by Anthony McManus
Ads on TV for Republican candidates blame Maggie Hassan (and President Biden) for the high cost of gasoline. One of her alleged misdeeds is Hassan's opposition to the Keystone pipeline. Although the information regarding this project is readily available from several sources, the ads choose to ignore just what the Keystone project is all about.
Here are some facts:
First: Keystone is not about American oil. The owner of the proposed pipeline is a Canadian corporation.
Second: the crude oil doesn't come from the US. The source would be Alberta, Canada.
Third: Crude oil would not be sold in the US. The end of the pipeline would have been refineries near Port Arthur, Texas. The final product would have been destined for export overseas. The truth is that the US doesn't need additional sources of domestic oil. We already produce more oil and gas than we use. We are a net exporter of fossil fuels. Reviews of the Keystone proposal by both the Obama and Trump Administrations concluded that the approval of the project would not have had any impact on the price of gasoline in the US.
Fourth: The location of the proposed pipeline from Alberta would have been through the States of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska. A connecting line already in place would carry the crude on to the Texas coast. While construction would undoubtedly have created some jobs, it's not clear exactly how many - and they would have been temporary. Once the project was complete, the jobs would be gone. Yet, the threat of spills, ruptures, or other contamination would remain. All of that would occur on US land with the initial cleanup cost being a US or state problem. Any long-term environmental damage would definitely fall on the states and communities involved.
The source of the oil in Alberta is so-called tar sands. The extracted crude is far more corrosive
and toxic than standard crude, which has led to a number of leaks in existing pipelines carrying similar product, including pipelines owned by the owner of Keystone.
Finally, it is a complete fallacy to make any kind of claim that Senator Hassan (or Biden) has any real ability to control the price of oil. That is set by an international consortium of industry representatives and the OPEC countries. We only have to look at the most recent quarterly earnings reports of the major oil companies to understand who has benefited from the ability to manipulate the ultimate costs at your local gas station.
So, given the above---all good, solid, and factual information---there is no question that, as for the Keystone pipeline, Senator Hassan did the right thing in the best interests of the country. Claims to the contrary are misleading at best, even closer to being deliberately dishonest.
About the author
Tony McManus is an avid Dover historian and civic activist. He has served in elective office and on the boards of local nonprofits. Following his successful career as an attorney in Dover, he has continued his civic engagement. Readers of Foster's Daily Democrat regularly enjoy Tony's articles on Dover history and we Democrats appreciate his straightforward, value-laden Letters to the Editor.