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Throwing Oil On A Fire

02 Mar 2012  |   Lea Brumfield

In a recent op-ed on Bloomburg News, Jonathan Adler points out the game of misdirection Republican Presidential candidates have been playing with the promise of the immediate erection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Railing against President Obama’s refusal to rubber-stamp the toxic-laden pipeline, they blithely ignore the intended destination of the tar sands oil –overseas.

Currently, tar sands oil flowing from Canada bottlenecks in Midwestern refineries, keeping gas prices artificially low there.  By relieving the glut of oil tar sands oil in the Midwest and bringing it to major shipping ports on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Keystone XL Pipeline would funnel gas into foreign markets.  TransCanada’s application to the Canadian National Energy Board stated an expected $3.00 per barrel increase by avoiding discounted sales in the U.S., and an additional $3.55 per barrel increase once the backlog of the toxic crude is cleared out of the Midwest.

Keystone won’t save the save the job market, either.  TransCanada originally estimated that the project would create “a few hundred” permanent jobs –a paltry number next to the 8,000 long-term jobs necessary to fulfill the EPA’s mercury rule so loudly protested by many of the tar sands pipeline supporters.

Dozens of spills of the toxic tar sands oil have already contaminated places like Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the pipeline would effectively make Americans pay to allow a Canadian pipeline leaks and oil spills on American soil.  

Read Jonathan Alter’s op-ed at Bloomburg News.

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