Keystone XL will increase green-house gas emissions; State Dept analysis is wrong.

UPDATE: Please also see the letter from Rep. Waxman and Sen. Whitehouse
This report from OilChange International disputes the preliminary State Dept. finding on which President Obama seems to be preparing to rely.
[See our earlier article Keystone XL: A study in corruption.]

From the summary:

[T]he Department of State’s assessment of the pipeline’s impacts,in a draft released earlier this year, concludes that the pipeline will not lead to an increase in tar sands production and therefore no net increase in climate disrupting Greenhouse Gases (GHGs).

The apparent rationale given in the draft report is that other transport infrastructure will find a way to get tar sands oil to markets and that Canadian heavy oil delivered to the Gulf Coast will simply replace other heavy oil imported from elsewhere.

Neither of these is accurate. State’s analysis is both simplistic and out of date. A closer look at what is actually going on in the North American oil market shows clearly that the project will enable tar sands production to increase and therefore increase emissions.

This briefing reveals for the first time that if Keystone XL is built, there will be a surplus of heavy oil in the Gulf Coast market that will force Canadian tar sands crude oil to be regularly exported from the United States. Far from the pipeline replacing heavy oil imports from Latin America and elsewhere, it will compete with these sources both in the Gulf Coast and global markets.

Keystone XL will clearly enable tar sands oil to reach markets beyond the United States, giving the pipeline a unique role in facilitating tar sands production growth and leading to increased GHG emissions.

The full report from OilChange International is in our Resource library.