Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Real Tragedy Of The Keystone XL Pipeline Denial

From Brookings, "Keystone XL Rejection: The Road Not Taken" by Charles K. Ebinger and Govinda Avasarala:
On the other hand, because the Canadian oil sands will be developed one way or another (the United States cannot determine Canadian energy policy, and the Canadians will develop their resources), the administration’s decision will not have any impact on additional emissions from their production.
This brings us to the real tragedy of this fiasco: it should never have become such a high-profile debate in the first place. The United States has long been importing oil—both conventional (crude oil) and unconventional (like the oil sands)—from Canada. Any proposed expansion of imports from a stable ally such as Canada should have raised very few eyebrows. Moreover, the oil would likely displace demand for heavy oil from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, whose oil tends to be heavier in nature and suitable for the complex refineries of the Gulf Coast. Decreasing imports from both countries is largely considered to be a good thing. Finally, concerns over pipeline safety and leakages are generally overblown but also easily resolved through sounds construction and proper monitoring and regulation.

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