Fresh Takes

More Oil… Fewer Pipelines?

Sanctions on Russian oil and gas have left the United States with a 600,000-barrels-per-day hole that needs to be filled with oil from somewhere else. In response, Canadian producers have stepped in and stepped up, pledging to increase production by about 300,000 barrels per day by year’s end.

President Biden has acknowledged the need for more oil, and is looking for ways to get it from Canada, but without resurrecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which he killed his first day in office. Had Keystone not been shut down, it could have been filling the void created by displaced Russian oil by the end of the year. Instead, the US is releasing oil from its strategic reserves, which are intended to mitigate the effects of unexpected oil supply reductions.

Rather than reopening the discussion around Keystone, the administration is looking to rail and other options, which move far less oil overall and entail more risk. Pipelines are the safest and greenest method of oil transport, with over 99.99% of the oil transported by Canada’s federally regulated pipelines arriving safely every year. Pipelines are also the fastest and most cost-effective method of transport.

It boils down to this: Biden wants more Canadian oil, and to get it in the quantities needed, in the timeframe needed, we could use more discussion about pipelines, and less political posturing and stalling.

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