- Top oil industry officials and analysts have said that Keystone XL is critically important to expansion of the tar sands: Canada is currently producing a little over 2 million barrels a day of tar sands oil but they would like to nearly triple that by 2030 (see CAPP, pg. 40). The oil industry and Canadian officials have made it no secret that Keystone XL is critical for this expansion to proceed. Even Governor Chris Christie weighed in recently saying that Keystone XL, “[B]y limiting the ability of increased production from the Canadian oil sands to get to market, it stunts production. It risks stunting growth as well.”
- The high average oil prices assumed in the State Department review’s reference scenario are no more and oil prices are expected to stay low for some time: Current low oil prices mean a significant shift in the ability of the tar sands industry to be profitable in the absence of cheap pipeline infrastructure. The State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement acknowledges that, in a scenario where oil falls below $75 per barrel, “oil sands production is expected to be most sensitive to increased transport costs,” and that under these circumstances, Keystone XL “could have a substantial impact on oil sands production levels,” and therefore on the climate (See State’s FEIS, Market Analysis, 18.104.22.168). The Energy Information Administration has slashed its estimates for oil prices and Futures markets predict oil prices will be lower than $75/barrel oil through 2022.
- Other pipelines that were planned to supplement, not replace, Keystone XL are not moving forward: In order to reach their production goals, the industry will need not only Keystone XL but other pipelines to Canada’s west (Gateway and Kinder Morgan) and east (Energy East) coasts as well as expanding current pipelines (Alberta Clipper). While the State Department concedes that the Gateway pipeline will likely not be approved due to local opposition, other pipelines are facing similar, significant opposition.
- Rail is not turning out to be the viable alternative that the State Department assumed it would be: Much of the State Department review is dedicated to showing that rail would replace Keystone XL. The State Department relied on data that predicted that, by the end of 2013, 200,000 barrels/day of tar sands oil would be transported by rail to the Gulf. Due to the high cost of rail and safety concerns, less than 50,000 barrels/day are actually reaching the Gulf today. According to industry statistics, rail is considerably more expensive than the pipeline would be. A train terminal in Alberta–which was featured as evidence of a tar-sands-by-rail future–has now gone into bankruptcy.
- Growth in the tar sands has been adjusted down since the State Department analysis was released: In June of last year, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers downgraded their expectations for growth by over 400,000 bpd. This is because new projects are slowing in the tar sands. The oil industry explains this has mainly been due to a combination of rising production costs and lack of access to markets (i.e. lack of new pipeline infrastructure). Citingpipeline constraints, Norway’s StatOil, France’s Total, and Shell have shelved over 400,000 bpd of big tar sands expansion projects in the last year, and this was before oil prices fell. Now other large projects have been shelved or are starting to sputter due to a perfect storm of rising costs, low oil prices, and pipeline bottlenecks, with over $30 billion in lost revenues to date, much of that loss attributable to delays driven by citizen protest. This trend is accelerating – in the last few weeks alone, over half a million bpd of additional tar sands expansion projects were deferred.
January 15, 2015
To: Reporters, Columnists, and Editorial Boards
From: Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, 350.org, Oil Change International, Bold Nebraska, Center for Biological Diversity, Rainforest Action Network, National Wildlife Federation, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Wica Agli
Re: The Facts about Keystone XL’s Climate Impact
As the Senate debates amendments to legislation that would force approval of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which President Obama has already committed to veto, it has become conventional wisdom among many observers and pundits that the debate over the pipeline is now purely symbolic. The impacts of the proposed pipeline are overblown by both sides, they argue, with Republicans inflating the number of jobs the pipeline would create on one side and Democrats overplaying its potential environmental impact on the other.
The idea that Keystone XL’s impact on the climate would be negligible is based on the assertion made in the State Department’s flawed environmental analysis from early last year, that Canadian tar sands will come out of the ground regardless of whether or not this project goes forward. But the facts tell a different story. Recent market analysis shows that, as Canadian government and industry officials have been saying for years, building Keystone XL is a necessary part of unlocking tar sands expansion and the carbon emissions they would release, now more than ever.
Together these points make it crystal clear that tar sands expansion is far from inevitable, and that the construction of Keystone XL would be throwing a lifeline to an industry already struggling in the current market. According to new research published last week in the journal Nature, in order to stay within the two degree Celsius warming scenario the international community has committed to in order to combat the climate crisis, nearly all of Canada’s tar sands will need to stay in the ground. Given these findings, and the mounting evidence that Keystone XL is the linchpin for greater exploitation of the tar sands, it is clear that the debate over Keystone XL’s environmental impact is far from symbolic.
