Report: Cancelling Keystone Will Boost Carbon Emissions Equal to Nearly 500K More Cars on Road

By Quinn Weimer | February 8, 2021 | 12:47pm EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, in the name of curbing climate change, will cause an enormous amount of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere, according to the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), because oil from Canada will still travel by diesel-fueled trains to U.S. refineries at the Gulf.

“We have all heard about the thousands of jobs that will be lost with the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, but a little basic math reveals that President Biden's Keystone decision will increase carbon emissions equal to putting nearly half a million more cars on the road,” said the EEIA in a press alert. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Biden’s Jan. 20 Executive Order states:

Sec. 6.  Revoking the March 2019 Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  (a)  On March 29, 2019, the President granted to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. a Presidential permit (the “Permit”) to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border of the United States and Canada (the “Keystone XL pipeline”), subject to express conditions and potential revocation in the President’s sole discretion.  The Permit is hereby revoked in accordance with Article 1(1) of the Permit.

According to his campaign website, Biden’s climate change plan would, “Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

An analysis by the energy supply chain group, Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), does the math about what not completing the Keystone XL pipeline would mean for carbon emissions. Here's how the CO2 numbers are calculated:

“According to the Association of American Railroads, it requires 433 gallons of locomotive diesel fuel to pull one loaded crude oil tank car from the Canadian Oil Sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, about 2,200 miles. It takes another 144 gallons to bring the empty tank car back for a refill. That's 577 gallons total.

“It takes 645 loaded tank cars per day to transport the amount of oil that Keystone XL might have carried - about 400,000 barrels per day. That's 235,425 tank car loads per year. Multiplied by 577 gallons each, that amounts to about 136 million gallons of diesel burned per year.

“Since each gallon of diesel emits 22.44 pounds of CO2, that means the locomotives pulling those trains will emit over 1.5 million tons of CO2. That's all net addition to CO2 emissions since Keystone XL would have been powered entirely by renewable energy.

  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“1.5 million tons of CO2 is equivalent to emissions of 490,000 more cars on the road.”

In a statement, EEIA CEO Toby Mack said, "In the real world, Canadian oil will still travel from Alberta, Canada to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast, but by railroad. We know that jobs will be lost.”

“The Administration said the pipeline was cancelled to help the environment, so we ask the questions, 'What is the real impact on our carbon footprint? What's the impact on overall CO2 levels?” said Mack.

"It's clear that politics, not a commitment to the environment, dictated the Biden Administration's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline," he added.

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