What You Need to Know About the Keystone XL Pipeline

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In this Dec. 3, 2012 file photo, crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline near County Road 363 and County Road 357, east of Winona, Texas. (AP Photo/The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Sarah A. Miller)

Crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline east of Winona, Texas. (AP Photo/The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Sarah A. Miller)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said that approving the Keystone XL pipeline will top the Senate agenda as Congress reconvenes.

If approved, the Keystone project would move 830,000 of barrels of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas every day.

The debate over Keystone is politically charged. You’ve no doubt heard the talking points on both sides of the issue. But digging past the politics, what’s really at stake? Who stands to win and who stands to lose if the pipeline is approved? To answer those questions, and others, we’ve put together an essential KXL reader.

What is Keystone XL? 

The Washington Post published a Keystone primer complete with graphics showing the entire 1,179-mile route. The Southern leg of the pipeline went into operation last month. Writer Tara Lohan visited with some of the property owners affected by the project for BillMoyers.com — she called them “accidental activists.” Because it crosses an international border and requires State Department approval, the Northern leg has been more controversial. And that controversy is entering its ninth year — Maclean’s has a timeline of the project  — and the debate it has ignited.

How Significant Is That Environmental Review?

The recently released environmental impact review was a blow to the project’s opponents. It found that approval of the pipeline wouldn’t have a significant impact on climate change. Barack Obama had said that he wouldn’t approve Keystone if it did. But it’s important to understand that the primary finding was not that extracting huge amounts of tar-sands oil wouldn’t have a significant impact. Rather, as the National Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) Danielle Droitsch noted, the report concluded that the oil would be extracted with or without Keystone. As such, John Cushman writes at Inside Climate News, the report leaves the door open for the administration to either approve or reject the project. The review itself has been the subject of some controversy, as the State Department’s Inspector General’s office launched an investigation into potential conflicts of interest among the contractors that conducted the study. And Lee Fang reported for The Nation that the government of Alberta paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the researchers responsible for a previous “independent” study with favorable results.  ClimateProgress’s Ryan Koronowski offers “Seven Facts That Weren’t in the New State Department Report.”

What Is “Tar Sands” Crude Anyway?

The nonprofit group Environment Northeast has a primer on how oil is extracted from tar sands, what’s in it and why it comes with a greater environmental impact than crude oil extracted using traditional drilling. John Abraham and Danny Harvey reported for The Guardian that increased production of tar sands crude would make it impossible for Canada to meet its goal of reducing emissions by 17 percent of 2005 levels by 2020.

Another Concern: Safety

Mike Klink, a former pipeline inspector for Bechtel, which was working under contract with TransCanada — the company behind KXL — became a whistleblower when he wrote that TransCanada cut corners on the construction of the pipeline and as a result the project is a spill waiting to happen. Lisa Song reported for Inside Climate News that a major aquifer in Nebraska may be especially vulnerable to a spill. And Julie Dermansky reported for Truthout that TransCanada’s safety record on other projects is a cause for concern. More generally, the CBC has an interactive map of all the pipeline accidents in Canada between 2000 and 2012.

The Politics

Juliet Eilperin wrote a primer on the politics of KXL for The Washington Post. Desmog Canada issued a report detailing TransCanada’s lobbying activities. Jim Snyder reported for Bloomberg News that “at least a dozen state and federal Republican lawmakers” sent letters urging approval of the project which turned out to have been written by the Consumer Energy Alliance,” a Washington-based coalition of energy producers.” A majority of Americans favor the project — 56 percent in the latest USA Today poll. In Canada, public opinion appears to be declining; a poll released last month found 52 percent of Canadians in favor of the project, down 16 points from last April. Opposition to the project had also grown by 12 percentage points during the same period.

Other Controversies

A major issue has been the use of eminent domain to secure property for the pipeline route. Multiple lawsuits have challenged the practice; in Texas, the courts first ruled in TransCanada’s favor, but recently gave landowners hope by ordering the company to submit additional documentation on its use of eminent domain. The Nebraska legislature actually transferred its eminent domain power through Governor Dave Heineman to TransCanada, as Andrew Harris and Tom Witosky reported for Bloomberg Businessweek, and is facing a court challenge. Claims about the project’s potential to create new jobs have also been contested. A report by researchers at Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute found that the company’s projections weren’t accurate, and KXL would create only a marginal number of permanent positions.

