Protesters target firms angling for a piece of pipeline profits
Tomorrow marks the start of a week of actions and information sessions nationwide aimed at throwing a monkey wrench into the Keystone XL pipeline construction. There are 24 planned events across 20 cities.
Want to march and chant? Want to dance? Want to learn how best to lie limp in front of a bulldozer or U-lock your neck to a piece of heavy machinery? (Protip: A little Maalox and water will wash that pepper-spray out right quick.) Rallies, protests, flash mobs, trainings, and Idle No More round dances will take place from Seattle to Washington, D.C., rain or shine. The whole effort is spearheaded by the tireless folks at Deep Green Resistance and the Tar Sands Blockade.
This week of protest is coming together just as new data bolsters a longstanding critique of the pipeline-to-be: That we’re not even going to use the oil it’s carrying here anyway. The Wall Street Journal reports that “much” of the tar-sands oil that would be pumped through the pipeline from Canada to the Gulf would not contribute to U.S. energy independence — it would be exported.
Oil Change International, a nonprofit advocacy group that opposes the pipeline, presented new data Thursday showing how Gulf Coast refineries, especially those in Texas, have in recent years become major exporters of refined products.
The group says the Texas Gulf Coast refiners that would be the main recipients of Keystone-shipped crude already exported more than 60% of the gasoline they produced, 40% of their diesel output and 95% of their petroleum coke in 2012. It based its numbers on U.S. Census Bureau data. …
Refiners agree figures show the Gulf area exports a lot of its output, but say that is no reason to shun Keystone XL. “The Gulf Coast is long on refining capacity and short on demand. Exports will continue with or without Keystone XL,” said Bill Day, a spokesman for Valero Energy Corp. …
Shawn Howard, a TransCanada spokesman, said the company doesn’t refine or market the oil it ships and can’t control what might happen with exports.
Shorter TransCanada: “It’s not our fault that we’re profiting off this toxic stuff, that’s just what we do! We can’t control it.” Shocking, I know.