For more information, contact:
Only 62% of Nebraska Landowners Have Signed With TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline, Down from 88% in 2015
A very interesting but little-noticed fact emerged during Canadian pipeline operator and proposed Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada’s second quarter earnings call with reporters and analysts on August 2nd, when company CEO Russ Girling relayed that the company had obtained easements from 62% of landowners in Nebraska on the proposed Keystone XL “Mainline Alternative” route: […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2018 Contact: NRDC: Jake Thompson, (202) 289-2387, firstname.lastname@example.org Bold Alliance: Mark Hefflinger, (323) 972-5192, email@example.com Sierra Club: Gabby Brown, (914) 261-4626, firstname.lastname@example.org Center for Biological Diversity: Jared Margolis, (802) 310-4054, email@example.com Friends of the Earth: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, firstname.lastname@example.org Northern Plains Resource Council: Dustin Ogdin, (406) 228-1154, email@example.com Federal […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 13, 2018 Contact: Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska, firstname.lastname@example.org Dani Heffernan, 350.org, 305-992-1544, email@example.com Third Nebraska Family Installs Solar in the Path of Keystone XL Pipeline Crowdfunding continues for “Solar XL” project to place additional installations inside the KXL route in Nebraska and South Dakota Naper, NE — Ranchers Bob & Nancy […]Read Post
We can stop Keystone XL and #FlipThePSC by electing Christa Yoakum to the Nebraska Public Service Commission. ACTION: Volunteer to make calls or knock doors to #FlipThePSC In 2017, the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) reached a contested 3-2 decision to approve a “Mainline Alternative Route” for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Two of the seats […]Read Post
Landowners Argue State Commission Violated Law with Keystone XL Route Approval in Supreme Court Brief
Landowners submitted their final reply brief in their appeal before the Nebraska Supreme Court that challenges the state Public Service Commission’s approval of a “Mainline Alternative” route for the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline. The brief argues that the approval should be vacated on a number of grounds, such as that TransCanada failed to actually […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2018 Contact: Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska, firstname.lastname@example.org Larry Wright, Jr., Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, 402-540-7122, email@example.com In Historic First, Nebraska Farmer Returns Land to Ponca Tribe Along “Trail of Tears” June 10 ceremony near Neligh, NE included Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Chairman Larry Wright Jr., Nebraska landowner Art Tanderup, Ponca Nation of Oklahoma […]Read Post
“I don’t think it’s a big deal.” —Dan Watermeier, on accepting campaign contributions from TransCanada, backer of proposed Keystone XL pipeline project that may come back up for a vote before the Public Service Commission (Associated Press, May 29, 2018) Dan Watermeier, the former state legislator and now Republican candidate for Nebraska Public Service Commission, […]Read Post
Landowners, Tribes, PSC File Appellee Briefs in Keystone XL Route Challenge at Nebraska Supreme Court
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and Yankton Sioux Tribe, along with intervenors including Sierra Club, and the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s (PSC) attorney have submitted appellee briefs in the appeal before the Nebraska Supreme Court of the PSC’s approval of a “Mainline Alternative” route for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. All of the new briefs […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2018 Contact: NRDC: Jake Thompson, (202) 289-2387, firstname.lastname@example.org Bold Alliance: Mark Hefflinger, email@example.com Sierra Club: Gabby Brown, (202) 495-3051, firstname.lastname@example.org Center for Biological Diversity: Jared Margolis, (802) 310-4054, email@example.com Friends of the Earth: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, firstname.lastname@example.org Northern Plains Resource Council: Dustin Odgin, (406) 228-1154, email@example.com Groups Challenge […]Read Post
Internal EPA records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the Sierra Club have revealed that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met in secret with Union Pacific executives in Omaha during his October 2017 trip to Nebraska, to discuss the company’s deregulatory wishlist. The email exchange between U.P. and EPA officials lists the attendees of […]Read Post
Plaintiffs (including Bold Alliance) on Friday asked a federal judge for a summary judgment vacating the approval of the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline, in their lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s rubber-stamp of a cross-border permit for the proposed pipeline. The Trump administration “has provided no convincing explanation for the State Department’s failure to justify its […]Read Post
The Nebraska landowners challenging the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) approval of the “Mainline Alternative Route” for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline this week submitted their opening brief with the Nebraska Supreme Court (embedded below) — arguing that the PSC erred in approving a route for which TransCanada did not actually file an application, and which […]Read Post
Jane Kleeb of Bold Alliance Responds to Silence From TransCanada on Final Investment Decision for Keystone XL Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2018 Jane Kleeb of Bold Alliance Responds to Silence From TransCanada on Final Investment Decision for Keystone XL Project Lincoln, NE — Bold Alliance president Jane Kleeb issued the following statement in response to silence from TransCanada today towards its investors, regarding a final investment decision on whether or not […]Read Post
