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New Keystone XL study falls flat

Although a new report from a Swedish group called the Stockholm Environment Institute has gained a lot of attention from the anti-energy crowd, unbiased analysts dismiss its claim that Keystone XL could result in carbon emissions four times greater than U.S. State Department estimates.

Here’s part of what Forbes had to say in their article, Recycled Keystone XL Report Doesn’t Add Up:

Professor Andrew Leach penned an insightful article earlier this week titled, “A paper on Keystone’s Climate Impacts Would Fail Econ 101.”, calling out the economic miscalculations of the report. Professor Leach argues the recycled report based its findings on faulty assumptions, resulting in a report riddled with fallacies.

It is difficult to imagine how SEI’s report passes muster.  In fact, the federal government has now authored five different studies on the subject. The reports support the claim the project will not adversely affect the environment. The KXL fight has been a “Green Herring” for years, lasting longer than American involvement in WWII.

Canadian oil is finding, and will continue to find its way to market.  In saying this, every credible report reaches the same conclusion, bringing the oil to market via pipeline will remain the safest, greenest, and most efficient way to transport crude to market.

We can probably expect more attempts to discredit Keystone XL, as long as the Obama Administration continues to delay approving construction of this worthwhile project that is supported by over three-quarters of the American public.

Keystone XL is a crucial link in a long-range plan that could support 500,000 U.S. jobs and give us access to twice as much North American oil as we now import from the Middle East.  It is a mystery to most of us why it is taking the Administration so long to make a decision.

GAO confirms that Renewable Fuel Standard costs outweigh benefits

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has released a new report on the way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined the cost and benefits of several of their regulations.  It concludes that the costs of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are far greater than the benefits it returns to taxpayers.

Here’s how Taxpayers for Common Sense summed up the GAO’s findings:

  • RFS costs outweigh its benefits:  “EPA estimated net benefits of the [RFS] ranging from $13 to $26 billion. The measure does not include the costs of investments needed to increase renewable fuel production. The agency estimated those capital costs to total $90.5 billion through 2022.” So, the net costs of the RFS, as calculated in 2010, range from $64.5 to $77.5 billion.
  • Water quality costs:  “EPA quantified some adverse water quality effects of the RFS but did not monetize these effects.”
  • Discount rate:  “EPA did not clearly present its discounted estimates of benefits and costs using both rates [required by OMB], making it difficult to discern whether the agency used a consistent rate in the calculation.”
  • Relevance of the regulatory analysis:  Unlike other regulations requiring RIAs, “EPA officials said the [RFS RIA] played no role in selecting a regulatory approach because the approach resulted from a congressional mandate included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.” In other words, the huge time and effort spent calculating the costs and benefits of the RFS had no impact on EPA’s final decisions in implementing the federal mandate.
  • Problem statement:  EPA explained “the need for the proposed rule…but did not describe the problem the rule intended to address.”
  • Consideration of alternatives:  “EPA presented information for only the selected option,” but no alternatives.

Taxpayers for Common Sense went on to point out that, on top of the faulty cost/benefit analysis, the RFS enjoys federal subsidies and special interest tax breaks.  All in all, as Energy Citizens has long said, the Renewable Fuel Standard is no bargain.

Crude oil exports could mean big things for U.S. economy

Although the Obama Administration did conclude that two companies can export a lightly distilled type of ultra-light oil called condensate, despite the 39-year old ban on U.S. exports of crude oil, the full economic potential of crude oil exports remains out of reach.  Experts have predicted that large-scale exports of even the now-sanctioned condensate will not materialize.

That’s too bad, because allowing American oil producers – who are rapidly approaching the point where their output is likely to outpace the capacity of domestic refiners – would give the U.S. economy a tremendous shot in the arm.

As FuelFix reported in May, a study conducted by IHS found that lifting the export ban would:

  • Trigger $746 billion in investment from 2016 to 2030, causing domestic oil production to climb 1.2 million barrels per day more than if the trade restrictions remained intact.
  • Lower gasoline prices by 8 cents per gallon on average, as U.S. crude hits the world market and adds to supplies used by refiners around the globe.
  • Support an additional 394,000 direct and indirect jobs per year on average through 2030, as a result of the increased economic activity tied to the rise in crude production.

Another analysis of crude oil exports, by ICF International and EnSys Energy, predicted that the abolishment of current restrictions could increase domestic oil production by half a million barrels a day and reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $22 billion in 2020.

Energy Citizens urges the administration and Congress to approve more exports of domestic crude oil.  The benefits we stand to gain are clearly too good to ignore.

US Energy Exports Will Help Our Allies

The increase in U.S. oil and natural gas production is creating jobs throughout the country. It’s growing our economy and leading to a resurgence in American manufacturing. But it can do even more if we change outdated export policies and fully embrace the shale gas revolution. The American-made energy boom is having a global affect.

