Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why the Whole Idea of the U.S Achieving 'Energy Independence' Is a Sham That Enriches Big Oil and Coal

Whether it is the hucksters pushing for the Keystone XL pipeline to cut across the Heartland, or the coal barons who are ramping up their exploits in Powder River Basin, a familiar refrain can be heard echoing throughout their propaganda: America must produce its own energy and stop relying on "terrorist" countries to keep our homes heated, cars running and economy kicking.

"The United States consumes 15 million barrels of oil per day and imports 11 million," Russell K. Girling of the TransCanada Corporation, which is to build the Keystone pipeline, recently wrote in The Hill. "Keystone XL offers Americans the choice of receiving their oil from a friendly, secure supplier in Canada, instead of importing crude from unstable, volatile foreign nations such as Venezuela, Libya and other areas of the Middle East."

In late August, Oil Change International shattered the myth that the Keystone XL, which is to transport tar sands from Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, Texas, will be used domestically. Refiners based in Port Arthur, where the oil will end up, are focused on exporting oil to Europe and Latin America. The majority of the heavy tar sands oil extracted in Alberta will never end up being burned in the United States.

"To issue a presidential permit for the Keystone XL, the administration must find that the pipeline serves the national interest," says Stephen Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International. "An honest assessment shows that rather than serving U.S. interests, Keystone XL serves only the interests of tar sands producers and shippers, and a few Gulf Coast refiners aiming to export the oil." more