Correct, Fox News, The Keystone XL Pipeline Would Have Been a Net-Benefit

A recent post by Fox News discusses a recently released Department of Energy (DOE) report examining the economic benefits that the expanded Keystone XL Pipeline would have had, had the project not been nixed by the Biden administration. The Biden administration was required to produce the report by Congress. Fox News accurately describes the lost opportunities the United States missed by blocking the pipeline’s completion, especially in light of energy price hikes and international supply instability. The Keystone XL pipeline would have provided American jobs, supported American energy independence, and mitigated reliance on oil and gas from countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

In an article titled “Biden admin quietly admits canceling Keystone XL Pipeline cost thousands of jobs, billions of dollars,” Fox news writer Thomas Catenacci details some of the missed economic opportunities revealed in the recently DOE report.

“The report, which the Department of Energy (DOE) completed in late December without any public announcement, says the Keystone XL project would have created between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and would have had a positive economic impact of between $3.4-9.6 billion, citing various studies. A previous report from the federal government published in 2014 determined 3,900 direct jobs and 21,050 total jobs would be created during construction which was expected to take two years.

Keystone XL had been slated to be completed early this year and transport an additional 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to the U.S. through an existing pipeline network, according to its operator, TC Energy.”

Climate Realism has discussed the folly of the Biden administration’s anti-fossil fuel energy policies, herehere, and here, for example. As a result of Biden’s policies an average household paid more than $1000 in additional energy costs in 2021, and that was before the Russian invasion of Ukraine created even more oil market instability.

The DOE’s report made clear the myriad economic benefits that were lost when Biden cancelled the permits approved by the previous Trump administration. Had the pipeline been completed it, would have increased the volume of oil conducted to Gulf Coast refineries by 830,000 barrels of oil per day.

Figure 1 Terminated Section of Keystone XL pipeline, from TC Energy website:

Not only did the United States and Canada miss out on employment and economic increases when the remaining portion of the pipeline was canceled, but there was no evidence of environmental gain either.

An analysis by Steve Milloy pointed out that the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion by Joe Biden did not have any meaningful impact on emissions reductions, noting “according to the Obama EPA’s estimates, the oil flowing through the Keystone XL pipeline would increase global emissions of CO2 by about 0.03 percent.” This was using the Obama EPA’s own numbers, and on top of those measly savings, oil coming from Alberta, Canada which would have moved through the pipeline expansion now is shipped by rail. Logic would say that this is hardly an emissions savings; at this point, most freight trains in the USA rely on diesel fuel.

TC Energy says they planned to operate the Keystone XL segment on “net zero” lifecycle emissions, but the project has been officially cancelled at the loss of the Presidential Permit. As a result, emissions have likely increased due to Keystone XL’s cancellation and, because pipelines are the safest form or transport, the dangers to humans and the environment from spills have increased.

Even the Biden administration ultimately found it was unable to deny the Keystone XL pipeline’s economic and job benefits. As a result, it is not surprising the DOE released the report during the busy Holiday season reporting schedule when it was likely to fade from memory without a trace. Most of the mainstream media played right into the administration’s hands and ignored the important findings contained in the DOE’s report. Fox News is owed a debt of gratitude for shining a light on this instance of the Biden administration’s economic malfeasance.

Linnea Lueken
Linnea Lueken
Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy. While she was an intern with The Heartland Institute in 2018, she co-authored a Heartland Institute Policy Brief "Debunking Four Persistent Myths About Hydraulic Fracturing."

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