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Blocking Keystone XL Pipeline Is Bad for America and the Environment

Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2021
by Outside Contributor
keystone xl

President Joe Biden is blocking the long delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline by withdrawing the federal government’s approval of the project.

Blocking the Keystone XL pipeline is bad for America and the environment.

The Keystone XL pipeline may be the most carefully examined pipeline in U.S. history. Initially proposed almost 15 years ago, the 1,200-mile pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Canada to Nebraska, where it would be transferred to other pipelines for shipment to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico. The vast majority of the pipeline did not need federal approval and has been built or connected in segments stretching from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the Midwest.

The U.S. State Department had to sign off on a segment of the pipeline delivering oil from Canada to Nebraska. In 2011, after reviewing 15,500 pages of documents and environmental impact statements, the State Department determined the Keystone XL could be developed safely, was in the national interest, and would have no impact on greenhouse gas emissions or climate change. The State Department and outside analyses also showed, during construction and the life of its operations, the Keystone XL pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs and reduce U.S. energy costs.

Despite its economic virtues, President Barack Obama rejected the science, and directed the State Department to do another analysis. It did so and came to the same conclusion in 2014. Still, Obama rejected the pipeline. So much for following the science.

As a candidate for president, Donald Trump promised to reverse Obama’s Keystone XL rejection in order to reduce U.S. reliance on oil imported from often hostile foreign countries. Just two months after being sworn in as president, Trump directed the State Department to approve Keystone XL. In June 2017, after once again reviewing its impact on the environment and climate, the State Department approved the permit to build small remaining portions of the transnational pipeline. By September 2019, Nebraska regulators had also given the pipeline the final approval needed to begin construction.

The Keystone XL pipeline is in America’s long-term geopolitical and economic interest. It will create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. And after the oil is refined on the U.S. Gulf Coast, it can either be used domestically, or shipped overseas, reducing America’s trade deficit while shoring up international alliances by reducing friendly countries’ reliance on energy from America’s geopolitical competitors or enemies, like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.

Conversely, by withdrawing the Keystone XL permits at this late stage, the Biden administration is telling the Canadian government—which has publicly urged the administration not to cancel the pipeline—industry, and state governments, you can’t rely on the U.S. government to keep its commitments.

Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline would also be bad for the environment. Canadian oil will still be developed and shipped, but it will be transported by truck and by rail, both methods that result in far more oil spills each year than pipelines.

A study by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research found from 2005 to 2009, shipping oil by roads or rail caused about 30 more injuries requiring hospitalization as pipelines. And a study by the Fraser Institute showed from 2003 to 2013, pipelines experienced fewer spills, spilling less oil per million barrels of oil transported than did rail or truck. And, Fraser found 99 percent of pipeline spills did no damage to the environment.

The Keystone XL pipeline is in America’s geopolitical, economic, and environmental interests. As such, Biden should reconsider his stance and support its completion.

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Rosco Cain
Rosco Cain
3 years ago

Well, you DO know that the railroad the transports MOST of the oil from Canada and around the country is party OWNED by Warren Buffet, A Demokkkrat supporter and close friend of both Obama AND Biden. So now you KNOW.

3 years ago

It annoys me when left-wing politicians assume the “workers” will be just as happy working jobs chosen for them as they are in jobs they chose for themselves. Joe Biden, in his characteristically clueless style, said if coal miners can dig coal, they can learn to program. I lived in WV for a few years, and I know that the people working in that industry wanted to because wages were good…and steady, as long as government and union bosses didn’t get in the way.

The free marketplace has always been a platform for the most efficient use of labor. Supply and demand drive the course of industry, and those who choose to work will line up for positions as they open. So, let the private sector plan the roadmap for the future. Government is overstepping when it engages in picking industry winners and losers. That will make it easier for them to control and to take over the energy sector…another step in the direction of socialism.

Several studies, conducted for both R and d administrations, showed that the pipeline is safer for the environment than trucking the oil. China buys some of Canada’s oil, and the less material going their way, the better. If the pipeline diverts more of it our way, great.

It amuses me to hear the liberals speak of “clean electricity” and “electric cars” when they conveniently forget about how that electricity came to be. They deliberately dismiss the fact that fossil fuels are collected and burned to generate almost all the electricity we use now use. It’ll be a long time before solar and wind power will be able to fill the tank. If government wants to–if we want to–do something beneficial for the planet, planting millions of trees can help capture the carbon. The U.S. has substantially cleaner air and water now than we had years ago, and the Paris Accord won’t address the real source of the problem: China and developing countries.

3 years ago

Summary: Obama told State Dept in 2014 to stop pipeline, Trump told State Dept in 2017 to approve pipeline, & now Biden in first week uses EO to stop Keystone? I understand that stopping this project will put 60,000 people out of work. What a heartless act when millions of Americans are already unemployed. Biden stopped because Obama stopped & what other Democrats or major campaign donor wanted stopped.

3 years ago

The article said that the pipeline is in America’s geopolitical and economic best interest. That’s all it took. The socialist/democrat interest is NOT the same. Let’s start waking up the American people. Far too many are asleep and don’t have a clue what is going on.

nick gofuckyourself
nick gofuckyourself
2 years ago

the Supreme Court shut it down July 2020. you fail to mention this in your article

Tammy G
Tammy G
2 years ago

Well, as of 4/2/22 gas has risen to historic prices with the promise of even higher prices closer to summer.
If you’ve never seen a Lithium mine necessary for those battery operated cars I suggest you look.
They are WAY more destructive to the earth that an oil pipeline running through Canada and south.
Now Biden is “releasing” hundreds of barrels of oil because he says its getting to be a lot of stress on the middle class. Praise Biden? No, why isn’t he just opening up the pipelines again, giving hundreds of people their jobs back, and letting gas drop to the $1.89 it was under the Trump Admin?
Mining Lithium for batteries is just making an UGLY DEAD mess of HUGE, DEEP chunks of land that no animal has any chance living in.. Let the Keystone pipeline be opened up and the US be energy independent.

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