According to a new study, the Keystone XL will produce four times the amount of carbon emissions predicted in the State Department’s controversial report.
The data was published in a study from scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). It was published on Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. The new research suggests that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would increase greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 121 million tons of carbon per year. That is more that four times more that the figure of 30 million tons contained in the State Department report.
The SEI report estimates that increased supplies of oil from the tar sands will cause prices to fall by around $3 per barrel. The State Department report did not account for increased oil consumption associated with price declines.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) erroneously said the study was irrelevant because one way or another this oil will find its way to market. However, the limitations associated with moving the oil by rail or finding another pipeline route cast aspersions on the API’s conclusions.
As explained in The Green Market Oracle, “Oil moved by rail increases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27.8 – 39 percent and if the oil is transported to the Gulf of Mexico, GHG emissions would rise to about 41.2 percent.” Second moving oil by rail is both more expensive and more dangerous. Third in the absence of the KXL there is insufficient transport capacity to realize the supply projections of Canadian Petroleum Producers.
Richard Tol, is one of the only scientists to disagree with the findings in the IPCC’s latest report, he dismissed the report and claimed that 121 million tons of carbon is a drop in the bucket.
Any significant increase in GHGs should preclude the building of the pipeline. President Obama said that he would only build the pipeline if it “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” If it goes forward, the KXL would not only be a significant source of carbon it would wipe out all of the carbon savings from the Obama administration’s GHG cutting policies.
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