What Now?

The State Department said last week it will postpone a final decision on the Keystone project until after Nebraska’s Supreme Court decides on the pipeline’s route inside the state. And in the latest round of protests against Keystone, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance — a group of ranchers, farmers and leaders of several Native American tribes — are descending on Washington, DC for a week-long event complete with horses, teepees and sacred fires. An estimated 5,000 activists will take part in a march past the Capitol on Saturday, organizers say.

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  • Anonymous

    You also need to know that the NEB (National Energy Board) of Canada deliberately withheld a report on a Trans Canada Pipeline explosion in northern Alberta in 2009 that was the result of external corrosion.

    You also need to know that the adverse negative health affects of exposure to diluted bitumen have been grossly under reported by the mainstream media in Canada and the U.S.

    You also need to know that the 44,000 Canadians living downstream of the tar sands have cancer rates three times higher than the Canadian average.

    You also need to know that the mountains of petroleum coke left over from refining the dilbit are extremely toxic and flammable.(Google Detroit petcoke images).

    You also need to know that the ‘harper’ government of Canada is the most hated and reviled government in the history of Canada because of their allegiance to big oil.(harper’s only other job was working for Exxon in Calgary).

    There are many other things you should need to know and learn about before allowing this pipeline to be completed.

  • Anonymous

    All the facts are right. harper worked in the mailroom of Esso(Exxon) in Calgary. Get your facts right.

  • Anonymous

    You also need to know that the State Dept. was the wrong agency to do the Environmental Impact Statement and their incompetence at doing so was the main reason that Obama’s decision has been delayed a year. The EIS was not done according to the law (NEPA) but done according to the politics. The Environmental Protection Agency is the administrative agency charged with doing EIS and Environmental Analysis (EA) because it is staffed with the scientists and lawyers versed in NEPA. If the EPA had done the EIS, as it should have, the pipeline would have been denied.

  • Guest

    There’s a conflict of interest controversy concerning this new “Impact Study”. Google: “ERB Conflict of Interest Keystone Pipeline”. The company that did the study lied about their ties to TransCanada.

  • William Carr

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Obama simply came out and said “My experts say building this pipeline will raise the cost of gas in the United States, and therefore, we won’t allow it unless all the oil is sold only IN the United States” ?

  • Theodora Crawford

    News for quite a while, but it needs repeating. Also, I wish someone would research a list of all our politicians who own stock in Trans Canada and stand to prosper if it is passed…Could prove embarrassing! I believe Susan Rice or her husband was one shareholder…

  • Anonymous

    The extraction process incorporates steam pumped into the ground which is heated by natural gas.The cost is more to refine than the product is worth.

  • Arm of Keaau

    Simply…money not on the credit side of the profit sheet. Clean up is always for others in the Republicon mantra. (_: FBI

  • Arm of Keaau

    That doesn’t make ay sense. If it raises the cost, why the hell would we want it? The only one to truly benefit would be the oil company. (_:

  • Larry Maher

    That there pipeline is sure going to turn a bunch of flag waving Red states Blue. Nuttn like being stabbed in the back by your own buddies. Oh, the East Coast Liberal Elite were right! How you gonna keep down on the farm once they see this puree; spill. Welcome to the real good guys side Middle America.

  • JJ042804

    The US Oil Kings (Koch Bro.) profit most from it.

  • JJ042804

    That’s the whole point of that Pipeline.

  • Pel Abbott

    Bingo Raymond. There IS NO BENEFIT TO THE UNITED STATES. Other than we’ll foot the bill for spill clean up, and the aquifer it could poison is IRREPLACEABLE. No to Keystone.

  • Pel Abbott

    I expected a lot more from this article. Like how few jobs Keystone will create, how eminent domain will be invoked and the potential spoiling of our nation’s biggest aquifer. As well as WHO WILL PAY for spills?

  • Pel Abbott

    Not sharing.

