by Kenneth P. Green
American Enterprise Institute
December 05, 2013
The Obama administration’s ongoing delay in approving the Keystone XL pipeline – which is intended to transport oil from Canada to U.S. refiners on the Gulf of Mexico – is ostensibly based, in part, on concerns over the safety and reliability of oil pipelines, as well as concerns over climate change. This is a poor reason for denying the pipeline: Keystone or no Keystone, the oil from Canada’s oil sands will find a path to market – even the U.S. State Department analysis of Keystone recognized that reality. The atmospheric impact will be the same either way. But there’s another reality that President Obama seems unaware of: the decision to stymie pipeline development simply signals to the market that Alberta’s oil must travel by other means. The two most readily available means are roadways and rail. But each of these modes comes with its own set of benefits and risks.



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