A Sweet, but Silent, Canadian Victory–Republicans vs the Democrats on Keystone XL

At first glance, it is not easy to discern why the Republican majority victory in the United States’ upper house, or Senate, is in point of fact a potent economic victory for Canada. The reason: Keystone XL (Export Limited) Pipeline.

The already existing pipeline is represented by the solid lines, and the proposed pipeline is represented by the dashed lines.

The already existing pipeline is represented by the solid lines, and the proposed pipeline is represented by the dashed lines.

Proposed by TransCanada in 2008 and largely completed, the Keystone XL Pipeline is a multi-billion dollar project beginning in Hardisty, Alberta and extending south to Steele City, Nebraska. The proposed section of the pipeline is a faster route to the Steele City refineries.

There are many who challenge the integrity of the pipeline in benefiting the Canadian economy, as a large majority of the jobs created in Canada will solely be temporary, involving the construction of the pipeline, however, the permanent employment in refining and processing of the oil sands will be mostly done in the U.S., further aiding the American economy.
Proponents of the pipeline on the other hand, believe that the economy will grow stronger with crude oil exports (to the U.S.) being a chief revenue source unsurpassed by any other country. In comparison to other countries, the new proposed route for the pipeline will transport up to 830 000 barrels of crude oil per day, with Canada’s current import supply to the U.S. being 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd), and the second highest importer to the U.S. being Saudi Arabia, with 1.3 million bpd, and at third, America’s southern neighbor, Mexico, at 850 000 bpd.

Considering these figures, Canada is not only equaling the amount of oil supplied by Mexico by means of a single pipeline, but it is taking into account the environmental standpoint decreeing the transport of bitumen more safer and quicker than transport by rail.

The proposed pipeline is set to be 1 897 km, with a 91 cm diameter.

The proposed pipeline is set to be 1 897 km, with a 91 cm diameter.

While there are benefits to Canada regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. is also reaping rewards such as a reduction on the reliance of coal, and a vast increase in permanent refinery jobs.

The Senate with a majority in the Republican’s favour due to the November 4, 2014 midterm elections are in rapid approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. There is a final barrel in Keystone’s way before being constructed, however, and it is not a mere barrel of oil, but a barrel the size of President Obama’s veto power.

– Vish S.

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