"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

As “Gas Prices Hover At Record-High Levels” Keystone Pipeline Languishes, While Canada Looks To China

February 7th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

The Los Angeles Times writes today, “Last month turned out to be the most expensive January ever at U.S. gasoline pumps . . . . January is typically a month of falling gasoline prices because fuel demand falters in the slower travel weeks that follow the year-end holidays. Not so this year. In January, retail gasoline prices averaged $3.37 a gallon, according to the Oil Price Information Service, a private fuel information service. That compared with the previous record average for the month of $3.095 a gallon, set last year. In 2010, January gasoline prices averaged just $2.71 a gallon. The new record meant more pain in Americans’ budgets. A typical household, burning about 50 gallons of gasoline a month, paid about $168.50 for that fuel in January, or $33 more than in January 2010. . . . In February, pump prices have continued to rise and remain at record levels for this time of the year. . . . The price spurt may not be over, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, a fuel price tracking website. ‘Gasoline prices tend to start moving significantly higher toward the end of February and into mid-March, so motorists should be preparing for higher prices,’ DeHaan said.”

This follows yesterday’s news from USA Today that $4 gas may be on the way and “Prices could spike another 60 cents or more by May.”

These gas price spikes again show the necessity of securing reliable sources of American energy, such as a pipeline that would bring oil from our friends and allies in Canada (as well as oil formations in the United States). Keystone XL would do just that, in addition to creating tens of thousands of jobs for Americans.

Unfortunately, President Obama rejected the pipeline last month. And now, according to Canada’s Postmedia News, “[Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper] is courting China as a customer for Canadian natural resources — insisting it’s in Canada’s national interest to send oil and gas to Asia — and looking to sew stronger economic ties with the world’s fastest-growing economy. . . . It’s expected China will seek a more formalized energy relationship with Canada during the official visit, with its state-owned petroleum companies having invested more than $10 billion into Alberta’s oilsands and B.C. shale gas deposits over the past few years. . . . Currently, Canada only exports oilsands crude to the United States, but the Obama administration’s recent decision to reject, for now, the Keystone XL oilsands pipeline has Harper searching for new energy customers.”

Clearly, we can’t afford to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline any longer. Therefore, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, plans to introduce an amendment to a highway bill that would finally approve the Keystone XL pipeline and expand domestic energy production. As CQ puts it, the Hatch amendment “would allow energy leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and waters off California and in the Eastern Gulf” and “would immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline.”

As North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said in the Weekly Republican address last month, “If the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t built, Canadian oil will still be produced and transported—700,000 barrels a day of it—but instead of coming to our refineries in the United States, instead of creating jobs for our people, instead of reducing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil and keeping down the cost of fuel for American consumers—that oil will be sent to China.”

It’s long past time for President Obama to approve this pipeline, the jobs it will create, and the energy security it will bring.

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