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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Coming Clean: The President and ‘Dirty’ Keystone XL Oil

keystone xl pipeline  canadian oil sands  crude oil  greenhouse gas emissions  president obama 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 9, 2015

Apparently not content with the four Pinocchios he recently earned from the Washington Post for statements on the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama last week put in a bid for five with remarks aimed at the project’s environmental impact.

At an appearance in South Carolina, the president termed “extraordinarily dirty” the methods used to develop Canadian oil sands:

“The reason that a lot of environmentalists are concerned about it is the way that you get the oil out in Canada is an extraordinarily dirty way of extracting oil, and obviously there are always risks in piping a lot of oil through Nebraska farmland and other parts of the country.”

First, after more than six years of review by his administration, the president really should take the time to read the U.S. State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL  – the latest of five that all have cleared the pipeline on environmental grounds. As well, energy consulting firm IHS found that Keystone XL and the oil sands it would deliver would have “no material impact” on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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American Energy and Consumers

american energy  energy bills  energy costs  Economy  jobs  gulf  exports  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 3, 2015

NY Times: Sometimes, even the supposed experts can lose track of a billion dollars or two. Or, in this case, $100 billion. While few outside of Texas and North Dakota are complaining about this huge savings that consumers have enjoyed since energy prices began falling last summer, economists have been stumped recently trying to figure out exactly what consumers are doing with the windfall.

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For Honesty on Keystone XL, Energy Technology and Innovation

keystone xl pipeline  Economy  jobs  fracking  texas 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 2, 2015

The Washington Post (Glenn Kessler): President Obama, seeking to explain his veto of a bill that would have leapfrogged the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline, in an interview with a North Dakota station repeated some false claims that hadpreviously earned him Pinocchios. Yet he managed to make his statement even more misleading than before, suggesting the pipeline would have no benefit for American producers at all. The Fact Checker obviously takes no position on the pipeline, and has repeatedly skewered both sides for overinflated rhetoric. Yet the president’s latest comments especially stand out. Let’s review the facts again.

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American Oil, American Jobs

keystone xl pipeline  american energy  Economy  jobs  Energy Security  canadian oil sands  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 27, 2015

President Obama, in an interview with a North Dakota television station, explaining why he continues to delay the Keystone XL pipeline:

“Part of the reason North Dakota has done so well is because we've very much been promoting domestic U.S. energy use. I've already said I'm happy to look at increasing pipeline production for U.S. oil. But Keystone is for Canadian oil. Sending it down to the Gulf. It bypasses the U.S., it estimated to create 250, maybe, 300 permanent jobs. We should be focusing on American infrastructure for American jobs for American producers, and that's something we very much support.”

In the span of just six sentences, the president contradicts expert analysis of Keystone XL’s jobs and market impacts at least four times – about once for each breath.

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Choosing Process Over Merit on Keystone XL

keystone xl pipeline  president obama  job creation  economic growth  state department  Jack Gerard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 26, 2015

By continuing to delay the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama continues to elevate politics over the pipeline’s merits and symbolism over acting in the U.S. national interest.

Instead of giving the go-ahead to a project that would create good, middle-class jobs, boost the national economy and strengthen America’s energy security, the president talks about preserving processes and procedures. That’s not leadership for the entire country; that’s once again giving in to Washington politics.

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Keystone XL, Energy Exports and Infrastructure

keystone xl pipeline  lng exports  exports  jobs  Economy  infrastructure 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 25, 2015

After more than six years of review, President Obama continues to delay the Keystone XL pipeline, saying bipartisan congressional legislation to advance the project needed to be vetoed to defend process and procedure – a process that now has stretched more than 2,300 days. Keystone XL remains in limbo, despite overwhelming public support, drawing the attention of newspaper editorial boards and columnists across the country:

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Sustaining America’s Energy Renaissance with Good Policy

american energy  policy  exports  lng  keystone xl pipeline  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 24, 2015

Houston Chronicle (excerpt): Putin tips his hand with this dedicated focus on fracking, revealing just how much of a threat alternative energy sources pose to his control in Europe. "Energy is the most effective weapon today of the Russian Federation," Victor Ponta, the Romanian prime minister told the New York Times last year. "Much more effective than aircraft and tanks." This is the game that the United States can win if we choose to play. Exporting oil and gas poses one of the best opportunities to strengthen our allies in NATO and the European Union. The former Soviet Union provides more than 40 percent of Europe's oil. Russia has nearly exclusive control over natural gas supplies to the Baltic nations, which the United States has a duty to protect under the NATO charter. This level of control leaves our allies vulnerable to price shocks and supply cuts at the whim of an expansionist oligarch. Yet U.S. crude is still restricted by a 1970s-era export ban and the federal government drags its feet on approving liquified natural gas exports.

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Innovation Fuels America’s Energy Renaissance

american energy  innovation  technology  fracking  methane  keystone xl pipeline  anwr  arctic 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 19, 2015

TribLive: Mud makes it all possible. “Every component on that rig has something to do with that mud,” said Andrew Zeni, rig supervisor for Consol Energy Inc. “You couldn't drill a Marcellus or Utica well without mud.” This rather unsophisticated-looking brown sludge is a multipurpose tool carefully concocted, mixed and managed to clear a path for gas to surface from 7,500 feet below.

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Abundant, Affordable, Available

energy  oil and natural gas development  access  keystone xl pipeline  Jack Gerard  economic benefits 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 14, 2015

Some time ago the Keystone XL pipeline debate stopped being a discussion of energy infrastructure and whether the privately financed project was in the national interest. Thank Keystone XL’s opponents, who detached the debate from fact and scientific analysis to better serve their purposes.

Keystone XL’s most ardent foes readily acknowledged as much. They said that for them the pipeline was a symbol to be used in pursuit of political power.  As one anti-pipeline activist put it: “The goal is as much about organizing young people around a thing. But you have to have a thing.”

Symbolism over substance, politics over the greater public good? Too often that’s the way it’s played Inside The Beltway. But at some point political power needs to give way to actual power, and public policy should be grounded in our energy reality, not symbolism. It should be fact-based and consider the impacts on the daily lives of real people, not narrow ideological agendas.

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Good Energy Policy Key to Energy, Economic Growth

american energy  policy  growth  methane emissions  keystone xl pipeline  taxes  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 13, 2015

EIA Today in Energy: The United States, Canada, China, and Argentina are currently the only four countries in the world that are producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil). The United States is by far the dominant producer of both shale gas and tight oil. Canada is the only other country to produce both shale gas and tight oil. China produces some small volumes of shale gas, while Argentina produces some small volumes of tight oil. While hydraulic fracturing techniques have been used to produce natural gas and tight oil in Australia and Russia, the volumes produced did not come from low-permeability shale formations.

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