One Pagers

Keystone: All Risk, No Reward

April 01, 2013 10:46 am ET
This weekend, Exxon's Pegasus pipeline carrying Canadian tar sands oil spilled in Arkansas, raising more concerns about TransCanada's proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline across the Canadian border down to Texas. Meanwhile, the State Department is continuing to accept public comments until April 22 on its draft report on KXL's environmental impact.

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The only oil Americans will get from Keystone is the oil that spills.

Connect: It doesn't make sense for Americans to bear all the risks of an oil pipeline when foreign companies and countries get the benefits.

Define: With the Keystone pipeline, America takes all the risks while foreign countries take the oil.

Explain: A foreign oil company wants to build the pipeline to transport Canadian oil through America and ship it overseas -- leaving Americans to deal with the risk of toxic spills and contaminated water.

Illustrate: Just this weekend, another pipeline carrying Canadian oil spilled in Arkansas. One pipeline run by the company behind Keystone had 12 toxic spills in a single year.

Discredit: Keystone won't make America less dependent on Middle Eastern oil because the pipeline oil will be sold to foreign countries on the world market.

Lead: The only way to secure our energy future is to invest in homegrown clean energy technologies like solar and wind -- and for our leaders to put America's interests ahead of foreign interests.


ATTACK: "Canada's tar sands would contribute little to climate change."

  • You can't be serious about climate change and also be for the Keystone tar sands pipeline. Oil companies have repeatedly admitted that Keystone is critical to fully developing Canada's tar sands oil, which would be "game over" -- we lose on climate change.
  • The fact is that oil from tar sands, like the oil that will be carried on Keystone XL, creates three times more carbon pollution than regular oil. KXL is expected to increase greenhouse gas emissions every year as much as putting 4 million cars on the road.
  • We have a duty to protect our country for our children and grandchildren and deal with climate change now. Helping oil companies transport dirty oil with Keystone isn't the way to do it.

ATTACK: "Keystone could create 20,000 jobs."

  • Those jobs numbers come from TransCanada, and they're wildly inflated. We need to focus on putting more Americans back to work in more long-term and good paying jobs right here in the United States -- like clean energy jobs, which are growing four times faster than other work.
  • Even with contractors hired by the pipeline developer writing it, the State Department report admitted that constructing Keystone would create 35 permanent jobs and 3,900 temporary construction jobs
  • The pipeline also has the potential to kill jobs. A pipeline rupture would devastate farms and ranches along the pipeline, just like the BP Oil spill devastated Gulf fishermen.

ATTACK: "Keystone will allow us to get more oil from Canada and less from the Middle East."

ATTACK: "Trust us, Keystone XL will be safe."

  • Another pipeline transporting Canadian oil spilled in Arkansas just recently. TransCanada had 12 toxic spills in one year of operating another pipeline, and their pipelines are prone to safety failures and spills -- including the one that flooded North Dakota with 20,000 gallons of toxic oil.
  • If we're going to risk building this pipeline to carry toxic, pipe-corroding toxic oil through two thousand miles of American farmland and our country's largest water aquifer, Americans should get the benefits. Instead, America will get the risks while foreign nations get the oil.
  • If we learned anything from the Exxon and BP disasters, it's that spills are catastrophically costly. A spill would devastate farmers and ranchers along the Keystone route -- and could leave their kids and grandkids with contaminated drinking water for decades.
  • Keystone is all risk and no reward for America. The fact that Canadians don't want Keystone built across their own country tells us everything we need to know about the risks.

ATTACK: "Keystone will lower gas prices."

  • Nonpartisan economists have found that the Keystone XL pipeline will do nothing to reduce gas prices.
  • In fact, gas prices could actually increase as oil currently going to the Midwest gets diverted to the Gulf Coast for export.
  • To save money at the gas pump and secure our energy future, let's do what is already working -- make our cars go more miles on the same amount of gas, rein in the Wall Street speculators who abuse the oil markets, and invest in homegrown clean energy that won't ever run out, like solar.


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Posted in - Energy - Foreign Policy - Economy - Environment - Jobs

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