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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

some Keystone XL pipeline Q/As

How many jobs will it create?
Proponents say it would create anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 jobs, while critics say it would only create a couple dozen. Both numbers are inaccurate: a new State Department assessment found it would create 1,950 jobs for a two-year period, after which it would generate 50 permanent jobs. the U.S. economy, according to State Department estimates. It would contribute $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy, which would account for 0.02 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.

Why is it so politically controversial?
There are two reasons Keystone has become a political lightning rod. The most important factor is what development of the oil sands—or tar sands—as they’re called by opponents—means for global warming. Extracting bitumen—a low-grade type of petroleum -- from the region is more akin to mining than conventional oil drilling, and the process of extracting crude or bitumen from oil sands emits roughly 15 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than the production of the average barrel of crude oil used in the United States.
The pipeline also crosses a half dozen states, and people living along the route are concerned that spills from the pipeline could damage ecologically-sensitive habitat. While the project’s sponsor TransCanada says this new pipeline will boast the newest technology—the current Keystone pipeline has 16,000 data points that are refreshed every five seconds—recent spills like last year's breach of the Exxon pipeline in Mayflower, Ark. has many people worried.

Will the oil shipped via the pipeline stay in the United States?
Once the refineries get the oil, there's no guarantee the final product will remain in the United States. In the fourth quarter of 2012, for example, Valero refineries exported nearly 9 percent of their gasoline products overseas.