Keystone XL Pipeline decision wrong-headed

President Obama has provided a model for what that kind of climate leadership will look like going forward. If only four more Democratic senators change their minds, Congress can approve the Keystone XL pipeline legislatively.

"While President Obama stated that the Keystone XL decision is not in the United States national interest, Canada's oil and natural gas industry is clearly in the Canadian national interest", said Tim McMillan, CAPP president and chief executive officer. Shipping oil via train also creates greenhouse gas emissions, which aren't a problem with pipelines.

While the climate benefits are negligible, the economic opportunity lost is very real.

The thumbs-down for Keystone XL, which would have carried 830,000 barrels of oil a day, was not quite as beneficial for the environment as campaigners claimed.

If President Obama committed any grave sin by blocking the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline last week, it was that he spoke ill of the dead. About $60 billion of those planned investments were slated for oil sands projects. There is a growing sentiment that Trudeau would not fight a decision by the Obama administration to deny the permit. The State Department estimated the project would produce 42,000 direct and indirect jobs during the two-year building phase. "First, the pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy", Obama said.

Keystone XL was expected to come online toward the end of this decade. Canadian oil producers still expect production to rise to 5.3 million barrels a day in 2030, up from 3.7 million barrels a day in 2014, even after lowering their forecast to take into effect the impact of lower prices.

The fallacy of the anti-Keystone argument lies in its presumption that without the pipeline, less crude oil will somehow be refined and that the demand for refined petroleum will somehow diminish. Obviously TransCanada was waiting for Obama's successor to be the one deciding the fate of the pipeline. For our landowners and our organization, this has been a long seven years of struggle, worry, frustration, work, and financial expense.

"Let me briefly comment on a few of the reasons why the State Department rejected this pipeline". Not because of the federal government. But because of the sharp ideological lines it draws, politicians will be compelled to take a position on it - regardless of Obama's final decision.

Obama has previously expressed his concerns with Keystone XL's fourth phase, so his denial should have been expected.

It's only been within the past year that we've seen proposed steps to combat climate change from the president.

The meat of the president's climate agenda, which he intends to parade around Paris, is the set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations on new and existing power plants.

If the project eventually loses commercial support and is halted, TD Securities analyst Linda Ezergailis believes TransCanada could sue the USA government to recoup project costs under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NATFA).

Since conventional carbon-based fuels provide more than 80 percent of America's energy, these restrictions on using abundant, economical energy sources will only inflict economic pain on households and businesses.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments