In his talk at Georgetown University outlining his climate action plan, President Barack Obama suggested that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline would only be built if the project “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Now, I know there’s been, for example, a lot of controversy surrounding the proposal to build a pipeline, the Keystone pipeline, that would carry oil from Canadian tar sands down to refineries in the Gulf. And the State Department is going through the final stages of evaluating the proposal. That’s how it’s always been done. But I do want to be clear: Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. (Applause.) The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. It’s relevant.—President Obama
In Toronto, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said later that “On a net basis, I don’t see any increase on emissions.” Oliver said that 20% of the crude transported by Keystone was of lighter grades coming from North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan. The remaining crude coming from the Alberta oilsands has the same or lower emissions than the heavy crude that the US imports from Venezuela, he noted.
(Oliver will be in Vancouver today making an announcement related to the Harper Government’s commitment to further strengthening Canada’s pipeline system.)