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NEWS: Is Keystone XL a bitumen pipeline to Europe?

The Inter Press Service reports, “Based on falling U.S. oil demand, the controversial Keystone XL pipeline may simply allow tar sands oil currently landlocked in Alberta to be exported to Europe, say U.S. and Canadian environmental activists. …The pipeline would carry 700,000 to 800,000 barrels of tarry, unrefined oil every day.”

“‘Keystone XL is really all about exporting diesel made from tar sands crude to Europe,’ said Brant Olsen, energy campaigner for the Rainforest Action Network in San Francisco. Oil demand in the U.S. is dropping, and yet refineries on the Gulf Coast that specialise in refining heavy crude like that from the tar sands are expanding their capacity to process more, Olsen told Tierramérica. …’If you connect the dots, it points to exports. Americans don’t know this yet,’ said Olsen.”

Additionally, “The U.S. Energy Information Administration shows there is surplus pipeline capacity in the U.S., says Ryan Salmon, energy policy advisor of the National Wildlife Federation. …’Keystone XL is a bullet line to the Gulf Coast. It’s going to take the Midwest’s existing supply and export it overseas,’ says Salmon.”

“Europe is the major market for diesel, since most cars and trucks there run on diesel. However, there are no oil pipelines to either of Canada’s coasts, so it gets little if any tar sands oil. And yet a European proposal to label and put a penalty on tar sands diesel as ‘dirty’ because of its high carbon content provoked a huge outcry by the Canadian government and the oil industry in 2010. Nearly all of the world’s largest oil companies have a stake in the tar sands, including Britain’s BP, Norway’s Statoil, France’s Total and Dutch-based Shell, among others. A massive lobby effort and PR campaign is ongoing in Europe as well as in the U.S. involving high-level Canadian government officials, says Olsen.”

The full article is at