For the past week or so, opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have been crowing about a "new" report from the Stolkholm Environment Institute. It claims that reports by the US State Department have underestimated the potential growth in greenhouse gases four times over.
But as it turns out the report isn't so new. It's so much a rehash of a 2013 report written by SEI that essentially all they've done is slap a new cover on it.
A column by Bringham A McCown published on Forbes.com covers many of the flaws of this old report, passed off by its authors as a new report. Same old report, same old flaws. One in particular stands out:
"In early 2008, the company planning on building and operating the pipeline split the KXL project into a Northern leg and a Southern leg. President Obama approved the Southern leg, running from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast on March 22, 2008. The only remaining section of the pipeline, which remains under consideration, is the Northern leg. Running from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, KXL North is only capable of transporting 450,000 Bbl/d, of which approximately one-quarter is designated for U.S. Bakken crude.
In other words, the most Canadian oil KXL could bring is 325,000 Bbl/d. For comparison, the United States currently consumes 18.89 million barrels of crude. The addition of the oil from Keystone XL amounts to less than 2% of daily U.S. consumption."
There's more. While the addition of oilsands synthetic crude via the Keystone XL pipeline would increase US oil consumption by only 2%, the 2% added stands to potentially replace oil imports from Mexico and Venezuela. In a recent report by the California Low-Carbon Fuel Standards administration, the carbon content of each of these blends was found to be higher than that of Access Western Blend.
So. Keystone XL will increase US oil imports by no more than 2%. And that oil is of a lower carbon content -- ergo, is "cleaner" by the rhetorical standard of the anti-oil lobby -- than oil that is already in use.
Looks like we can shelve this "new" report under "yesterdays news."