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February 3, 2021

We have all heard about the thousands of jobs that will be lost with the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, but a little basic math reveals that President Biden's Keystone decision will INCREASE CARBON EMISSIONS EQUAL TO PUTTING NEARLY HALF A MILLION MORE CARS ON THE ROAD.

An analysis by the energy supply chain group, Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), does the math about what NOT completing the Keystone XL pipeline would mean for carbon emissions. Here's how the CO2 numbers are calculated:

  • According to the Association of American Railroads, it requires 433 gallons of locomotive diesel fuel to pull one loaded crude oil tank car from the Canadian Oil Sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, about 2,200 miles. It takes another 144 gallons to bring the empty tank car back for a refill. That's 577 gallons total.

  • It takes 645 loaded tank cars per day to transport the amount of oil that Keystone XL might have carried - about 400,000 barrels per day. That's 235,425 tank car loads per year. Multiplied by 577 gallons each, that amounts to about 136 million gallons of diesel burned per year.

  • Since each gallon of diesel emits 22.44 pounds of CO2, that means the locomotives pulling those trains will emit over 1.5 million tons of CO2. That's all net addition to CO2 emissions since Keystone XL would have been powered entirely by renewable energy.

  • 1.5 million tons of CO2 is equivalent to emissions of 490,000 more cars on the road.

    "In the real world, Canadian oil will still travel from Alberta, Canada to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast, but by railroad. We know that jobs will be lost. The Administration said the pipeline was cancelled to help the environment, so we ask the questions, 'What is the real impact on our carbon footprint? What's the impact on overall CO2 levels?

    "It's clear that politics, not a commitment to the environment, dictated the Biden Administration's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline," Toby Mack, EEIA's CEO said today.

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