Zombie Keystone XL Pipeline Comes Back in the Form of – a Resolution?

by Paul Seamans, DRA Board Member and Landowner Crossed by the Pipeline Formerly Known as Keystone XL

The South Dakota and Nebraska folks in opposition to the Keystone XL refer to it as the Zombie Pipeline, the pipeline that won’t die. The  South Dakota legislature appears to support TransCanada’s efforts to keep the pipeline on life support even though President Obama has denied the cross border permit.

Whoever crafted this resolution should have done some research on the facts rather than repeating half truths, many don’t even reach the half-true threshold:

Page 2, line 6 states that the pipeline will transport 700,000 barrels per day. TransCanada’s releases say 830,000bpd. The resolutions inaccuracies get worse the deeper into the resolution you go.

Page 1, line 7: the United States no longer imports more than half of its oil. The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) figures that the US is close to self sufficiency in crude oil. Congress recently lifted the ban on the export of crude that has been in place since the oil embargo days of the 1970’s.

Page 2, line 8: This quote of 120,000 jobs is three times the estimate of 42,000 jobs quoted in the Dept. of States Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Of these 42,000 jobs only 3900 jobs would be for part time (during the construction season) construction workers for a one year period. If construction were to last two seasons then you would divide these job numbers by two. 3900 construction jobs for one year or 1950 construction jobs for two years. The FSEIS figures the rest of the 42,000 jobs would be spin off jobs. The FSEIS even envisioned that a construction worker might buy a ticket to a broadway show in New York City.

Page 2, line 9: the claim here is that $20 billion in economic activity will be created. Again by referring to the FSEIS they predict that $3.4 billion would be added to the GDP. $3.4 billion is only 0.05% of GDP. Chump change.

Page 2, line 21: saying that 90% of the money used to buy Canadian oil will be spent in the United States is pure guess work, nowhere before have I seen this quoted. If that is true then Canada’s economy must be in shambles. Many of these oil fields in Alberta are owned by foreign multi national corporations. Much of this money will go to companies in Great Britain, China, and other countries.

One last thing that needs mentioning is that since president Obama has denied the permit, TransCanada feels that they deserve damages under NAFTA rules. TransCanada figures that they have spent around $3.4 billion on the pipeline even though they knew that they might not get their permit. TransCanada is instead not suing for $3.4 billion but they are suing for $15 billion for loss of future profits. Does the South Dakota legislature want to send a resolution of support to Congress when this same company is suing our own federal government.

I feel that our South Dakota legislators are working on these meaningless resolutions, and many bills that are fluff, because they don’t want to tackle the tough issues that are facing our state. Put the Zombie Pipeline out of its misery. It’s been on life support long enough. Let it die.

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