Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 20, 2014

Experts Urge Obama to Reject Keystone XL

The Hill: “More than 100 scientists and economists sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry Monday urging them to block the Keystone XL pipeline project, saying it would worsen climate change.”

“’We must address climate change by de-carbonizing our energy supply,’ the writers said. ‘A critical first step is to stop making climate change worse by tapping into disproportionately carbon-intensive energy sources like tar sands bitumen.’”

“Over its 50-year expected lifetime, the pipeline would produce the equivalent of 8.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. ‘These are emissions that can and should be avoided with a transition to clean energy,’ the scientists and economists said.”

  • Rick Goddard

    So, does that mean the whole argument that the oil pipeline as a physical threat to the lands it runs through is a smoke screen to the real argument that it adds to climate change?

    • Jesse4

      Both are real concerns.

  • OldmanRick

    It would make better sense to construct a pipeline to the Dakota oil fields rather than shipping it to Texas via rail. It would be somewhat safer traveling through pipe rather than overland.

  • Jesse4

    “While the United States delayed Keystone, Canadian supply mounted and prices dropped. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce estimated the glut and lack of pipeline capacity had cost Canada $25 billion in oil revenues in 2012.”
    http://business.financialpost.com/2014/03/27/keystone-oil-pipeline-energy-east-irving/?__lsa=4980-6da7

    Looks like delaying the pipeline has saved consumers $25,000,000,000 so far.
    And to think, there are actually people that think the pipeline will lower costs for consumers.

  • embo66

    There is an equally strong economic case to be made against Keystone XL. All the economic arguments proffered in its defense — that it would drop oil prices, create tens of thousands of jobs, and make the U.S. less dependent on imported oil — have been proved false.

    As Jesse4 notes below, TransCanada is the entity that would benefit most from the pipeline, not the average American consumer. Despite repeated appeals, the company has also refused to grant the U.S. any “first dibs” rights on the refined oil before it hits the global marketplace post-Keystone. The U.S. would have to pay whatever the going price is, period — whereas now we can get what Tar Sands oil is being refined (up in North Dakota and the Midwest) much more cheaply than world market prices.

    And speaking of refineries, how many people are aware that the deal awaiting approval pays nearly $2 BILLION in taxpayer money to refineries just to process that nasty Tar Sands sludge? Or that some of these refineries are actually owned (in whole or in part) by oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia or Venezuela — or the Koch brothers?

    There isn’t a solid reason on earth why the United States should build Canada’s pipeline for it, period. It is a boondoggle designed to make all the wrong handful of people much richer — and the rest of us much poorer, both economically AND environmentally.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    The Republicans have really made voting in the next elections a priority, for those more than two million unemployed workers, which were affected terribly by the failure of the Republicans to pass the unemployment extension bill in the senate. Their total lack of compassion and human decency has caused these millions of families untold suffering and financial damage over the last four months, since running out of their benefits. Senators such as John Boehner, had made every effort to have the bill killed in the senate, and him and his Republican cronies have intentionally dragged their feet and made countless delays, hoping it will go away. These politicians, in their soft jobs and affluent lifestyle, have paid little concern to the plight of these families who had to face evictions, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcy, and homelessness. They continued taking their numerous senate breaks and vacations, while these families were struggling to keep a roof over their heads, and food on their tables at home. This is the party that represents itself as being “the party for family values”. It’s clear that these senators have no family values, but perhaps for their own families. Last week the congress approved a billion dollar or more foreign aid package for the Ukraine. The passing of the package in the congress was swift without delay. However, the same can’t be said about the passing of the unemployment bill. When it comes to spending tax payer’s dollars on foreign aid, and corporate welfare, and Banking and Airline Bailouts, but there’s always a “budgetary concern” when the subject are the poor in this country. This surely isn’t right in a great country like ours

    • Lord Stark

      lol “senators such as john boehner” you must be one of those really informed voters.

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