Skip to comments.Ten Reasons Why the Keystone Pipeline Will Be Built: Obama canít afford to oppose this...
Posted on 09/12/2011 7:59:14 PM PDT by neverdem
Ten Reasons Why the Keystone Pipeline Will Be Built
Obama can't afford to oppose this commonsense measure.
Over the past two weeks or so, several hundred protesters assembled outside the White House to oppose the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is designed to transport bitumen produced from oil sands in Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. During the protest, actor Daryl Hannah, climate scientist James Hansen, and author and activist Bill McKibben were among some 1,200 people who were arrested.
The protesters are hoping that President Obama will block the $7 billion pipeline. Their rationale: The pipeline will result in major increases in carbon-dioxide emissions, and therefore it must be stopped or catastrophic climate change will ensue. Protest as they might, a State Department report found that the pipeline will not have a major environmental impact.
Here are ten reasons why the Keystone pipeline will be built.
1. Canada’s oil production is rising, Mexico’s is falling. For many years, the U.S. has relied most heavily on crude imports from Mexico and Canada. Over the past ten years, Canadian crude production has risen by 600,000 barrels per day while Mexico’s has fallen by about that same amount. I’d rather have a reliable, long-term supply of crude from Canada than rely on overseas suppliers, whether they are part of OPEC or not. How long can we rely on the Canadian oil sands? Probably for decades. The resources there are estimated at over 100 billion barrels.
2. U.S. oil production is rising, but we will still need to import oil, and lots of it. Thanks to the shale revolution, domestic oil production could rise by as much as 2 million barrels per day over the next few years. That’s great news. But that increased production will not cover all of America’s needs. The more oil we can get from North America, the better.
3. Some of the oil moving through the Keystone XL will likely be exported, but that’s no reason to stop it. Critics of the pipeline, including Oil Change International, say that much of the oil in the line will “never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.” That may be true. But U.S. oil exports are not new. American refineries are now exporting about 2.3 million barrels of refined products per day. Why? U.S. refiners are among the best in the world. They are importing lots of lower-grade crude oil and turning it into diesel and other fuels the world demands. Indeed, over the past six years, U.S. oil exports have more than doubled.
4. The pipeline will help America’s balance of trade. Refining is manufacturing. The U.S. is importing unfinished goods (in the form of Canadian crude), finishing them, and exporting them. That’s a good thing.
5. U.S. oil demand may be relatively flat, but it’s not going away. Opponents of the pipeline claim that there’s no need to build the Keystone XL, because U.S. oil demand is sluggish. That’s true, but the U.S. will continue to need lots of oil for decades to come. Here’s the latest prediction from EIA: “U.S. consumption of liquid fuels, including both fossil fuels and biofuels, rises from about 18.8 million barrels per day in 2009 to 21.9 million barrels per day in 2035.”
6. Like it or not, oil is here to stay. U.S. oil consumption — as a percentage of its total primary energy consumption — now stands at about 37 percent. That’s the exact same percentage as in 1949. Given the amount of money that has been spent over the past six decades on reducing our dependence on oil, the hard fact is that petroleum is a miraculous substance. Nothing else comes close to oil when it comes to energy density, ease of handling, flexibility, convenience, cost, or scale.
7. We should be getting as much oil as we can from as close to home as we can. But we can no longer rely on Mexico. Pemex, the country’s national oil company, is not investing enough money in new drilling projects even though its most important field, Cantarell, is declining rapidly. Nor can Pemex count on getting more money from the Mexican government, which is spending heavily on its war against the drug cartels. Indeed, Mexico may already be a failed state. The cartels are under siege by the federal police and federal soldiers, but the slaughter just a few weeks ago of more than 50 people at a casino in Monterey shows that the narcos are still running wild. Canada, meanwhile, has an ultra-stable government. And given its enormous oil deposits, it’s apparent that Canada can be an essential player in America’s effort to secure reliable energy supplies.
8. The claims about the pipeline being the pivotal project with regard to carbon dioxide are not true. McKibben has claimed that if the Canadian oil sands are developed, “it is essentially game over for the climate.” Think what you like about carbon dioxide. The reality is that the global issue of carbon dioxide is no longer about the United States. Over the past decade, U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions fell by 1.7 percent. During that same time, period global carbon-dioxide emissions rose by a stunning 28.5 percent. Recall that over the past decade, Al Gore and his allies dominated the news media and much of the political discussion both in the U.S. and around the world. And yet during that same time frame, the countries of the world increased their use of energy by about 53 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Why? Because hundreds of millions of people all around the world are desperate to improve their lives by using more energy. And the cheapest, most abundant, most reliable source of energy is hydrocarbons.
