Keystone XL May Actually Raise American Gas Prices

Let’s get real for a second.

I’m so sick of politicians, industry lackeys and uninformed citizens who tell me that opposing the Keystone XL is tantamount to sabotaging the American economy.

These pro-fossil-fuel parrots go on and on about how they would drill for oil in their own front yards it if meant cheaper gas at the pump. These people act as though cheap gas were some sort of unalienable right or the sole factor in determining America’s success or failure.

They speak about the Keystone XL as if it were an economical silver bullet — just start extracting and transporting Canada’s tar sands oil, and voila: we’ll all suddenly have good jobs and fat bank accounts. Nauseating. And, according to yet another report, a bald-faced lie.

Consumer Watchdog recently released a new report, titled Keystone XL: Oil Industry Cash Machine. The producers of the report — Research Director Emeritus Judy Dugan and independent energy analyst Tim Hamilton — utilized industry data, public records and company documents to debunk the blind passion for oil that passes for patriotism these days.

One of the report’s most interesting revelations is that the Keystone XL pipeline will likely raise gasoline prices in the United States, not lower them.

“Keystone XL is not an economic benefit to Americans who will see higher gas prices and bear all the risks of the pipeline,” said report author Judy Dugan in a press release. “The pipeline is being built through America, but not for Americans.”

The report reinforces what us “crazy environmentalists” have been trying to point out for years: The chief purpose of the pipeline is to help Canada increase it’s own revenue by opening up new, overseas markets for tar sands oil. Not to decrease American gas price.

Right now, a good portion of Canada’s filthy crude ends up in the Midwestern United States. With the construction of the Keystone XL, they would no longer have to settle for American prices. The oil would flow uninterrupted to Gulf Coast refineries (owned by the same companies currently investing in the tar sands and pushing for its approval) where it could be loaded up quickly and shipped to Europe and other countries willing to pay a premium for diesel.

“Midwest drivers would be hardest hit because the region currently imports more than half of its oil for refining from Canada,” explains the report. “Increases at the pump could range from 25 cents to 40 cents a gallon, depending on how regional refineries respond to paying $20 to $30 more per 42-gallon barrel for Canadian crude oil.”

Keystone XL supporters, like the author of this Wall Street Journal article, claim that by rejecting the pipeline, Americans would basically concede our economic viability to China and regress into a pre-industrial land of horse and buggies. What they fail to mention, however, is that “two major Chinese petrochemical companies…have an interest in exporting crude oil and/or refined products to their markets. Such exports would drain off what the tar sands producers consider a current oversupply, and help push global oil prices higher.”

The conclusion of the report is: “U.S. consumers should be wary of the Keystone XL pipeline — not just for substantial environmental and safety reasons, but because it threatens their wallets. Given the fleeting benefits of construction jobs, the unprovability of long-term benefits and the negative effect of higher gasoline costs on consumers, Keystone XL is no economic boon to the United States. U.S. consumers and the overall economy would bear the substantial risks of the pipeline without measurable permanent benefit.”

It’s got a lot of economic jargon, but I encourage you to read the report [PDF] for yourself, or at least the executive summary. It’s not as anti-establishment as you might think. Rather, it exposes the misinformation campaign that has surrounded the Keystone XL for nearly a decade.

And once you’ve read it, forward it to a friend or two. Let’s show these oil companies we’re not the chumps they think we are.

Image via Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Gerald L.
Gerald L4 years ago

For anyone that knows a fully trained & Indentured North American Boilermaker Tradesman, pass this on. Their skill sets are building the heavy Industrial Steel Infrastructure, Power plants, steel mills, Refineries etc. and those weird looking water towers you see all over. China would not have a Union, you go to Jail for 8 years just trying to form one.

Oilsands company fined $1.5M in Chinese workers' deaths ...‎
Jan 24, 2013 - 2 workers killed, 2 others injured in workplace accident. CBC News ... The workers from China died in 2007 near Fort McMurray when a storage tank collapsed at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.'s Horizon project. A judge ...

Second Tank Collapses at Fort McMurray Work Site (9:16 pm)
May 13, 2007 - A second oil storage tank has collapsed at the Horizon oilsands ... site north of Fort McMurray where two Chinese workers were killed in April.

Notice how close the tank collapses were, where was the Ministry of Labour? drinking martinis with the Oil executives? Tanks are very dangerous to build, because the wind can blow them over if they are not properly secured while under construction.

