Demand Response News
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Uncertainty Still Looms for the Keystone XL Project
As we watch the 2012 Presidential election in the rear-view mirror, our country is now looking forward and anxiously awaiting President Obama’s decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama denied a permit for the northern portion of the pipeline last January, stating that the route through Nebraska will need further environmental review. Consequently, his final decision was postponed until after the election.
If approved, this 2,000-mile pipeline will bring Canadian oil from the Alberta oil sands to the U.S Gulf Coast, where large oil refineries and shipping operations can be found. Oil and gas industry representatives, as well as congressional Republicans, are urging Obama to grant his consent. They claim it will boost our economy and get us closer to energy independence by increasing the amount of crude and petroleum products available for domestic and foreign use. In addition, they predict Keystone XL will create thousands of new jobs for Americans and lower gasoline prices.
On the opposing side, protestors are arguing that this fossil fuel based project will lead to a severe increase in climate change while destroying agricultural areas across the U.S. Additionally, they are trying to bring attention to the fact that this pipeline will transport roughly 800,000 barrels of crude oil each day, which has the potential of contaminating local water and soil.
Protestors recently gathered in Washington’s Freedom Plaza before traveling a few blocks to the White House while carrying a 500-foot replica of the Keystone XL pipeline. One of the protestors and activist of Bold Nebraska, an anti-pipeline organization, shared her thoughts, “The pipeline has come to symbolize something much, much bigger than just one energy project, it’s come to symbolize what is our energy future, and what President Obama is going to do on climate change.”
Despite all of the protest, Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry feels rather confident that President Obama will indeed approve the pipeline. He has been recorded saying, “We remain confident the U.S. government will take a balanced view…and allow the full extension to proceed.”
TransCanada’s new route for the pipeline avoids the environmentally-sensitive sand-hills and creates a larger distance from drinking water sources. Many are hoping this will speed up President Obama’s decision but it is expected to be made sometime in 2013. Analysts of the oil industry believe the final verdict will be in favor of the pipeline, but with strict environmental protections. Some worry that these new measures will hinder profits, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc.