keystone pipeLIES: KXL will lower gas prices


One of the reasons supporters of the keystone pipeline back the project is because they believe that it will bring lower gas prices. Americans seem to care more about saving a buck than they do about their health and the environment. But the truth is gas is a global commodity and its price is set by global markets. It rises and falls based on all sorts of factors, including current demand, demand forecasts, global economic conditions, and international events that affect distribution channels. Local supply fluctuations rarely have any but the tiniest impact on gas prices. New pipelines carrying tar-sands oil might extend the lifespan of climate-wrecking fossil fuels by a few years, but they won’t bring down the price at the gas pump.

In fact, in the Midwest, Keystone XL might actually increase the price per gallon. according to researchers at the Cornell University Global Labor Institute, TransCanada, the proposed manufacturers of the pipeline, admitted that “KXL will increase the price of heavy crude oil in the Midwest by almost $2 to $4 billion annually.” The Cornell study explains that this will happen as a result of “diverting major volumes of Tar Sands oil now supplying the Midwest refineries, so it can be sold at higher prices to the Gulf Coast and export markets.”

keystone xl pipeline gas costs

Fox expects us to to believe that building KXL could result in gas prices dropping “20 to 30 cents a gallon”; indeed, Asman responds to his claim by saying that the Gulf executive is “on the retail side of the gas business, so you know” how gas prices come about.

But the Cornell University study estimates nearly the exact opposite of the claim, estimating that building the KXL pipeline could increase domestic gas and diesel fuel prices in some states by between “30 to 40 cents more per gallon”

Gasoline is a significant cost for most Americans, and especially for those with lower incomes and residing in rural areas. Also, refined oil products like gasoline and diesel are very widely used throughout the economy especially in agriculture and commercial transportation. So higher fuel prices due to KXL would ripple through the economy and impact a very broad range of people and businesses.


Six reasons the keystone Xl was a bad deal all along


The fact is, for the good of our country and our economy, rejecting the Keystone XL deal was the best decision possible.

Here are six facts about the proposed Keystone XL deal that make clear why the pipeline was a bad deal for America and why it deserved to be rejected:


Are water sources at risk with the Keystone Pipeline XL?


One issue that seems to take the back burner to the emissions cause by the pipeline is the threat to water quality along the conduits route.The pipeline, which would transport the tar sands material to refineries near Houston, would cross one of America’s largest underground water reserves, the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches across 174,000 square miles and underlies eight Great Plains states. To remove the thick black oil from the sand, they heat it using natural gas and wash it using huge amounts of freshwater. In this process, they create toxic lakes large enough to be visible from space. In order to produce one barrel of tar sands they contaminate two to four barrels of freshwater to separate the oil from the sand. 

The U.S. State Department said in an environmental review that the project would have “no significant impacts to most resources” during “normal operation.” But the big worry is what happens if those normal operations fail.

TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, already runs one pipeline. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups have argued that the pipelines are dangerous because they carry a watered-down version of the sticky tar sands deposits known as diluted bitumen, or “dilbit.” Dilbit bears hazardous chemicals including cancer .causing  benzene and toxic heavy metals such as arsenic. Because it also contains particles of sand, the environmental groups say, dilbit is much more corrosive than oil alone, making it more likely to cause leaks.

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, a co-author of a recent report by the Defense Council, said that piping dilbit is “like sandblasting the inside of the pipe,” making pipes 16 times more likely to leak than when they are carrying regular crude oil.

Keystone XL would pass over the heart of the aquifer, cutting through the Sand Hills of Nebraska, a region of grass-covered dunes that contains one of the largest wetlands ecosystems in the United States. The regions ground acts as a thick sponge, allowing oil to soak into the aquifer more easily than it would if the soil were more solid.

If a spill were to occur it would happen fast, and given that the pipeline would be buried in trench, it would make it very difficult to spot leaks. 

The pipeline needs the approval of the U.S. State Department in order to more forward. “I am not opposed to pipelines in Nebraska,” U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, said in a statement. But he faults the environmental review and wants the U.S. government to explore other options. “We have only one Ogallala Aquifer,” he said, “and we must take seriously our obligation to protect it.”