Canadian and American Energy Security Gone Wrong

by | Apr 17, 2022 | , ,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project 

One of the heaviest blows to the delivery of more Canadian crude oil supply to the United States concerned the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. This project included a proposed 875-mile pipeline from Morgan, Montana to Steele City, Nebraska. It would have allowed delivery of up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from western Canada and the Bakken Shale Formation in the United States to Steele City for onward delivery to refineries in the Gulf Coast area. The Keystone XL project, by itself, would have supplied more oil than was until recently imported from Russia.

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, the sponsor, applied for a Presidential Permit for the pipeline to cross the Canada-United States border in September 2008. A final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was published in August 2011. Due to changes in the pipeline route required because of local environmental concerns and landowner issues, an updated EIS was filed in May 2012. Throughout the 12 years that the Keystone XL project was under review, various environmental groups launched well-funded campaigns to oppose the project, mainly because it would aid in transporting crude oil produced in the oil sands area to market. The final EIS, in its market analysis, found that:

The approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based on expected oil prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs, and supply-demand scenarios.”

The EIS also noted that the Keystone XL project would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced) in the United States during the construction stage. 

The process of issuing a Presidential Permit became a game of political ping-pong. On November 3, 2015, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a determination that the project was not in the public interest. Kerry found that there was a “perception” among foreigners that the project would increase greenhouse-gas emissions and that, whether or not this perception was accurate, the decision would, therefore, “undercut the credibility and influence of the United States” in climate-change-related negotiations.

On November 6, 2015, the Obama Administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project, citing economic and environmental concerns. On January 24, 2017, in his first week in office, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum to revive the Keystone XL pipeline. Following a series of court challenges, he issued a new and revised permit in March 2019. On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden revoked the permit for the pipeline on his first day in office. On June 9, 2021, the Keystone XL project was abandoned by its developer.

The loss of the Keystone XL pipeline was due to the refusal of the Obama and Biden Administrations to confront the opposition to the pipeline from climate activist groups and their powerful allies in the US Democratic Party. At this stage, renewal of the project is possible but very unlikely given the threat of repeated court challenges and withdrawals of the Presidential Permit by a future Administration. In the current political and policy environments, the same uncertainties would confront any other new proposal for increased pipeline transport of crude oil from western Canada to US markets. 

The Climate Policy Context 

Stopping the construction of the Keystone XL project has had virtually no impact on the level of greenhouse gas emissions in North America and certainly not in the world. 

The public debate over climate policy and the constraints it should place on hydrocarbons production, consumption, and trade often takes place within the confines of repeated but erroneous claims that the science is settled.” This demonstrably false proposition ignores the related question of whether, even if the science were settled, the governments of the world could credibly be expected to reduce GHG emissions.

The history of international climate diplomacy since 1992 can be described as elaborate in-process and meager in results. The period from 1992 to 2015 was spent in repeated but failed efforts to impose collective and enforceable emissions reduction requirements. With very few exceptions, no country ever met the targets set. After 19 conferences of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the countries of the world gave up on collective target-setting and switched to efforts to promote country-specific measures aimed at the nebulous and arbitrary goal of restraining global temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius by 2100. The agreement reached at the 2015 Paris Conference required countries only to submit voluntary emission reduction plans every five years. Neither China nor India, the two fastest-growing sources of GHG emissions, committed to making reductions by 2030.

This diplomatic activity has completely failed to alter the growth in global carbon dioxide emissions. They rose from 22.45 billion tonnes per year in 1990 to 35.8 billion tonnes in 2016, an increase of 59%. They continued to rise until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), at enormous cost, have reduced their emissions, those of the non-OECD countries have risen by almost five billion tonnes per year and, in 2019, constituted 65% of global emissions.

The United States Energy Information Administration, in its 2019 International Energy Outlook report, projected the trends in global energy supply, demand, and emissions to 2050. Overall, the 2019 EIA Outlook projected world energy consumption to rise nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050, due almost entirely to strong economic growth, increased access to marketed energy, and rapid population growth in non-OECD countries. World energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to grow at an average rate of 0.6% per year between 2018 and 2050, with the rate of growth in the non-OECD countries at about 1% per year. In other words, the EIA projects global CO2 emissions to grow from about 34 billion tonnes in 2018 to 43 billion tonnes in 2050. US total emissions in 2021 were about 13.5% of the worlds total, at a time when the share of global emissions arising from Asia dwarf those from any western country.

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated that the fixation of European countries on reducing GHG emissions has left them dangerously dependent on insecure and unreliable energy sources from a country with unpalatable geopolitical ambitions. It will take Europe decades, not years, to restore a necessary level of energy security, assuming the Green-party dominated governments in several countries will allow them to try.

One can only wonder whether the lessons of the Russian aggression in Ukraine will be learned by the American and Canadian political elites and by their public. When the light bulb finally goes on, a great opportunity for renewed energy partnership awaits in North America.

Read Part One: Canadian and American Energy Security is an Answer to Global Threats


Robert Lyman is an economist who spent 38 years working for the Canadian government.

Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is for educational, general information, and entertainment purposes only and is never intended to constitute medical or legal advice or to replace the personalized care of a primary care practitioner or legal expert.

While we endeavor to keep this information up to date and correct, the information provided by America Out Loud, its website(s), and any properties (including its radio shows and podcasts) makes no representations, or warranties of any kind, expressed, or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to its website(s) or the information, products, services or related graphics and images contained on the website(s) for any purpose.

The opinions expressed on the website(s), and the opinions expressed on the radio shows and podcasts, are the opinions of the show hosts and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs, or policies of anyone or any entity we may endorse. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

At no time, nor in any event, will we be liable for any loss, or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss of data or profits arising out of, in an association of, or connection with the use of this website.

Through this website, users can link to other websites that may be listed. Those websites are not under the control of America Out Loud or its brands. We have no control over the nature, content, or availability of those sites. America Out Loud has no control over what the sites do with the information they collect. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation, nor does it endorse the views expressed with or by them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, America Out Loud takes no responsibility for, nor are we, and will not be liable for being temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties beyond our control. America Out Loud does not sell, trade, nor market email addresses or other personal data.

Spike Support
Genesis HOC1
Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.
My Free
How To Stop the Destruction of America’s Military and America

How To Stop the Destruction of America’s Military and America

The National Security Hour with MG Paul E Vallely and LTG Thomas McInerney – The patriotic segment of America’s young population that traditionally stepped forward to join the U.S. military is now hesitating to sign on the dotted line because they recognize that U.S. military leaders and the ruling class no longer have the nation’s best interest at heart…

Xi and Vlad, a Wake-up Call for America and the West

Xi and Vlad, a Wake-up Call for America and the West

Xi Jinping has no intention of allowing Putin to drag China down with Russia should the Ukrainian invasion continue to go badly for Putin. China will cut Putin loose in a heartbeat if this new relationship threatens China’s long-term goals in any way. China has embarked on what can only be described as something akin to a ‘marriage of convenience’ with Russia…

Disturbing! ‘Day of Vengeance’ Planned by Antifa & Trans Activist Groups

Disturbing! ‘Day of Vengeance’ Planned by Antifa & Trans Activist Groups

The Tom Renz Show – In Headline USA, there was an article titled, “Antifa, Trans Activist Groups Planned ‘Day of Vengeance’ Prior to Nashville Massacre.” What would the response be if the tables were turned, and a Southern Baptist church planned a ‘Day of Vengeance’ on the trans community? Promoting violence is evil no matter who is doing it and no matter who their targeting…

A Cabal of Crooks Runs America’s Political Leadership

A Cabal of Crooks Runs America’s Political Leadership

It’s all a scam. Ultimately, we’ve sacrificed political, economic, and military competency on the altar of equity, diversity, inclusion, and, I might add, transgenderism. That’s what they expect us to get used to. Is America’s future to be suborned to tyrannical dictators? The answer to that hangs in the balance…

Guns Don’t Kill People; Mentally Ill People Kill People!

Guns Don’t Kill People; Mentally Ill People Kill People!

The Tom Renz Show – As if this tragedy wasn’t bad enough, a gun control activist showed up at the school shooting briefing screaming about guns. This crazy buffoon activist said we need gun control and that assault weapons are contributing to the border crisis. This lady does not know what she is talking about; what we need is more people with guns, especially protecting the schools and the border…

Biden Administration Is But the Tip of the Spear of Neo-Marxism in America

Biden Administration Is But the Tip of the Spear of Neo-Marxism in America

Only 38% of respondents said patriotism was very important to them, and 39% said religion was very important. The importance of patriotism and religion in 1998 registered at 70% and 62%, respectively. The study also reported that “Tolerance for others, deemed very important by 80% of Americans as recently as four years ago, has fallen to 58% since then.”

Spike Support
Genesis HOC1
Use the code ‘OUTLOUD’ and receive your 20% discount on your first order.
My Free
America Out Loud 6 years

Celebrating 7 incredible years working to restore liberty and justice to our beloved America.

Your Source for Free Speech, Talk Radio, Podcasts, and News.

Here we take on the challenges of our generation so that we can preserve future generations.


The APPS are free; the mission is priceless!

Free APP

Podcast Networks

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

Subscribe and Listen on Your Favorite APP

Our Columnists and Show Hosts


Apple Podcasts

Click for the full bookstore.

Truth For Health

Apple Podcasts

COVID Solution Summit

Apple Podcasts

Evacuating Americans & fully-vetted Afghan's at Risk - Help Us!

Apple Podcasts

Empowering and mentoring conservative trailblazers from Generation Z to win!

Apple Podcasts

Turning Point Action is Recruiting Precinct Chairs - Become a Grassroots Warrior Today!

Apple Podcasts

Please join us to protect the Supreme Court:
Sign the Petition!

Apple Podcasts

The LATINO USA EXIT from the Democrat Party, click for details...

Apple Podcasts

Fighting corporate censorship and ensuring voter integrity...

Apple Podcasts

Support wounded and fallen police officers. The Wounded Blue.

Wounded Blue
.pp-sub-widget {display:none;}
Share via
Copy link