  • Celui

    Wellllll, let’s see:: WHO will pay?? If the Gulf oil debacle is any indicator of future courses of action, the pipeline company will eventually be cited and have to pay some, but in the immediate aftermath, it will ALWAYS be the taxpayers, both local and federal, who will pay. And, of course, FEMA funds are strapped, so there will be incessant wailing about poor federal response, etc. This is a disaster waiting to happen, and the economic price to the American taxpayer and to his health will be incalculable. WHO benefits? asked and answered.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not even the “US” oil kings — multi-nationals who really run the world — regardless of any one nation’s laws. The U.S. is nothing put a pawn in the hands of these chess players.

  • Pel Abbott

    Okay, well, I did share all your links. Thank you Bill Moyers.

  • JJ042804

    The Koch Brothers have holdings allover the World, including in the TXL, they are multi nationals and the wealthiest in the World.

  • evilroyslade

    They have driven up the price of oil and $100 a barrel oil is now the norm. Whatever it cost to get it out of the ground we will pay for it at the pump.

  • Barbara Mullin

    America gets the toxic waste and the expense of getting the NSA to guard the pipeline against terrorists. Let them hear your comments during this open period at website address in Bill Moyers report. This is welfare to billionaires.

  • Arm of Keaau

    As I understand it, the purpose was to get Canadian oil to the Gulf for export to other nations, not us. (_:

  • JJ042804

    In a matter of speaking, Big Oil is stepping over us, because that’s the only way that they can make this profitable. The Pipeline has nothing to do with the US except the US Corporations and wealthy stock holders who have holdings in it. They just use our land to make it profitable. And since the US Government has to step in if those Corporations suffer any losses, (due to spills and other accidents) they have a win, win situation.

  • Ran

    Well, the company responsible for the chemical spill into the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians simply filed for bankruptcy.

  • Guest

    GOP = Anti-Environmentalists. For 5 years, the GOP has done nothing but try to push this sucker’s deal onto Americans.

  • Ran

    TransCanada’s 2008 PERMIT APPLICATION states:
    “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price DISCOUNTING [CURRENTLY] for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply. This is expected to INCREASE THE PRICE of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”

    What do you think TransCanada means by “strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in the Midwest” and where does the ANNUAL INCREASE OF $2 Billion to $3.9 Billion in revenue come from, exactly? ….

  • Arm of Keaau

    True, but when are we as a nation going to stop being their patsy? Say no to this and other attempts to trample our environment and personal property rights. (_: FBI

  • JJ042804

    We need to research how to stop them and then get active! ALL of us need to work together, but not just on climate change, but also on our economy, throw the money out of our political system and get education back on track.

  • Bob Short

    These sites are the best one can do? Information put out by someone with vested interest in the energy fields! Is this not a bit biased?

  • David William Rutledge

    The main problem, as I see it, is that this is a wealth producer for the already über rich, don’t-need-anymore-money crowd. For the rest of the country, it will be an ecological and environmental disaster. The claim is that it will produce jobs. I counter claim that clean energy production will also produce jobs – but without the environmental holocaust. The other option is to leave Tar Sands to a future time, when our technology will be better able to extract it and with less pollution. The issue is not that the country is on the ropes and so desperately needs this oil. The issue is that big business and the Congress which they own want to have it their way – despite any and all warnings.

  • kermit hovey

    I noticed a couple of commenters concerned about the accuracy of McKibben’s assertion that the API had threatened political consequences if Obama did not approve the KXL Pipeline. “President Obama faces “huge political consequences” if he does not approve the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XI pipeline that would link Alberta’s oil stands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, a top oil industry lobbyist warned Wednesday.” according to this 1/4/2012 article http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/01/04/big-oil-warns-obama-huge-political-consequences/ .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gail-M-Lynch/1015843002 Gail M. Lynch

    Glen, We, the US have no obligation to destroy our aquifers, or destroy our land for you. It’s not a few people that are against this. You must have dementia. You should get some help for that. It only gets worse. Your greed knows no limits, huh?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gail-M-Lynch/1015843002 Gail M. Lynch

    The companies don’t have to do a thing to clean their messes up. It all falls on the tax payers, and one spill alone will wipe out any state’s coffers. The states won’t clean the mess up any way. There is your answer.

  • Anonymous

    Glenn, I’d like to challenge your argument that dishonestly goes both ways.

    For starters, US opponents of Keystone DO go after coal, even though fighting a trillion dollar/year multi-national industry is not easy.

