12:03 PM, Nov 6, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
President Obama announced today to much fanfare (and to much angst on the right) that he is killing the proposed KeystoneXL pipeline, which would transport Canadian tar sands oil through the United States. But as much as he would like to claim the mantle of environmentalism (this is the man who promised to slow the rise of the oceans, after all) the president is giving himself a little too much credit here. For President Obama is not killing Keystone; the economics of oil are.
Tar sands oil is remarkably expensive to cultivate; according to State Department figures, energy companies require oil prices of somewhere between $65 and $75 a barrel to break even on tar sands mining. Oil is currently trading at less than $50 a barrel and there’s increasing speculation that the stuff will remain cheap for a long time to come. The plunge in oil prices is already affecting tar sands production: Earlier this year, Shell cancelled plans for a major investment in the tar sands. Nor are they the only ones calling off future development.
The plunge in oil prices and fall-off in investment means that Keystone simply no longer makes economic sense.
As Pete Howard of the Canadian Energy Research Institute told the MIT Technology Review early this year, of oil prices remain around $50 a barrel, “the necessity for Keystone XL may disappear . . . We’ve got rail [transportation] right now as a safety valve, and if we build up rail capacity to carry three-quarters of a million barrels, that pretty much takes up all the projects that are under construction right now.”
The president may as well take credit for the sun rising in the east this morning.
11:53 AM, Jul 28, 2015 • By JIM SWIFT
Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi was widely derided for saying Congress had to pass Obamacare "so that you can find out what is in it."
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a town hall today in New Hampshire used the same logic when asked about the Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver oil from Canada to refineries in the United States.
A New Hampshire voter asked: "As president, would you sign a bill, yes or no please, in favor of allowing they Keystone XL pipeline?"
The oil sector’s midstream needs beefing up.May 18, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 34 • By THEODORE E. GENEROUS
With hundreds of miles of shoreline and the world’s leading Navy and Coast Guard, the United States is the globe’s most logical stable exporter of energy. Too bad Congress effectively banned exports a generation ago. Lifting the ban won’t be enough to displace the Venezuelas and Irans of the market, though. Stifling regulation—and the threat of more to come—on the means of moving the products of innovative technology like fracking is a critical check on an otherwise burgeoning industry.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:15 PM, Feb 25, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Mark Hemingway on Obama's Keystone veto, and the attack of the environmentalists on sensible energy policies.
Obama’s Keystone Kops routine.Jan 5, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 17 • By FRED BARNES
For a symbolic issue, the Keystone pipeline has sure caused a lot of damage—to Canadian-American relations, to Democrats, to President Obama. And it feeds, underscores, or reflects a variety of political divisions, some of them quite bitter.
6:22 PM, Nov 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The United State Senate voted down the Save Mary Landrieu Act of 2014 by one vote last night. Senator Landrieu had hoped to persuade her constituents in Louisiana that she could bring home the pork owing to her seniority and her savvy in the ways of Washington. She would get a pipeline bill passed into law; one that had been languishing in Washington for some six years during which nobody seemed terribly aware of her clout. The pipeline vote, though, would surely show them.
Buying a Detroit Senate candidate.May 19, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 34 • By HENRY PAYNE
Countering the free-market political activism of the Koch brothers, green billionaire Thomas Steyer has pledged to spend $100 million in 2014 to elect an anti-carbon posse to Congress. Steyer’s litmus test is opposition to the import of Canadian crude oil through the Keystone pipeline—an issue on which the former San Francisco hedge-fund manager won a victory this spring when the Obama administration further delayed the pipeline’s construction after six years of study.
12:31 PM, Mar 30, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Massachusetts state Republican party has a new ad highlighting Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. "Keystone Pipeline Means Thousands More Jobs and Cheaper Gas," the text of the ad reads. "Yet, Warren Opposes It."
9:24 AM, Mar 22, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Gallup finds that an overwhelming 57 percent of American adults believe "the U.S. Government Should Approve of the Keystone XL Pipeline."
5:55 PM, Mar 8, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Senate narrowly rejected a Republican-sponsored measure Thursday that would have bypassed the Obama administration's current objections to the Keystone XL pipeline and allowed construction on the controversial project to move forward immediately.