I've posted a number of stories about the proposed Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline that will move tar sand crude oil across the US and over the largest underground source of water in the country.
In the comment section of a recent item, there is a discussion of whether the oil is destined for US consumers. The distinction is crucial, as its approval rests on a finding by the Obama administration that the pipeline would be in the country's national security interest.
One blog reader sends along information and a compilation of industry documents that show the oil is headed for overseas markets::
A new report from Oil Change International lays out the case, based on data and documents from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Canadian National Energy Board, corporate disclosures to regulators and investors, and analysis of the rapidly shifting oil market.
- Keystone XL is an export pipeline. The Port Arthur, Texas, refiners at the end of its route are focused on expanding exports to Europe, and Latin America. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.
- Valero, the key customer for crude oil from Keystone XL, has explicitly detailed an export strategy to its investors. Because Valero’s Port Arthur refinery is in a Foreign Trade Zone, the company can carry out its strategy tax-free.
- In a shrinking U.S. market, Keystone XL is not needed. Since the project was announced, the oil industry acknowledges that higher fuel economy standards and slow economic growth mean declining U.S. oil demand, even as domestic production is booming. Oil from Keystone XL will therefore displace American crude from new, “unconventional” domestic fields in Texas or North Dakota.