I did some research into the XL pipeline and reputable sources outlined a trail that leads back to China. China is investing in oil, gas, and alternative energy projects around the globe for its huge population and Canada is getting a lot of Chinese investment. According to an article from October this year by Senator Ron Wyden (OR), “Just last week, the New York Times reported that Sinopec, a Chinese oil company owned by the Chinese government, bought Daylight Energy, a Canadian oil and natural gas producer. This is the third major acquisition of a Canadian tar sands oil company by the Chinese government in recent months.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-ron-wyden/is-the-keystone-xl-pipeli_b_1016203.html. Just last year, “ConocoPhillips…agreed to sell its stake in Canadian oil sands producer Syncrude to a Chinese petroleum company for $4.65 billion. This marks the largest energy deal in North America by a company backed by China’s government.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bc-politics/battle-brewing-over-pipeline-plans-in-bc/article2223417/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2223417. With the latest scandal about conflict of interest between lobbyists for Trans Canada who propose the pipeline and officials in the State Dept., plus growing dissent among Americans, President Obama has taken over the decision of the pipeline. It will come somewhere around January and will take into account both economic and environmental factors.
The economics relative to the XL pipeline as far as I can see are this:
China benefits. Trans Canada benefits. U.S. Big Oil benefits.
The jobs are negligible. Information straight from TransCanada stated:
Construction of the proposed Project, including the pipeline and pump stations, would result in hiring approximately 5,000 to 6,000 workers over the 3 year construction period. As indicated above, it is expected that roughly 10 to 15 percent of the construction workforce would be hired from local labor markets, thus 500 to 900 local workers throughout the entire region of influence would be hired.
After construction of the pipeline there won’t be any jobs. To do what? Watch it? All the pumping stations are monitored electronically. Even oil job websites make the statement that pipeline jobs are temporary, “To build a pipeline takes a huge initial investment, but once it’s built, the cost of labor and pipeline maintenance are fairly low. Contrast this to the cost of building and running tanker ships, another popular means of oil transportation. It costs far less to build a tanker than a pipeline but over the long run it’s more expensive due to fuel costs, staff, and maintenance.” http://www.jobmonkey.com/oilindustry/html/pipeline_jobs_overview.html
Lower prices at the pump will simply not materialize once the tar sands oil is shared with a nation of 1 billion plus consumers like China. I shouldn’t use the term shared. The pipeline for tar sands is predestined for CHINA whether through the U.S or Canada. Demand will go up and so will prices and Canadian Oil is all for it. It’s in the plans to get prices up on dirty tar sands oil. As Senator Wyden also commented in the same article from Huffington Post cited above:
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Canadian oil producers view the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline as an opportunity to charge more for their oil. According to TransCanada, Canadian oil shippers could use the pipeline to add up to $4 billion to U.S. fuel costs. As I indicated in a letter to the FTC earlier this year, seven Canadian oil producer have already shown signs of having colluded to raise prices on gasoline for American consumers. Building the KXL pipeline would also mean that we would be helping our county’s biggest global competitor — China — meet its energy import needs at the expense of our own. Sounds like a great deal for China, but not such a good deal for the United States.
That’s quite a twist on what we’ve been told about the merits of the XL pipeline. We’re lied to once again by Big Oil advertising. There will be no hundreds of thousands of jobs and growing. It will not boost our economy but for Big Oil’s pockets and will possibly serve to raise prices at the pumps instead. And in the grand finale of it all we’re helping our biggest competitor with nothing in it for us.
Meanwhile a video of the environmental impact from developing a project like Alberta Tar Sands speaks a thousand words. We should not have done this. We should not perpetuate this practice any longer.
It’s time to move on to the 21st Century and away from fossil fuel. There is no need to tap INTO the earth when the environment has readily available, renewable sources for energy that have never been harvested in a big way. We’ll never switch to alternatives, if we continue our addiction to fossil fuels and enable other countries to use what will ultimately create more climate crisis worldwide.