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Climate Impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline

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Last Friday, Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality released its study of the new route and proclaimed that it could have “minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska” if properly managed and that construction of the pipeline would result in “$418.1 million in economic benefits and would support up to 4,560 new or existing jobs in the state,” (though some jobs would be temporary) and annual local property tax revenues of between “11 million and 13 million” for the first year of evaluation.

With all this outcry, just how bad for the climate do you think the pipeline (or rather it contents) will be?

I did the analysis last year, shortly after President Obama rejected the first application. I found that the burning of the 800,000 barrels oil delivered annually by the pipeline would result in a warming of the average global temperature by 0.0001°C/yr (full details here).

Yep, you read that right, the rise in global temperatures resulting from extracting and burning the oil delivered by Keystone XL at full capacity is about one-ten thousandths of a degree Celsius per year.


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Your calculations would be correct if you were burning incremental barrels genius. If you displace barrels from overseas with barrels from this pipeline with your net effect on the climate is (zero), (none), (zilch), (halas) unless US refining capacity is increased by a bpd factor corresponding to piped barrels from Canada.

It isnt.

On the flip side if the oil that would flow through the pipeline is sold overseas to China (which is option B for the Canadians) then you are backing out barrels of oil that they would import from somewhere else for barrels of oil from Canada. Again - zilch impact

Where do you people come from anyway? :bonk: :bonk:

Edited by himher


i don't get it.

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