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Will Cheap Oil Kill Keystone XL?

“Greens who want President Barack Obama to kill the Keystone XL pipeline are adding a new weapon to their arsenal of protests and lawsuits — the world’s glut of cheap oil,” Politico reports.  

“The same collapse in oil prices that is pumping dollars into motorists’ wallets also risks undermining the case for building the 1,179-mile pipeline in two crucial ways: It’s squeezing the western Canadian oil industry that has looked to Keystone as its most promising route to the Gulf Coast. And anti-pipeline activists hope that falling prices will make it politically safer for Obama to reject the project, despite the new Republican Congress’ pledges to put Keystone at the top of its 2015 energy agenda.”  

“The oil price is crucial to the Keystone debate because the latest State Department environmental study on the project says prices in the $65-to-$75 range are a potential danger zone for oil production in western Canada — the point where transportation costs driven higher by failing to build the pipeline could ‘have a substantial impact on’ the industry’s growth. Cheaper oil also makes it easier to blame Keystone for the greenhouse gases that the Canadian oil fields send into the atmosphere.”

Topics: wonk-wire