NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Fact Check: Will Keystone Oil Stay in the United States?

November 24, 2014

President Obama has criticized the proposed Keystone XL pipeline for a number of reasons, one of which involves where the oil will go: will it be sold to refiners in the United States, or will it be shipped abroad? While the president claims the pipeline will only provide a path for Canada to ship its oil overseas, Lauren Carroll at Politifact says that's not the case: the oil will be bought and used in America.

The oil shipped from Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico via the pipeline would be crude oil, not refined oil. While the United States exports refined oil such as gasoline, it is a crude oil importer. American refineries, says Carroll, are located along the Keystone XL route, and U.S. refineries already get more oil from Canada than they do from other countries. Refineries in the upper Midwest as well as Texas are in need of crude oil and currently have to import it from nations such as Venezuela. Were they able to purchase Canada's crude, it would be cheaper, says Carroll.

She also notes that the State Department has reported that it would not make economic sense for Canada to export its Keystone oil to other nations.

Source: Lauren Carroll, "Obama says Keystone XL is for exporting oil outside the U.S., experts disagree," Politifact, November 20, 2014.

 

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