The result: Carbon-dioxide emissions are soaring. The Kyoto agreement failed. Copenhagen failed. Cancun failed. The upcoming climate meeting to be held in Durban in December will fail, too. Why? The developing countries of the world need energy, and lots of it.
9. Demonize oil all you want, but coal is the real issue when it comes to carbon-dioxide emissions. Again, look at the numbers: Over the past decade, global coal use increased by 47 percent to about 71.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. During that same time period, oil use increased by 13 percent to about 87.3 million barrels per day. If Hansen, McKibben, and their allies want to protest projects that result in lots of carbon-dioxide emissions, they should be looking for coal mines and coal-fired generators, not oil pipelines. But protesting against coal means protesting against electricity generation, because most coal is used for that purpose. Over the past decade, electricity demand in Asia jumped by a whopping 85 percent. All over the world, people are turning on lights in their homes for the very first time. That trend will continue.
10. Obama can’t afford to hand a major campaign issue to his Republican opponent. Earlier this month, Obama backed down on a proposed rules that would have dramatically tightened standards on ground-level ozone. He will approve the Keystone pipeline. Doing otherwise will hurt his chances of staying in the White House for another four years. And while he knows that some environmentalists won’t be happy, he also knows that few, if any, of them will abandon him for a candidate like Rick Perry.
— Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His latest book is Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.
11. The Canadian government is laying plans for a pipeline to the Pacific coast. If the USA does not want the oil, it will be exported to other countries. Canceling the USA part of the pipeline will not shut down the oil sands production.
No. The USA can’t afford for him to oppose it, which is why he just might. When was the FIRST time he did ANYTHING for the good of this country? Tick. Tick. Tick. bzzzt. Time is up....
It is in the bamster’s genetic makeup to oppose anything that benefits the USA. He is a totally evil SOB.
Well,, those SEEM to be pretty compelling reasons. But on the other hand, Daryl Hannah is against it,,and she DID play a mermaid in a movie in the 80s.
This article and its author assumes that Obama does not want to destroy this country. He does.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Thanks for the ping!
It warms my heart when Communist idiots are arrested. Too bad there's a catch-and-release policy for them.
McKibben was on a PBS news broadcast a week or so ago giving his foolish opinions on the matter, which boiled down to a) approving the pipeline will destroy the Earth, and b) this pipeline must not be approved because lots of Commies are willing to go to jail to make a political statement. Yet the PBS anchor somehow seemed to think that McKibben had legitimate points to make.
Obama will go along with it, at least for now, because he has little choice but to pretend that he has America's best interests at heart, but if he is re-elected (heaven forbid), he will find a way to stop it.
Bingo, we have a winner!
You’re right. 0bama can do plenty of things to prevent this from coming to fruition.
It is in the bamsters genetic makeup to oppose anything that benefits the USA. He is a totally evil SOB.
You sound exactly like me.
0bama is one evil bastard.
Is it small wonder why both India and China are aggressively pursuing this technology? LFTR's promise a huge leap up in electricity generated without the air pollution and CO2 emission problems caused by burning coal--and unlike uranium-based reactors, LFTR's need way less thorium to generate the same amount of power per reactor.
Does anyone know a good reason why a refinery is not being built or proposed “up there” close to the Canadian border? Yes, the usual enviro reasons, but roughly the same reasons exist against the pipeline as currently planned. And the leadtime would be roughly equivalent.
From the political perspective in which James Hansen espouses his global warming BS, the term “climate scientist” is certainly oxymoronic in character.
I think he cares more about destroying the country than he does about being re-elected. He is first and foremost an America hating socialist.
PBS' News Hour is a shell of its former self.
Actually, we (Canadians) don't even have to have a pipeline in place. It happens that we have plenty of excess rail capacity to ship oil from Alberta to the B.C. coast. Of course, we have our own envrio-fascists, and they adamantly oppose both a pipeline to the coast, and tanker traffic from the coast. Rail shipment would get around the pipeline problem — but, building a tanker port would be more problematic. If it became a strategic issue for Canada (if, for instance, the U.S. stopped buying oil from the oil sands); it's likely that political opinion would swing, to favour shipping the oil to China by tanker.
BTW, Ronald Reagan secured guaranteed access to Canada's energy resources, through NAFTA. That access was the price the U.S. demanded for the deal. Canada can only cut supplies to the U.S. in proportion to what we cut back for our own domestic market. Unless, that is, the U.S. cuts back demand first. Then that new, lower, amount becomes the baseline. If you stopped buying oil-sands oil from us, we would be under no further future obligation to sell it to you. The U.S. would have to wait in line behind China, or any other new customers. That is just the way it is — it's not a scenario I want to see play out.
Here are links to a couple of articles about the rail shipment option: