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Consumer Watchdog: Keystone XL will raise gas prices 20-40 cents

Staff writer |
Following a Nebraska court's ruling that the Keystone XL pipeline can be built, the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog said the issue should be moot for the Obama administration, the decision-maker, because the building of the pipeline will raise American gasoline prices which are at historic lows.

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U.S. would vanish as American oil output exceeds that of Saudi Arabia in about 2020.
"The Keystone XL pipeline extension will take cheap crude oil from the Midwest and move it through the Gulf to Asia," said Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog. "Our report on the pipeline extension shows that goal of the pipeline backers is cheap oil for Asia, which means more expensive gasoline for Americans. Approval of the pipeline would upset historically low gasoline prices in the Midwest."

The report, "Keystone XL: Oil Industry Cash Machine," found the Keystone XL pipeline will hike prices at the pump 20 to 40 cents per gallon in the Midwest, with no long-term economic benefit to the U.S. economy.

The report finds that:
Drivers, especially in the Midwest, would pay 20 cents to 40 cents more at the pump if the disputed pipeline were built, as the current discount of up to $30 a barrel for Canadian oil disappears.

The true goal of multinational oil companies and Canadian politicians backing the pipeline is to reach export outlets outside the U.S. for tar sands oil and refined fuels, which would drive up the oil's price.

With U.S. oil production rising fast, any "energy security" benefit for the U.S. would vanish as American oil output exceeds that of Saudi Arabia in about 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.

The report also found that Canadian crude oil currently being sent to the Midwest from Canada would be easily diverted to Keystone XL to satisfy overseas demand.

Much of the Canadian oil would go directly to Gulf Coast refineries owned by the same multinational companies investing in tar sands, said the report. These companies include Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Koch Industries, Marathon Oil and Shell Oil, said the report. Gulf refineries would refine the tar sands crude oil into diesel oil, which is in high overseas demand, and gasoline for export.

Price hikes at the pump are likely to hit as far as California. Canada is the second-largest exporter of crude to the West Coast region, just behind Ecuador. California refiners are taking action to import and use more Canadian oil.

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