mislead its investors by inflating job numbers.  Even if benefit is given to a higher number of jobs, those jobs would disappear once the pipeline was completed.  Only a minimal number of jobs would be permanent.  But job creation is not the only factor that has been fudged.

Big oil and its toadies know full well the oil will be transported to the oil refineries of the Gulf Coast with nary a stop in between.  Once snuggled in the bowels of the Texas refineries, the tar sands will gobble up huge amounts of energy to turn the sticky mess into oil to be shipped overseas via a widened, improved Panama Canal.

The United States has already made some headway in increasing production of oil in the field.  And, it should be making progress given it leases roughly 41,000,000 onshore acres and 38,000,000 offshore acres with only 18,500,000 acres total currently producing.  But big oil is still crying foul that it has been thwarted in its efforts to bully its way into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and additional offshore sites.

Field production of oil from 1920-2012

Field Production of Oil increases

With access to ANWR pretty much a dead issue – at least for now – the Republican “Friends of Oil” swear that the tar sands oil is needed to ease dependence on foreign oil.  But, if that were the case, why not refine the oil in the Midwest?  The Midwest is home to about 20 oil refineries capable of processing oil and tar sands oil at that.

But the 20 odd oil refineries sprinkled throughout the Midwest pale in comparison to the 28 in Texas alone.  Once transported to Texas, the oil will be refined at a great environmental cost – two tons of tar sands are required to obtain one barrel of oil using a much more complicated process than simply pumping oil from the ground.  In addition to the enormous amount of tar sands needed, three barrels of water are needed to extract one barrel of oil.  Water is minimally used in the typical extraction of oil, thus a significant amount of unrecoverable resources are used to extract tar sands oil.

But the KXL is not the only project on the horizon.  It is happening in tandem with another major construction project – one of which most Americans have little awareness.  The widening of the Panama Canal has been planned for years and is now coming to fruition.  While its planning predated the KXL, the two projects intertwine in that they were to be completed at about the same time – the Panama widening in 2014, and the KXL in 2014.  How convenient!

The master plan should be clear.  Construct the KXL based on false and fictitious numbers, ship the environmentally harmful tar sands oil straight through the heart of America and over one of the world’s largest and most critical aquifers, refine the tar sands in Texas, and place it on ships headed to a widened Panama Canal throughway to head overseas for sale.

Enormous job creation?  Freedom from foreign oil dependence?  Not on your life.   That is the fallacy of the Keystone XL.

 

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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8 Responses to THE FALLACY OF THE KEYSTONE XL

  1. evert Mol says:

    Charlotte – Come on, be nice! We XOM toadies didn’t even make analyst expectations last quarter. The stock price dropped although they were nice enough to raise the dividends for the million or so retirees who depend on them for income.

    No the pipeline won’t cure the energy problem but then the Buffett rule won’t cure the deficit either.

    Still driving that truck?

  2. Of course I am still driving my truck. It is now over eight years old, paid off, and still gets 33 miles to the gallon. Can’t beat that! I have to ask though – why that question?

  3. evert Mol says:

    Because every time you fill that gas tank a few pennies dribble into my bank account. Although 33 mpg is pretty good for a truck. Have you considered getting a Ram with a Hemi?

  4. evert Mol says:

    I have some XOM stock because I worked there. But it’s widely held by mutual funds, retirement plans, 401K’s etc. Anyone who owns an index fund will own some XOM as well as the other majors. So you may even be one of us toadies. XOM has big refineries in Beaumont (where we lived for 20 yrs) and Baytown,Texas and Joliet, Illinois which could get oil from the Keystone pipeline. So you might want check your portfolio and write another blog taking the opposite viewpoint.

    • I would check it, if I had one. I have never believed in the stock market. I have watched friends lose every dime of gain. They chew their fingernails every day watching the ups and downs. No thanks.

      Even if I had a portfolio, it would be with stocks that are socially conscious stocks. And that certainly would not include oil companies.

      So I am not worrying about writing from another viewpoint: My views stand!

      • evert Mol says:

        OK. But you are only in the clear if you have no pension whatsoever except Social Security, which invests the trust fund in US treasuries. If you have any other kind of pension, that money is invested somewhere to generate extra income, probably in stocks, maybe in much riskier stuff.

  5. Evert – just a note here before I respond. I do not need anyone’s approval to be “in the clear.” 🙂 You originally referred to stock in oil companies and then switched to talking about any kind of stock.

    And, I have no pension – period. I have my Social Security. As I said above, I have never believed in the stock market.

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