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New Report "Damns" Keystone Pipeline

A new report out of the Stockholm Environment Institute suggests that the Keystone XL pipeline could end up producing four times the emissions than a U.S. State Department report found back in January. The discrepancy is, according to the researchers, due to the global price of oil: the pipeline would bring Canada’s tar sands to America’s Gulf Coast refineries, and these new supplies of crude would, according to the report, lower the price of oil $3 per barrel. That, the scientists note, would encourage more consumption, and therefore lead to more carbon emissions. The AP reports:

The researchers estimate that the proposed pipeline, which would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, would increase world greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 121 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.

The department said this year that at most, the pipeline would increase world carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons.

First, we should put these numbers in proper perspective. Last year, the world emitted some 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide. That means, even going by the worst estimates from this new report, Keystone would be responsible for less than two fifths of a percent of global emissions. But don’t tell that to the greens, who have made the pipeline their marquee issue in recent years.

While we’re on the subject of things environmentalists won’t like to hear, consider this: All of that oil up there in Alberta is, Keystone or not, going to find its way to market somehow. That crude is worth a lot of money, and producers are going to figure out a way to capitalize on it. Whether that’s through the Keystone pipeline and south to refineries already set up to handle this heavy crude (the option that makes the most sense), the western route to Canada’s Pacific coast, an eastern trek to its Atlantic coast, or just by rail and truck, that oil is not going to stay put in the ground.

We’re going to consume this crude, so we might as well do so in the safest, sanest way possible.

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  • Corlyss

    “Stockholm Environment Institute”

    That’s not a study. It’s a mindless, hate-filled screed from one of the usual suspects. Why, I bet they have a template and all they have to do is plug in the name of the latest fossil fuel project.

  • Andrew Allison

    Those who pander to AGW hysteria are not interested in logic or reason — they know that any sky-is-falling AGW tripe will get widespread coverage in the mindless media. Meanwhile, despite a 35% increase in anthropogenic CO2 since 1996, the planet stubbornly refuses to heat up.

  • gabrielsyme

    So, the basic argument is that bringing any oil to market will lower prices, increase demand and result in more oil being produced. In other words, by this reasoning, every single oil & gas development or infrastructure project should be denied.

    How high do oil prices need to be? This is the reasoning of an absolutist mindset, that will not ever be satisfied.

    • FriendlyGoat

      According to oil producers and traders, it seems that oil prices need to be about as high as they are now. Dick Cheney, we recall, mentioned the idea of $20/barrel oil as a possible side effect of our invasion of Iraq. But that didn’t happen and Keystone XL will not substantially lower the price either. That’s because producers can take facilities off line in event of price declines.

      Economic theory says we should have a glut and a price reduction. Don’t count on it.

      • PKCasimir

        Please provide a specific reference to back up your assertion that Dick Cheney “mentioned the idea of $20/barrel oil as a possible side effect of our invasion of Iraq.” I can recall no such statement but I will await your evidence.

    • Corlyss

      You broke the code.

  • Duperray

    Far too much money flows into “environment, global warming, pollution,… and makes many scientists to prostitute their opinions for the sake of fund, cash and aura.
    The guys of BRICS shall be vey happy, laughing at West repeatedly shooting in its own foot: “If they continue like this for a couple of dozen years, we will overtake them…”

    • Corlyss

      Unfortunately, this is not a bug in policy making; it’s a feature of the left’s DNA as well as it’s strategy. The left decided decades ago that western white civilization was flaw ed and therefore illegitimate, esp. in its culture and it’s aggressive economic success. In their twisted thinking, the west needs most to be taken down several pegs, if not destroyed, to both atone for its sins and give “superior” losing non-western cultures, like the African, Muslim, Chinese, or Subcontinent, an opportunity to dominate and demonstrate their superiority. If those cultures are too feeble to get there on their own, the the left will help out with a deliberately self-destructive ethics of policies, like ending cheap energy, cultural relativism, rampant self-debasing secularism, educational backwardness, economically suicidal redistributionism, and unrestricted immigration from illiterate and incompetent stone-age societies that promptly become parasites on the weakened western nations, just to name a few.

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