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Tar Sands Industry and Landowners Agree: State Department Is Bamboozling American Public

Landowners, citizens, environmental advocates, and tar sands industry leaders all agree: the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is the key to expanding the tar sands industry. The only opposing viewpoint comes from the flawed State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which was written by oil and gas industry consultants that benefit from pipelines getting approved. The American public is getting bamboozled.

“Industry experts continue to make it clear that they need the new capacity from Keystone XL in order to make tar sands profitable,” said Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska. “The only ones arguing with this assessment is the State Department, who relied on TransCanada and industry consultants to craft the report to suit their bottom line.”

“President Obama, Secretary Kerrey and the American public are getting bamboozled by the State Department report written by oil consultants and paid for by TransCanada,” said Randy Thompson, a Nebraska rancher. “We will not sit on the sidelines as a foreign corporation attempts to force us to relinquish our land for a project that would put our family operations at risk. They need to get an export pipeline built so they can expand tar sands and we stand in their way.

As Inside Climate News reports, the conclusion about the future of the tar sands industry “was based on analysis provided by two consulting firms with ties to oil and pipeline companies that could benefit from the proposed project.”
 
But those who are investing in the industry tell a different story.
 
Bloomberg Business Week further confirmed that the State Department got it wrong. The article emphasizes just how critical the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is to further expansion of the industry, and highlights industry voices that say the industry cannot expand at its desired or expected rate without Keystone XL. This industry affirmation flies in the face of the State Department’s analysis that tar sands development will occur with or without the pipeline.
 
From Business Week’s “Keystone Pipeline Decision May Influence Oil-Sands Development”:

A U.S. decision on whether to approve TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline has the potential to accelerate—or slow—investments in Canada’s oil sands.

Stopping the pipeline would mean continued discounted prices for Canadian crude, making it harder for producers to sell their commodity at a profit and potentially slowing oil-sands development.

Current discounts of almost $30 a barrel are “unsustainable,” Enbridge Inc. (ENB)’s Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said yesterday in a presentation at the IHS CeraWeek energy conference in Houston. “If we can’t attract world prices, then we will ultimately curb energy development.”

“It’s fair to say that development has already slowed because of the discount,” said Robert Schulz, a business professor at the University of Calgary who specializes in the Canadian oil and natural gas industry. “Companies are certainly going to wait and see what the decision on Keystone is before moving ahead with development,” he said in an interview.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest energy company by market value, has delayed a joint venture with Total SA and is considering whether to cancel an oil-sands processing plant being jointly planned with the French company, CEO Steve Williams said on a conference call on Nov. 1.

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