Gerald L.
Gerald L4 years ago

Slippery Slope, Did they ever post jobs in Virginia with the high Un-employment rate of Coal Miners?

Decision looms in case of Chinese workers at BC coal mine › News › British Columbia‎
Apr 8, 2013 - A dispute over Chinese workers at a B.C. coal mine enters its final round ... to RBC hiring foreign workers who displaced Canadian employees.

Canadians replaced with foreign workers rehired | Fort ...‎
Feb 7, 2014 - The company that reportedly replaced 65 Canadian ironworkers with temporary foreign workers has announced the Canadians will be rehired, ...

Corporate greed, as a tradesman we were able to work in the US on Outages under a Reciprocal Labour Exchange called the MOST Program, which was most appreciated! They have layed off our pipefitters also, while hiding Off-Shore welders onsite in Fort McMurray, the same trade who would install the Pipelines.

Temporary Foreign Workers In Fort McMurray Shutting Out Canadian Labour: Alberta Federation Of Labour

Gerald L.
Gerald L4 years ago

Natural gas price hike will also hit hydro bills: Chiarelli ...‎
Mar 17, 2014 - Enbridge Gas Distribution has already applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB ) for a 40% increase in what it charges consumers. If approved ...
You visited this page on 19/04/14.

Natural Gas fired Co-gens will be paying more! Guess who's going to be paying for these pipelines if they are approved? Notice who wants to build the pipeline to the West Coast of British Columbia to ship crude & refining jobs to China.

Northern Gateway pipeline: benefits vs. concerns - Canada ...‎
Jan 10, 2012 - A look at who gains and who loses if Enbridge's proposed Northern ... pipeline from oilsands to B.C. coast pits jobs against environment.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

This article is just more anti-oil propaganda. Canada is going to sell their oil somewhere, why not to us? It's closer, they can get it here quicker with less transportation costs. With the pipeline, the oil can be transported to refineries (which we haven't built one since Carter was in the White House) with almost no shipping costs.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Well isn't that good news for the 1%...

David F.
David F.5 years ago

Mike, The Daily Chaos is an extreme propaganda source driven by a socialist anti-American agenda. There are unreasonable and illogical claims with no source links. However even if it was all exported to service shallow ports around the planet it would just offset the imports by a small amount. U.S. imported approximately 10.6 million barrels per day of petroleum in 2012. We exported 3.2 MMbd of crude oil and petroleum products, resulting in net imports (imports minus exports) equaling 7.4 MMbd. What a private company does with it’s product is generally best for them and best for the country where it resides. If they make billions, good for them, I’m mature enough to not be envious. The more wealth they have the better for the poorest among us. Besides there are 2000 US employees in just one plant (Motiva refinery)

Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline5 years ago

Well David F, if they can get more $ shipping it overseas or make gas cheaper here in the states and sell it for less, what would a real capitalist do?

You are operating under the delusion that corporations are US, Canadian, Chinese, etc. The fact is they will screw over any place to get the cheapest labor, allowed to pollute the most and pay the lowest taxes

If you think that the US worker needs to make less to "be competitive", what about 12 hour a day/6 day a week "contract labor" where the people live, work and pay for their meals and sleeping area to the company which makes sure they get as much money back

Again Capitalism has no soul. Socialism has a heart and soul but little brains. The compromise is a well regulated system where those on top also lose their shirt and everything when the company they own goes under

Like the Hostess plants. The capital investment group made sure they got huge paydays and were able to keep the profits sold if the company went under. There is no incentive to do anything as they all got millions PLUS the sale of the Trademark names while people lost their livelihood

Unbriddled capitalism would pollute the air, soil and water without concern (witness the oil companies now, remember the oil spills in the Gulf, Canada and the elsewhere in the US just this year?) and use slave labor willingly

Mike Kelly
Mike K5 years ago

David F. "Mike, Who said 100% of the refined product will be shipped overseas? We pay top dollar here, why ship it elsewhere. Paying or not paying into a government cleanup insurance doesn’t change your liability, If a spill occurs, the company has it’s own insurance and deep pockets.

Read the facts below:

The Keystone pipeline is to be refined in the U.S. at the headwaters of "Cancer Alley" and then it's refined products are headed for China. Though I realize you will ignore facts and just parrot the talking points you read. Squeaker of the House, John Boner, will probably send you a few, though he won't tell you that he has Enbridge and Keystone stock shares in his portfolio. He's playing you for a sucker, knowing your affinity for talking points over facts.