Report Warns of Higher U.S. Oil Prices in Midwest If Keystone XL Pipeline is Built

NRDC, Oil Change International: Oil Dependence Raises New Security Concerns

WASHINGTON (January 18, 2012) -- The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would increase oil prices for American consumers in the Midwest while adding to the profits of Canadian oil companies, according to a new study released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Oil Change International, a Washington, DC-based group dedicated to exposing the true cost of fossil fuels.

Existing Canadian pipelines in the United States are operating only at half-capacity now, making any new pipeline unnecessary, much less a 1,700-mile XL pipeline through America’s heartlands that would threaten U.S. lands and waters, said the report, “Keystone XL Pipeline: Undermining U.S. Energy Security and Sending Tar Sands Overseas.’’

“This pipeline would divert up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the Midwest to Latin America, Europe and other countries -- at a huge profit for the oil companies,” said Anthony Swift, an NRDC attorney and co-author of the report.

Report co-author Lorne Stockman, research director of Oil Change International, explained that Keystone XL will ship tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, where currently a quarter of the refinery output is exported.

 “Keystone XL does nothing for U.S. energy security but plenty to boost exports and tax-free profits for Big Oil,” Stockman said.

Such a pipeline also would perpetuate America’s oil addiction and worsen our national security, according to retired Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, who was in charge of logistics in Iraq as deputy chief of staff to then-Gen. David H. Petraeus.

“My experiences in Iraq convinced me that the greatest threat to our security is our over-reliance on oil and that Americans must immediately take steps to cut our petro-addiction before it’s too late,’’ said Anderson, who joined Swift, Stockman and other experts at the National Press Club to release  the NRDC and Oil Change International report.

“This pipeline would set back our renewable energy efforts for at least two decades, and do absolutely nothing to move us off Middle East oil,” Anderson said.

Instead, America could save 5.7 billion barrels of oil per day by 2030 by simply embracing clean energy measures, the NRDC study said.