Who Cares About Keystone XL?

Issue 06-02-14   |   Reviewer:   Brian Kench, Ph.D.


The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico was first proposed in 2008. More than six years later, the U.S. government is still considering whether or not to approve the proposed pipeline.

Meanwhile, Canadian regulators are moving on. Four additional pipelines have been proposed to move heavy crude oil from the Alberta oil sands in western Canada to the east and west. If piped to the east, refiners in Ontario and Quebec will process the oil. If piped to the west, the oil will likely be loaded onto ships bound for the Asian market, according to “Who Cares About Keystone XL?” (Bloomberg Businessweek, June 2-8, 2014).

It now appears that if the United States does not approve the Keystone XL pipeline, alternatives will be approved, built, and used. If the goal of delaying the Keystone XL pipeline was to slow or stop the extraction of oil from the Canadian oil sands, the strategy did not work. The only open question at this point is whether Canadian oil travels through the United States or not.

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