Once again we find ourselves on the precipice of a major decision regarding our future on this planet. After multiple delays, the Keystone XL pipeline expansion is at a pivotal moment: Republicans are trying to force approval, this time by requesting a Senate vote on a bill that would circumvent the Obama Administration and approve the project (at which point the White House could veto).
In my home state of Colorado, a fracking battle ground, I was horrified by the sudden appearance of pro-Keystone XL television advertisements. Funded by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the ads make preposterous claims about how the Keystone XL will benefit average Americans, even going so far as to claim the support of labor unions, environmentalists and politicians from both sides of the aisle.
This bogus misinformation campaign is nothing more than political posturing by fossil fuel companies that have a vested interest in making the Keystone XL happen, average citizens be damned.
So who really wins if the Keystone XL is approved?
The Climate Denying Koch Brothers
At first glance, you might assume that Canadian oil companies have the most to gain from the Keystone XL, which would make it super easy to transport tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere. Or at least major fuel companies like ExxonMobil or Shell. Nope. According to a recent report by the Washington Post, one of the biggest lease holders in Canada’s oil sands is actually the Koch Brothers.
“The Koch Industries subsidiary holds leases on 1.1 million acres — an area nearly the size of Delaware — in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, according to an activist group that studied Alberta provincial records,” the paper states. And owning the land means sucking up the profits. “The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) contends that Koch Exploration Canada, the Koch Industries subsidiary that buys and sells land for energy development, could profit by up to $100 billion with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” reports Think Progress.
Many pro-Keystone XL groups have tried to sell Americans on the fact that the pipeline will bring cheap oil into the U.S., thus reducing domestic fuel prices. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are already Canadian pipelines that bring tar sands oil into America for domestic use–and they’re operating far below capacity. The reality is that Canada is tired of selling 97 percent of their oil to the U.S. They want to diversify, making Canadian oil more readily available to the international market where it can compete with higher-priced oil from the Middle East. Many experts say this will actually increase the price of oil for Americans.
Regardless of what the API would have us believe, the Keystone XL will have little to no benefit for Americans. It won’t create thousands of jobs, and it isn’t safe. What it will do is fill the already-overflowing pockets of Big Oil and Gas, while threatening the environment and encouraging the fossil fuel addiction of countries like China. The Keystone XL has and always will be a sucker’s deal, and we need to stop it once and for all.
Take action by contacting your Senators TODAY, requesting that they oppose any bill that would approve the Keystone XL expansion.
Image via Credo Action