New Report: Keystone XL Would Drain Cash from American FamiliesIt turns out Canadian tar sands companies and American conservationists agree on something: The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would significantly raise America’s gas prices. A new report from Consumer Watchdog predicts building Keystone XL would raise prices at the pump as much as 40 cents. That makes Keystone XL huge climate polluter, a menace to harm wildlife with tar sands spills AND a threat to the economic health of American families. What’s not to like?
Right now, tar sands companies don’t have an easy way to get the huge amounts of tar sands they’d like to sell out to the international market, so they have to sell that oil at a discount to drivers in America’s Midwest. As the National Wildlife Federation first reported in 2011, the whole reason TransCanada wants to build Keystone XL is to raise its profits by getting that oil to the international market, where it can be sold to the highest bidder.
Keystone backers like to claim the pipeline would lower prices by increasing the supply of oil. There are two problems with that argument. First, it’s not a pipeline to Denver or Nashville or any other city where gasoline might be needed – it’s a pipeline to the Gulf Coast where the tar sands oil can be refined, loaded onto tankers, and sold on the international market. That leads us to the second problem: Oil companies are already exporting gasoline out of America thanks to the oil shale boom in the Northern Plains.
The Consumer Watchdog report concludes:
- Drivers, especially in the Midwest, would pay 20 cents to 40 cents more at the pump if the disputed pipeline were built, as the current discount of up to $30 a barrel for Canadian oil disappears.
- The true goal of multinational oil companies and Canadian politicians backing the pipeline is to reach export outlets outside the U.S. for tar sands oil and refined fuels, which would drive up the oil’s price.
- With U.S. oil production rising fast, any “energy security” benefit for the U.S. would vanish as American oil output exceeds that of Saudi Arabia in about 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.
Watch this video summarizing the report: