They will try to fool us by saying that we need the oil here to reduce prices and to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Don't believe a word of it. Here is Carl Pope, Chairman of The Sierra Club talking about the Big Scheme.
KEYSTONE SCAMLINE: DRAIN AMERICA FIRST
By Carl Pope
Chairman, Sierra Club
There are a lot of controversial energy projects -- and then, in a class by itself, there is the Keystone Scamline. It has and continues to be sold as a project which will INCREASE supplies of Canadian tar sands oil in the US. In fact, it is designed to REDUCE supplies of tar sands oil available to US customers -- because the Koch Brothers and others who profit from tar sands oil are tired of the fact that gasoline in Missouri costs ONLY $3.67a gallon, while it is $4.07 in NY and $4.09 in California.
The problem is a simple one -- too much supply, not enough demand for maximum profiteerrings. The answer -- increase demand, not by building more pipeline capacity INTO the US, but by building new pipeline capacity OUT OF the country, via the Gulf. Koch and its allies don't want to refine this oil in the upper Midwest, and sell it there -- in fact, Valero has shut down one of its refineries in the region, a clear signal that the plan is to drain the Midwest first.
This goal is hidden in plain sight, a little bit like the key clue in a Sherlock Homes mystery. If you wanted to bring more tar sands oil INTO the US, you would begin by building the pipeline segment that crosses the border. That's not Keystone's plan -- they will FIRST build the segment from Cushing, Oklahoma, where they lament their tar sands gunk currently "pools up" to the Gulf Coast refineries, for shipment wherever the price is highest -- which won't be the Midwest.
And the major competitor to Keystone doesn't even pretend to be bringing more oil to the US -- they only want to build the segment from Oklahoma to the Gulf. Yet for months the backers of Keystone have incessantly presented their plan as one that will increase US energy security by bringing us more filthy tar sands oil. The reality is that this is not an imports scheme, but an exports scam. The US gets the water pollution risk to the Ogallala Aquifer, the private property expropriations in Texas, and the air pollution around the refineries -- plus gasoline prices that may run $0.30/gallon more than they otherwise would. Koch, Valero and their allies get higher profits and greater volume -- because they finally get what they have always wanted, access to the highest price world markets.
Yet none of these impacts have been assessed in the documents sitting before the Administration -- because everyone is pretending that Keystone will increase oil supplies, rather than decreasing them.
This has got to the biggest energy scam going. Its shameful that even the National Journal, in setting up this dialogue, bought into the idea that this is a proposal to increase US oil supplies.
It's not drill baby, drill. It's drain, baby, drain.
The tar sands pipeline would carry the tar sands oil across the US over fragile ecosystems and over the Ogallala Aquifer where a spill could threaten the drinking and agriculture water for millions. It would be sent to one of the many oil refineries on the Gulf coast which are vulnerable to floods and hurricanes. Then it would be loaded onto freighters in the Gulf of Mexico and shipped out of US probably to Asia and India. This can't be happening that the XL Tar Sands Pipeline is even being considered. Have we already forgotten the devastation that occurred with the BP oil spill? Freighters have a poor history of oil spills. The Gulf of Mexico is still healing from the crippling BP oil spill which occurred in April 2010. The wild life in the Gulf was devastated by that spill. How can we ever forgot the images of birds and fish covered in oil and unable to move and breathe?
“We cannot trust the oil interests to do the right thing for the economy, for the environment. We know that…We saw what happened when we let the oil interests get ahead of the regulation of their industry in the Gulf of Mexico. We are not going to let them turn the rest of North America into a sewer through the tarsands project.”
You can sign up to join Bill McKibben in civil disobedience August 20-September 3 in front of the White House.