Letter: Many questions surround Keystone XL pipeline
For months now we have been subjected to report after report from the news media about our public officials and candidates wringing their hands over harm to North Dakota supposedly caused by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
But even after all this time there is information that is not mentioned and questions that are not asked.
First, how is oil going to get from North Dakota oil fields to the Keystone pipeline?
There are not plans for a pipeline extension from the Bakken to the proposed Keystone XL line.
The only connection from North Dakota was the BakkenLink pipeline, which had an application pending before the state Public Service Commission. The pipeline was to go from Beaver Lodge in southwest Williams County through Belfield to Fallon, Mont.
In June, the route was changed to terminate west of Belfield at a rail facility at Fryburg.
Where is the “link” to the Keystone pipeline from North Dakota?
The Keystone pipeline is coming from the Athabasca Oil Sands located in the Canadian province of Alberta. On Jan. 3, The Associated Press reported that the company announced it sold the remaining 40 percent of its MacKay River oil sands development to Petro China for $673 million.
Petro China had already acquired a 60 percent stake in two oil sands projects, including MacKay River.
Is the Keystone pipeline going to carry oil owned by China across the United States to the Gulf? Who is going to build the pipeline? The U.S.? Canada? China?
In 2005 the Chinese state-owned CNOOC withdrew an $18.5 billion bid to by U.S. oil and gas producer Unocal Corp. after U.S. lawmakers complained that the sale would jeopardize national security.
Is national security no longer a concern?
We are told all this oil development is so we can achieve energy independence and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Yet the top export of the United States is now fuel — gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. This explains why our gasoline and diesel fuel are so expensive.
The more fuel is sent overseas, the less supply there is for the United States.
In the first 10 months of 2011, the U.S. exported 848 million barrels of fuel and imported 750 million.
Where is the energy independence in those numbers? What happened to reducing our dependence on foreign oil?
Pat Hedstrup, Belfield