The Keystone XL pipeline is the answer. No, wait, the Enbridge pipeline is the answer. No, Enbridge can’t be trusted! Actually, what was the question? Isn’t this a merry little game. Depending on how you look at it: Keystone and Enbridge are simply competitors tripping each other up in a race to get to Canada’s oil reserves; each a solution to transporting Canada’s oil is stumbling over hurdles created by pipeline opponents; this is really a fight over whether Canada’s oil will go to the U.S. or China; or all of the above.
Who will cross the finish line first is anyone’s guess, and choosing which project to favor offers a dilemma. Enbridge interests muddy picture That’s because completion of the Keystone XL pipeline ensures the flow of cheap Canadian oil to refineries in the U.S., but the pipeline has long languished while awaiting all the necessary studies and approvals.
On the other hand, if the full Enbridge expansion comes online first, the picture gets fuzzy. Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project linking Alberta and Kitimat was rejected by the government in British Columbia, but if it ever comes to fruition, it would divert oil from the U.S. to China. Still, on the table are Enbridge’s multiple “twinning” projects aimed at increasing flow to Cushing as well as the Gulf Coast.
The Enbridge twinning project appears to be ahead in this race with a smoother road ahead than Keystone XL, as the Enbridge project is an expansion of existing lines that don’t require State Department approval. Keystone XL, on the other hand, has been mired for six years in the muck of Environmental Protection Agency studies that endlessly delay the president’s stone XL. Under Nationwide 12, Enbridge must decision on whether or not to finally give Key- get approval from the
U.S. Corps of Engineers, stone XL the green light. which is a process Enbridge has used to its advantage in the past. Enbridge project increasing Keystone XL appeal? Both pipelines under attack Despite ongoing attempts by environmental The Sierra Club is, naturally, trying to thwart groups to kill Keystone XL and the president’s Enbridge’s attempts to use Nationwide 12. foot dragging, that pipeline received a rare — if President Barack Obama didn’t help matters somewhat backhanded — nod of approval this for any of the pipelines with his latest edict that summer from the chair of the U.S.
National Keystone XL can only move forward if it can Transportation Safety Board, in the form of a show that it won’t increase
greenhouse gas emisclear rebuke of the Enbridge expansion propos- sions. It stands to reason that any pipeline proal. Citing Enbridge’s 2010 oil spill in Michigan, posal will be impacted by the same requirement. which was the largest overland pipeline spill in Each pipeline project suffers the same com-U.S. history, and likening Enbridge’s slow mon denominator of environmental concerns response to the “Keystone Kops,” the chair and anti-pipeline sentiment that has slowed raised concerns over the company’s
ability to down approvals and could ultimately kill any one ensure that a similar incident won’t occur again. or all of these projects. That is the end goal for This provided fuel to pipeline opponents’ fire, environmentalists, after
all. and not only those rallying against the Enbridge expansion. With cleanup of the Enbridge spill Faulkner is the Founder
and CEO of Dallasnot yet complete, anti-pipeline activists are based Breitling Energy Corporation, the holding pressuring the Obama
administration to nix the company of Breitling Oil and Gas and Breitling Keystone XL pipeline as well as the Enbridge Royalties. The companies are in the oil and natuexpansion. ral gas exploration, production and investment
But Enbridge has a few tricks up its sleeve, business. His diverse and extensive background in including a regulatory shortcut known as the oil and gas industry in North America, Europe Nationwide Permit 12 that could open up a fast and the Middle East covers all aspects of oil and lane for Enbridge to speed its project past Key- gas operations, including project management,