    Did you not hear about the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign that has been hugely successful in shutting down old coal plants, and offering alternatives for where new ones would be built ?

    And now that our domestic coal consumption is reducing and the coal industry wants to export our coal, have you not heard about the strong resistance by communities against US coal export terminals at our shores and having miles long coal trains shedding coal dust over our towns ?

    On the other end of the “honesty” we have the tar sand operators suggesting that rail will replace the Keystone XL even though they know that its economics will kill most new tar sand developments.

    And then there are the lies about jobs :
    The Government of Canada spending millions of Canadian tax-payer dollars on pro-Keystone XL ads that tout 10’s of thousands of US jobs, the Chamber of Commerce here in the US presenting 100’s of thousands of US jobs and Gov Rick Perry worked the media with an astonishing 1 million jobs for the Keystone XL, as well as the argument that this pipeline will give us oil independence from nations that don’t like us.
    No wonder the US polls show a bit more than 50 % in favor.

    In fact, all that pro-Keystone XL propaganda (partially payed by Canadian tax dollars) appears to be a lie.

    The Keystone XL may create 2000 jobs for two years in temporary work camps in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska (if we can believe the SD report written by an industry contractor), and we currently already export more refined products than we are importing from all OPEC countries combined, so we have no need for these tar sand bitumen, especially not into the US Gulf, which already exports nearly 50 % of its products to foreign nations.

  • Anonymous

    “Who stands to win and who stands to lose if the pipeline is approved? ”

    I read the entire article but did not really see an answer to this question.

    Let’s see if we can answer it with some common sense by following the money :

    The Keystone XL bridges two oil ‘benchmarks’ : WCS and WTI.

    The spread between these two has hovered between $15 and $40 per barrel over the past couple of years.

    For the Keystone XL, at 830,000 bpd, that means a $ 4.5 billion – $ 12.1 billion bounty PER YEAR to be split up between the tar sand producers, TransCanada, and the billionaire refinery owners in the Gulf, for the lifetime of this pipeline.

    On the other end, we (the people of the US) get 35 permanent jobs, the benefit of having our essential aquifers contaminated, our lands claimed by eminent domain, and NO payment into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, since an anonymous Gulf Coast refinery has convincing the IRS in 2011 that products derived from tar sands are not petroleum products and thus are exempt from that excise tax.

  • Anonymous

    Listen to the environmentalist and you’ll starve to death. However, each of them are planning on buying up all of the existing pottery for planting their food. Hell, they don’t even own a car, just bicycles and they ride the subways and trains. They don’t have refrigerators or lights that require electricity, they have solar panels and wind mills or they want Obama to fund some more of the ripoff green energy companies. Why don’t you left wing fools just admit you know absolutely nothing about the needs of our country and the people in it, just let your fellow Americans starve to death because of your stupidity.

  • Deb

    Aside from construction temp jobs, the reality of permanent jobs is this. Currently there are planned and/or in use, 67 pumping stations, each will require a crew of maximum 15 people to operate 24 x 7. That is it for permanent jobs as the bitumen in the keystone, belongs to none other than the KOCH brothers who have numerous interests in the Tar Sands. The bitumen will be transported to Texas City Texas, directly to the Koch’s refineries holding tanks, to be loaded on Ocean going oil tankers and then thru the Gulf, thru the Panama Canal, directly to China for PROCESSING AND USE. It will not be used in the United States nor will it be refined in the United States. And the Keystone itself?? Does not belong to TransCanada as they are the constructors and operators under contract thru Bechtal to none other than the KOCH brothers. THAT is the truth about Keystone and its owners.

  • Art Brown

    Canada and others stand to win, not the UNunited states. The earth will be the loser.

  • Anonymous

    Since most people are not as simple-minded as you are 30yrsoilandgas, they realize that we have more choices for improving our future than either doubling down on dirty fuel or going back to the stone age.

  • Carl Rody

    I would personally dismantle segments of that pipeline if it were ever built. Given the large number of spills in the United States from unregulated and poorly maintained pipelines and facilities in just over the past 5 years, it would be remiss as a citizen to allow such a pipeline to be built or exist. Country before corporations.

  • Anonymous

    We have to start a national campaign on the benefits of Industrial Hemp. In the new farm bill there are allowing ten states to experiment with growing industrial hemp. It will be a win win for the US. I believe that within a decade we can replace fossil fuel that is extracted and produces the dirtiest results to our land, water and air can be replaced by the oil from the Hemp plant. This is the thing the environmentalist should be pushing for. Instead of just wanting to boycott the pipeline and the oil being shipped by train. We need an alternative to fossil fuel and we have a God given plant that will do just that. It will also open up many new industries. Think of what a new Industrial Hemp Revolution will do for our Country. I also believe that if we started growing Hemp in the dust bowl the farming industry has created in the mid west from overgrowing corn, growing Hemp plants would re nourish the land. Our clothes would be softer and last longer. Would you rather drink from a plastic bottle that is made from hemp oil or fossil oil? Think about all the products made from dirty oil than can be made from hemp oil. It is a great insulator. It takes 5 acres of cotton to do what you can with one acre of hemp. Hemp makes stronger rope and paper products. Our Bill of Rights was written on Hemp Paper. What more do you want to know? How long are the people fighting the pipeline and such wait to use this great plant to end the use of fossil fuel.

    Another idea for ways to cut our use of fossil fuels is to use our water treatment plants for power.

    We can also use the methane gas that the water treatment plants burn off and use it for powering our cities. We would be using our own waste to power our houses and cities.

    I am totally against Nuclear period. Anything that produces a byproduct that has the potential for what happened in Japan and the fact that the amount of time that a place is contaminated for radiation is not worth the price we will all pay for the disasters that will occur. Chernobyl. Need I say more.

  • tom allen

    Since this is not in the interest of National Security and is only to benefit no one except certain politicians and Non Tax Paying Big Business. I say this needs to halt or it will be hauled off by the citizens, We the people DO NOT WANT THIS!! This cannot be made any plainer! This is bulling by the Oil Companies and we will not be ran over and bullied any longer by money!

  • Anonymous

    I agree.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    So very sophisticated for a 13 year-old. Are your parents helping you with this? I hope not. I don’t like to see kids USED.

  • Anonymous

    It also helps clean contaminated soils of radiation.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like to see kids belittled for having an informed opinion. So very insensitive!

  • Anonymous

    Quite drinking water and eating food, or hoping for the future of your children, grandchildren.

  • Anonymous

    This is a much better which you should google Keystone PipeLIES Exposed at PRwatch org

  • Ric Elizondo

    I’ve sent this to the many authorities, they better read. I’m ignorant of many details yet understand more than they do.

    Most of the arguments supporting the KXL Pipeline are ad hominem at best. These irrelevant “facts” such as the percentage of the amount of oil sand would be created is irrelevant to what environmental danger it not just may but Will cause. Obviously the supporters do not understand the effects on the environment or ever pondered at things like the butterfly effect, if so, stupidity is the best adjective to refrain from vulgar descriptions of our governing bodies. As a nurse for 7 years, if the government approves of something this damaging they may as well lay back on medical regulations. Not caring about the environment but instead of valuing profit over human, humane, and planetary life is not a concern to these corrupt bureaucrats, but it is people like myself and other medical and environmental workers that will have to clean up the mess and damage done. These parties in charge of this operation do not understand the overall impact of the destruction that will occur for the children left on this planet, or whatever left of the planet that the government or the failure of the current presidency deems. Not only is this Not ethical to allow, it shouldn’t be allowed as it is not in our best interest to give this corporation such power as this, we should have learned from our history. I am a voice to be heard over any body who empowers the KXL as I have and continue to literally save lives they have no; value my words and understand that these words needs to sink in before the oil sinks into the sand and affects AS IT WILL our climate that is already in danger due to the ignorance of the same kind of corrupt personnel who are given this power. Unethical and disgusting, along with the ridiculous ill health care political Failed system, failed economy, we don’t need to add a failure to the planet for our children by failing to understand that this will affect our climate and our planet in a terrible way. Money isn’t everything, and you would think government officials would know, alas they do Not. Our president and government, I am ashamed and disgusted by you. I am a more powerful voice to be heard, you have killed and I have saved. Please, value my words before you value your corrupt ideas and decisions of childlike nature, this issue is entirely elementary and you should share the shame upon yourselves.