In Advance of TransCanada Earnings Call, Bold and Allied Groups Release Investor Briefing on Keystone XL Obstacles
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2018 Contact Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org Yianni Varonis, Greenpeace USA, 330-806-3599, email@example.com In Advance of TransCanada Earnings Call, Bold and Allied Groups Release Investor Briefing on Keystone XL Obstacles Washington, D.C. – Today, Bold Nebraska along with allied groups Greenpeace USA, Greenpeace UK, Oil Change International (OCI), the National […]Read Post
We’ve just learned that Troy Thompson, son of Randy “Stand With Randy” Thompson and part of a Pipeline Fighter family since the beginning in Nebraska, was struck by a car on Sunday while walking his dog in Lincoln, and is currently in the hospital in critical condition at Bryan West Campus. Thoughts and prayers from […]Read Post
If you’re a NEAT member and TransCanada calls, you just say, “I’m with NEAT, call Dave Domina.” We are hearing reports that this week TransCanada has begun contacting landowners on the proposed Keystone XL “Mainline Alternative” route in Nebraska, to schedule meetings and conduct surveys on their land. The Nebraska Easement Action Team (N.E.A.T.), an […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 18, 2018 Contact: Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska, 402-705-3622, firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Hefflinger, Bold Nebraska, email@example.com Bold Nebraska Statement on TransCanada Announcement of Shipper Commitments for Keystone XL Pipeline Nebraska Supreme Court still to hear landowners’ legal challenge to Public Service Commission approval of “Mainline Alternative” route this fall Lincoln — After TransCanada […]Read Post
(Bold Nebraska billboard in Lincoln on 10th & L St.) Did you see our billboard? Bold Nebraska has purchased a digital billboard in downtown Lincoln to call out Gov. Pete Ricketts for failing to protect Nebraska’s highest property taxpayers — farmers and ranchers — from eminent domain for private gain and TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. […]Read Post
On Dec. 27, Nebraska landowners challenging TransCanada’s permit application seeking the power of eminent domain to build the Keystone XL pipeline through the state filed an appeal (embedded below) of the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s decision to approve the “Mainline Alternative” pipeline route. The filing from landowners’ attorneys with Domina Law Group triggers a process that […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 19, 2017 Contact: Mark Hefflinger, firstname.lastname@example.org Landowners, Pipeline Fighters Vow to Continue Fight After Nebraska Public Service Commission Denies Motions to Reconsider Ruling on Keystone XL Permit Application Lincoln — Landowners and Pipeline Fighters vowed to continue their fight on Tuesday after the Nebraska Public Service Commission denied a series of […]Read Post
TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline (constructed in 2008) spilled at least 210,000 gallons of tarsands onto a South Dakota farm on Nov. 16, 2017. Recent drone photos (courtesy Greenpeace) show the current spill clean-up effort that now includes hundreds of workers and dozens of vehicles and equipment trailers on the spill site around the clock, where […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 4, 2017 Groups Call on Trump Administration to Evaluate New Keystone XL Route Pipeline Route Approved in Nebraska Poses New Risks to Wildlife, Requires Legal Review Washington, DC — A coalition of environmental groups filed letters today urging the Trump administration to analyze the environmental impacts of the approved route […]Read Post
Click to zoom in on the map below, or open in a new window and zoom in to see if your property may be on the pipeline route (LINK: http://bit.ly/kxlmap) Are you a landowner in Nebraska (Antelope, Madison, Platte, Colfax, Butler, Seward, Saline, Jefferson) who has been contacted by TransCanada land agents for the proposed […]Read Post
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 22, 2017 Federal Lawsuit Challenging Keystone XL Approval Will Move Forward Court Stops Trump Administration From Flouting Environmental Laws Great Falls, MT — Today, a federal judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by environmental and landowner groups over the Trump administration’s approval of the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL tar […]Read Post
LISTEN: Keystone XL Decision Day Telepresser for media: Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska founder Brian Jorde, attorney for Nebraska landowners (Domina Law Group) Art Tanderup, Nebraska landowner on Keystone XL route Chairman Larry Wright Jr., Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Eriel Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Bill McKibben, co-founder 350.org Michael Brune, Sierra Club Lorne Stockman, market analyst, […]Read Post
On Nov. 3, 2017, Canadian TV broadcaster CBC’s “The Fifth Estate” program aired a 45-minute, in-depth investigative report: “Keystone XL: The Money Pipeline” on the lobbying and dark money being directed to promote and grease the wheels for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. HIGHLIGHTS Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb describes our FOIA request that exposed TransCanada’s presentation to […]Read Post
THANK YOU to all the Pipeline Fighters and Water Protectors who joined the March to Give Keystone XL the Boot on Sunday, Aug. 6th in Lincoln — and everyone who made their voices heard at the four public hearings and in their written comments we delivered to the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Together with our […]Read Post
The Nebraska Supreme Court said on Tuesday it now expects to schedule oral arguments in the landowners’ appeal of the proposed Keystone XL route pipeline route in November 2018. The Court sustained a landowners’ motion to continue the hearing; given the Court’s existing days on its calendar for scheduling oral arguments in the month of […]Read Post