Keystone XL: 2014 Update

An estimated crowd of 35,000-50,000 gathers near the Washington Monument on February 17, 2013 to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and support action on climate change. Image from wikipedia

Keystone XL makes environmentalists livid… Oil extracted from Canada’s tar sands produces about 17% more carbon dioxide than conventionally-pumped supplies do—largely thanks to the energy needed to get it out of the ground. The process uproots forests and leaves toxic lakes behind. A pipeline carrying Canadian oil to Gulf coast refineries would lower the cost of getting such oil to market, so it might encourage energy firms to extract more…

Canadian oil is already getting to market, points out Charles Ebinger of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank—just mostly by barge and train. A new pipeline would ease the strain on Canada’s railways and increase the profitability of extracting the oil. But compared with swings in global oil prices, the effect will be small. Nor will many jobs be created. Most of those 42,000 are temporary posts; just 35 full-time permanent employees will be needed to run the pipeline.  Oddly, the project may not matter much in Louisiana. If completed, Keystone XL will deliver oil to Texas…

Excerpt from: Keystone XL: Back in the Pipeline, Economist, Nov. 22, 2014, at 26

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