The Christian Science Monitor reported  on how the  domestic energy renaissance is changing  the geopolitical landscape:

“Russia supplies more than a quarter of the gas Europe consumes, and a little less than half of that gas travels through Ukraine. Last month, Russia shut off Ukraine's gas supply after the Eastern European country failed to pay back billions it owes in gas debt to Russia's state-owned gas giant Gazprom.

 “It's why Europeans are more eager than ever to trade energy with the US – a stable, reliable ally that became the world's top natural gas producer in 2010 and which currently rivals Saudi Arabia for biggest oil producer.”

Check out the whole article to see how the world will benefit from speeding up the natural gas export process and lifting the crude oil export ban. Let’s not squander this golden opportunity enhance our own national security and help our allies around the world. 

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Keystone XL Status Report - More of the Same

Read this article: Gov. Heineman says he’ll take his time studying Keystone XL report.

How much time does will the Governor need to see what has been obvious to Energy Citizens all along – KXL is a crucial piece of U.S. energy infrastructure that would not only help meet our energy demand but also create jobs and grow our economy.

Gov. Heineman doesn’t have to read the whole 2,000-page document. He can just glance at the Executive Summary his own Department of Environmental Quality has prepared. Look at these NDEQ reported findings:

  • Construction and operation of KXL could have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska.
  • Any impact on aquifers from a release would be localized and Keystone would be responsible for the cleanup.
  • Construction would result in $418.1 million in economic benefits and support up to 4,560 new or existing jobs in Nebraska.
  • The project would generate $16.5 million in use taxes from construction materials and $11 million - $13 million in local property tax revenues in the first year of valuation.

Does it really take a lot of study to say yes to that?

KXL opponents are not wasting any time, of course. They still say no, clinging to their baseless objections to the pipeline.

Energy Citizens have been waiting for Keystone XL for four years now. So we hope Gov. Heineman will send his recommendations to the President before another 4 years pass.

Keystone XL Hearing on Tap After NDEQ Releases Draft Report

A public hearing, preceded by an open house informational session, has been set for December 4 at the County Fairgrounds in Albion, Nebraska. This meeting will give citizens a chance to learn more about and provide input on a 600-page report just released by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. It covers the environmental, social and economic effects of the Keystone XL pipeline route in NE.

Many Energy Citizens will undoubtedly jump on this opportunity to once again show their support for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is encouraging that the State Department is expected to attend the hearing and we hope that after more than four years of waiting, approval could be just around the corner.

Check out these great pictures of pipe stockpiled in anticipation of KXL construction. It is ready to go, and so are the American people. If you have a chance, go to the meeting in Albion and tell them that.

Jobs in Jeopardy with Keystone XL on Hold

With plenty of backing from hard-core environmental groups, a handful of landowners are suing the State of Nebraska, seeking to block the recently passed law that would pave the way for Keystone XL.

But Gov. Dave Heineman makes it clear that this lawsuit will not stop the process of finding a new, environmentally safe route for the pipeline. As he says, if the state stopped every project every time they got sued, “we’d never get anything done.”

And a company in Georgia is adding workers to support their product line that make oil sands extraction better for the environment. Thousands of Georgia workers could eventually be employed in this industry—the company is still hiring engineers to help with their work.

Energy Citizens in every state are concerned about the long-term economic effects of the Keystone XL delay. The longer we wait, the more jobs we put at risk.

NDEQ Announce Public Hearings on Keystone XL. Join Us Today.

Nebraska's DEQ announced four hearings to discuss the Keystone XL route through the state.  We encourage all Energy Citizens to attend and learn more about the route and why this makes America and Nebraska stronger.  The hearings details are below.  Email us at for more information.

Wednesday, May 9th from 4 – 7 PM at the O’Neil Community Center located at 501 S. 4th St.


Thursday, May 10th from 4 – 7 PM at the Neligh-Oakdale High School gym located at 600 J St.


Wednesday, May 16th from 4 – 7 PM at the Boone County Fairgrounds located at 11th and Fairview Avenue.


Thursday, May 17th from 4 – 7 PM at the Central City Community Room located at 1515 17th St.

If approved, the Keystone XL Pipeline will not only provide our nation with much needed energy security, but will also immediately create 20,000 good paying construction jobs. All without cost to the American tax payer.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will soon be holding public hearings in your area to hear from citizens like you about the impact and benefits of building this important pipeline.  

Anti-Keystone XL activists are sure to show up in large numbers at these public hearings on the newly proposed Keystone route. Energy Citizens who care about this important piece of America’s future energy security need to attend as well, to show lawmakers and regulators that most Nebraskans - and other commonsense energy supporters around the nation – want to see the pipeline built.

Do no pass up this opportunity to learn more about the new route and testify on behalf of Keystone XL.

RSVP today and we will contact you with more information on how you can get involved.

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