  • Anonymous

    Who benefits? The refineries in Texas, TransCanada, the owners of the Canadian oil, and the countries where the oil is exported–probably China. NOT the U.S., and NOT the people who live on the lands where the inevitable spills and leaks will occur. The American people take all of the risk, but get very few of the benefits. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with oil FOR the American people, or energy security, or any of the other BS that’s been bandied about.

  • Anonymous

    Glen must think we have the attention span of a gnat. Admits he has a vested interest in getting it OUT of his country and who cares who is disrupts en route? So why not ship it to either coast of Canada instead? Sure seems like it would be far cheaper, especially if it ruined Vancouver on its way to China.

  • Anonymous

    Have you SEEN what the tar sands site looks like? Might as well be Mars, without a LIVING organism on it. And it didn’t start out that way.

  • Anonymous

    John Boehner and you would think it was a blatant conflict of interest.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t even stop the leaks in the ones you have what makes you think we will tolerate another one. Think twice before continuing to mess with OUR lives. We don’t need you that much.

  • Thad Daly

    It is Canadian– check where the pipeline is to start- and it is to be exported to China- check where the pipeline ends already installed -Motiva Refinery Pt Arthur TX a federal designate foreign trade zone

  • mograph

    Actually, the province of Alberta will win, not even Canada. The benefits of the pipeline are highly concentrated.

    And I doubt that Alberta will win: only Alberta oil companies and those who work in the Oil Patch.

  • mograph

    Well, not in Canada, but to Canadian oil producers. They’re just the same as your oil producers.

    Canadians don’t want the pipeline either: it’s just the oil types who want it.

  • mograph

    Yes. The doubling-down vs. stone age argument is a false dichotomy.

  • Elasha

    May be true about TransCanada cutting corners, but they still have to get environmental clearnances and impact statements approved and have to follow the permit requirements. It’s far better to pipe than it is to transport over ground. It will also enable us to depend on Canadian oil instead of oil in countries hostile to the US. I have yet to see our infrastructure transform so that we don’t need oil.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    In my mind, this is not about USA against Canada. It is more about human kind against money hungry oil companies chomping at the bit to make billions of dollars of profit, and people be damned. It only appears that there is a resentment between the countries because the citizens of the USA have no sway across the border where the citizens of Canada have already suffered environmental tragedies beyond reversal. And, it may well be at the hands of greedy American oil barons, for which we can only apologize for such actions.

    If there was a way of reversing the atrocities performed on the pristine forests of Alberta, I’m sure the citizens of the USA would be favorable. To say we have no sway in what has happened in your country might sound like an excuse. My only comment is that I’m sorry for the lack of population in Alberta to stand up against your TransCanada corporation long before this situation proceeded this far. Greed has a way of pervading borders and the people be damned.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    After reading the various articles and comments, and observing all the political activities of the ultimate recipients, it becomes clearer that the ONLY true benefactors of wealth will be the Koch brothers who are spending billions to subvert the government of these United States at every level. They are purchasing the best politicians money can buy.

  • Phil Grove

    Well,the US will not see one damn penny or barrel of oil from this endeavor once the pipeline is in place. Canada is to sell all the oil to the far east.
    So why should the US and our citizens be exposed to all the potential risk that comes with this pipeline. Not a day goes by we don’t hear of some still some place and this pipeline only adds to that outcome,therefore we get 35 permanent jobs-whoopie plus the disasters and Canada gets the money/sales.
    Let Canada build a pipeline across southern Canada.

  • Terry Lind

    The oil will be refined in Texas and then sold to other countries. The U.S. will not be receiving any of this oil, so it will not lessen our dependency on foreign oil.

  • Micah Cruse

    Seriously how can 56% of Americans support this? They must have been mostly polling the rich who have oil investments. If 56% of the average Americans support it than they must be outright choosing to be absolutely blind! The very first time I heard “keystone pipeline” I said this is gonna be bad. I knew nothing about it and still it was so obviously a bad idea. Come on people wake up. This isn’t going to relieve you of high gas prices or bring down the unemployment rate or boost the economy by any means. It is plain and simply raping the planet for a buck that neither you nor I will ever see. A buck that, by the way, will be worthless when the planet is wrecked.

