|Date Published||February 24, 2016|
|Article Author||Holly Nicholas|
|Article Type||February 2016 Issue|
|Category||Articles, Oil & Gas|
|Tags||Climate Change, Keystone XL Pipeline, Oil & Gas Industry|
According to the 2015 third quarter figures from the National Energy Board, Canadian crude
accounts for 99% of oil exports to the United States
The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline wasn’t about climate change and the environment. It was about the goal of a nation to become energy independent.
Just days after the Obama Administration dismissed Keystone XL, they backed the construction of an oil pipeline in Kenya. If the rejection was about climate change and protectionism, surely the administration would have taken the sensitive environment of the Great Rift Valley, where the pipeline is to be built, into account. The Great Rift Valley is home for several endangered species, while the Kenya Lake System, located within the valley, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And surely, the administration would have taken the dreaded carbon emissions that come along with the construction and operation of a pipeline into account if they cared so much about climate change. But, they didn’t. Instead, they arranged funding for the 900km long project with an $18 billion price tag. And, here’s why. The U.S. guarantees their own supply of oil for cheap from Canada by being our only customer, and a pipeline in Kenya won’t cause any disruption to that arrangement.
Canadian pipelines would not only be the catalyst in getting Canadian oil to market, but they would also be the catalyst in increasing the price of our resource. According to the 2015 third quarter figures from the National Energy Board, Canadian crude accounts for 99% of oil exports to the United States, with bitumen and blended bitumen accounting for the largest fraction of those exports. There is a clear difference between West Texas Intermediate pricing versus Western Canada Select pricing, and it will stay that way until the country has access to tidewater. Keeping our pipelines locked means Americans get the better deal on our export, and the construction and operation of the Keystone XL would have meant the bargain bin would have had a bottom. And, the pipelines that have been boycotted by the United States address the price differential of West Texas Intermediate against Western Canada Select, along with Canadian access to markets.
The rejection of our pipelines by the U.S. isn’t our only issue in overcoming the construction road block. Investigations have shown progressive foundations based in the nation have provided foreign funding for environmental activists to protest our oil and pipelines. A leaked presentation by the U.S. based Rockefeller oil tycoons details $7 million in funding for methods of imposing an embargo on the oil sands by various means of activism in a partnership with progressive think tank, The Pembina Institute. The Canadian based group has actively lobbied against the Keystone XL and encouraged a moratorium on the oil sands. In fact, hundreds of millions of foreign dollars have been uncovered for the same purposes and professional activists now turn up regularly at rallies against Canadian oil and pipelines. But, while these groups attack Canadian oil, they support increasing production in the United States. The Rockefellers simultaneously supported a bill escalating U.S. production by 300 million barrels.
Under Canada’s previous conservative government that approved a total of four pipelines, two of those pipelines crossed the border, those being the Trans Canada’s Keystone, which ends at Cushing, Oklahoma and Enbridge’s Alberta Clipper that ends at Superior, Wisconsin. The expansion of both of these projects would have alleviated transport bottlenecking, which is reflective of excessive product backlogs without the means to transfer the resource. Alleviating this effect would have increased the price we get for bitumen products and would have enabled Canada to transport more of its product to get to market. But, the expansions were rejected, while the Line 9 reversal and the Kinder Morgan Loop, the other two projects of the four, were approved and constructed. These are two projects that wouldn’t have affected the American bottom line.
Canada continues to sit on the sidelines while the U.S. rejects Canadian pipelines and backs foreign ones, plus funds opposition to both our oil and our pipeline projects. The Obama Administration continues to veil these not-so-secret tactics under the guise of climate change, but that’s not the real reason they boycott our resource and developments. They know if they approved these projects Canadians wouldn’t have to rely on them anymore for access to global markets, they wouldn’t be able to purchase oil at discount prices, and their path to energy independence would come to an end.