Energy Experts and Environmentalists React to Biden Keystone Decision

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keystone halted(rob masson)
Updated: Jan. 21, 2021 at 2:40 PM CST
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Local oil industry experts and environmentalists react to President Joe Biden’s decision to kill the Keystone pipeline.

Some say it could have brought jobs to Louisiana but environmentalists say the price was too high.

In one of his first official acts… President Biden killed the 1200 mile Keystone XL pipeline.

It is a project Canada has pushed for… as it looks for markets for millions of barrels of crude oil produced in the province of Alberta.

Industry experts say the pipeline become a political hot potato. President Obama killed it… but President Trump revived it.

Oil industry experts say blocking the pipeline costs hundreds of jobs in Louisiana where refineries were built to handle the type of heavy sour crude oil Mined in Canada.

“You’re looking at about 10,000 American jobs and two point billion dollars in American wages,” said Tyler Gray, with La. Mid Continent Oil and Gas.

But environmentalists say moving away from hydrocarbon fuels is the best way to stop global warming.

“It’s just not what we need to be doing now in the age of renewable energy,” said Anne Rolfes, with La. Bucket Brigade.

Though environmentalists support President Biden’s decision to block the pipeline, industry experts say keystone was actually the more environmentally safe way to go.

“The old rule is if you can move it by pipeline you do so because it’s the least expensive and risky,” said Eric Smith, with the Tulane Energy Institute.

“We have some of the same concerns we have about every pipeline which is spills and destruction of drinking water,” said Rolfes.

Tulane energy expert Eric Smith says there may be costly alternatives.

“One of them comes down from Illinois it’s an existing pipeline,” said Smith.

But Smith says converting that pipeline would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, As Keystone, half completed, sits in limbo.

Tulane’s Eric Smith says the Canadian sour crude oil would have been perfect for Louisiana refineries, which have lost a large source of that type of crude oil because of problems in Venezuela.

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