  • TA123

    this is the reason Bush wanted to start wars and cut taxes for the rich…this way Republicans can create harsh conditions so they will look like saviors. Especially when Bush was losing 800,000 jobs per month. The koch bro’s will get their reward for supporting all these measures, but Americans have to suffer because they entangle the people with needs. In the same way Bush lied about WMD’s they will hoax our country to create wealth but only for a few…

  • TA123

    Simple answer, Koch bro’s and Republicans. Thats why Bush borrowed all that money from China. This was in the plan… Republicans bought and sold us out to this, and tried to force it down our throats. To even think differently than this will set a course for the destruction of USA. Since the 70’s they have talked about the ozone being depleted, so why haven’t they changed course? Money is the answer to that, and most Americans will have less of that, and few will capitalize…The same as Iraq, a witch hunt for oil…did we benefit from that war? All I see is debt!

  • Dave Brown

    This oil is going to China, the agreements where signed years ago. It will only keep the refineries going strong. Guess who will pay for the oil spills, you and me. The Exon spill in Alaska has yet to be paid for 25 years later.

  • Dave Brown

    Carl, the pipeline is being built as we speak! You better look into this crap deeper, the pipe is going into the ground NOW, without permits!

  • Ronda Zwierz

    It should be a no brainer for Canada too (where I live) because we won’t even get the jobs out of it.

    There will be long term jobs however – cleaning up leaks and spills takes a lot of labour. Haven’t seen a pipeline yet that didn’t have them.

  • Andy Bonnell

    u missed one; “when” a spill does happen (as it will happen) the companies that own kxl won’t be “charged” for it meaning they won’t have to spend any of “their” money to clean it up, the full cost will be charged to the taxpayer

  • Anonymous

    That about says it…plus this is an export pipeline…our land is just a conduit…

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    You are correct…the refiners are in a tax free zone…so, the US will not receive any real compensation…just the risks..

  • BarryWhite

    Sounds like you made up your mind without knowing all the facts like so many do. “The very first time I heard “keystone pipeline” I said this is gonna be bad. I knew nothing about it and still it was so obviously a bad idea.” All you have is an opinion with no basis other than emotion.

  • BarryWhite

    What does “the refiners are in a tax free zone” mean? Are you under the impression the refineries are off-shore?

  • BarryWhite

    You should do a little more research Thad. Priceofoil.org tracks 66 refineries currently refining tar sands crude oil so there are plenty of them equipped to handle that type of oil and they certainly aren’t getting it via pipeline so shipment by rail is viable, economical and dangerous. Warren Buffet makes money off the rail transportation and they say the Koch Brothers will when the pipeline is finished. One way or another that crude is coming out of the ground and will get refined in the US. This is a juggernaut none of you are stopping.

  • BarryWhite

    Priceofoil.org tracks 66 refineries currently refining tar sands crude oil so there are plenty of them equipped to handle that type of oil and they certainly aren’t getting it via pipeline so shipment by rail is viable, economical and dangerous. Warren Buffet makes money off the rail transportation and they say the Koch Brothers will when the pipeline is finished. One way or another that crude is coming out of the ground and will get refined in the US. This is a juggernaut none of you are stopping by delaying the pipeline.
    Once the contaminants are removed by the refining process, it’s just run of the mill gas, diesel and by-products no less harmful than refined sweet crude. If you don’t get the refining itself banned, you are simply giving yourselves a flat spot on your head beating it against a wall.

  • Anonymous


    “Keystone XL is an export pipeline. The Port Arthur, Texas, refiners at the end of its route are focused on expanding exports to Europe, and Latin America. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.

    Valero, the key customer for crude oil from Keystone XL, has explicitly detailed an export strategy to its investors. Because Valero’s Port Arthur refinery is in a Foreign Trade Zone, the company can carry out its strategy tax-free.

    In a shrinking U.S. market, Keystone XL is not needed. Since the project was announced, the oil industry acknowledges that higher fuel economy standards and slow economic growth mean declining U.S. oil demand, even as domestic production is booming. Oil from Keystone XL will therefore displace American crude from new, “unconventional” domestic fields in Texas or North Dakota.” http://priceofoil.org/2011/08/31/report-exporting-energy-security-keystone-xl-exposed/

  • Leonard L. Davis

    Here is the problem of thinking you can clean up any mess that a significant leak of the Keystone pipeline would create. Once you pollute the aquifer you can’t clean it up. No oil clean up has ever been 100% complete. There is always a percentage of residual oil left to the environment to deal with and that outcome has never been good. Once contaminated with crud oil 82% of the drinkable water for this country will not be drinkable for hundreds of years. I can’t understand how any body in his right mind can justify 2K temp and 50 permeant jobs and maybe some oil against loosing the majority of our drinking water. Clearly the risks out weight the benefits. Think I’m kidding? Go put a eye dropper of motor oil in a glass of water and drink it. I doubt you will and if you do you are a fool. Thats what our drinking water will be like when (not if) there is a leak. And those that say it is safe because it is buried under ground. Once a leak is detected it will be too late. No, no, no, it’s just not worth risking future generations drinking water not to mention our own.

  • woodguy11

    28 Dems voted for the pipeline

  • shortyboy

    And here’s the rest of the story. TransCanada will not be responsible for any cleanup. The US taxpayers will have to pay for it. I know that’s inconceivable but if you do the research you’ll see why. Nobody is reporting on this either. I don’t know why Obama has not mentioned it but if the American people knew it they would be up in arms. Do the research yourself.

  • Jeff A. Davis

    The bigger issue here is the environmental issue. This is a disaster waiting to happen … did you not read where TransCanada has cut corners on construction? That’s one of the many things pointed out in this article. This is also for export purposes also, we will not gain anything from it. They’re just using it as an excuse to transport it to the gulf where it will be shipped out elsewhere. Then there’s also the issue of a foreign Co. being given eminent domain privilege in the U.S., do you not find that a bit disturbing ??

  • Robert Gill

    My question is, are they going to ship the contaminants back to Canada, or are my children and grandchildren going to have to live with them in their environment. How long will we have to wait for solar and wind energy to be brought to use. All this so the one percenter’s can stock pile more money

  • jimmie58

    Wind and solar energy is already owned by the 1% that are busy fleecing our tax dollars from us in the form of cash subsidies along with the help of our own politicians. Remember Solyndra? Look up Angus King and check out his “contribution” to an industry that is not self sustainable.

  • Anonymous

    I’m hoping the Indians win this one.

  • Janet Cater

    It seems to me we have taken enough from our Native Americans. Why do we continue to break treaties for $$

  • Janet Cater

    Yes. And I am truly ashamed of them.

  • Janet Cater

    None of this oil benefits America. Canada refused the pipeline so why should we risk polluting the Ogallala Aquifer that provides water to the midwest so a few people get richer?

  • Janet Cater

    Germany is now 60% wind and solar energy fueled. This industry is sustainable and is creating more jobs than Keystone ever will.

  • jimmie58

    Creating jobs at whose expense? What of the jobs created in the US in refining and shipping product not to speak of revenues that are to be collected? Sorry dear but you are totally wrong. Germany is not the wondrous success of renewable power you would like it to be. Subsidies from the end users and government is what keeps the scam alive, it is not “self sustaining.” Consumer electric costs for end users have more than doubled since the year 2000, more than 100% increase. Currently wind and solar account for approximately 25% of their energy production, NOT 60%, and they seem to be on track for a total projected renewable output of 40% occurring about 2025. In the mean time their power electric grid is in shambles because of the FACT that wind and solar power are not a constant source of energy and the grid must carry unusual loads when the sun shines and the wind blows and then must make up for it from carbon or nuclear based energy when it does not. This process is becoming more and more dependent on COAL fired plants as they have decommissioned some nuclear plants and plans are to continue along those lines. Wind and solar are renewable but currently with our technology are not “storable,” here today gone tomorrow or actually minute to minute. Most of the solar and wind projects in Germany are located in the northern part of the country and there is no grid currently in existence to transfer that power to the industrialized southern part of the country though there is a plan to build a power corridor over 1/2 mile wide cross country which is being met with much opposition from citizens due the health hazard implications of massive electrostatic and magnetic fields that will be generated by such a massive sized electrical conduit. As an aside, their intended purpose was originally to reduce CO2 by using renewables. They have failed miserably at that also and their original target as of latest review is totally unreachable. I can go on and on but it is up to individuals to ferret out facts and to ignore the untruths told by those that would fill their pockets at your expense and the expense of the flora and fauna.