The oil industry is in it for the money.
I know how shocking this must be for many of you.
But it’s true. Literally. The duty of Big Oil’s executives to their shareholders is to maximize their profits. There’s nothing wrong with that, in theory. They are in fact, quite good at it. The top five oil companies alone have made almost a trillion dollars in profit in the last decade.
You just need to remember that making money – not providing jobs or energy security for our nation – is what they’re all about. Therefore, if you want to find out what’s really going on with the oil industry’s latest pet project – Keystone XL – all you need to do is follow the money.
So that’s what we decided to do when analyzing the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. A report published today by Oil Change International and the Natural Resources Defense Council makes it clear that Keystone XL is actually a pipeline that bypasses America in order to maximize Big Oil’s profits.
Here’s how it works. By skipping over refineries and U.S. consumers in the Midwest, tar sands producers will be able to send Canadian crude to the Gulf Coast refineries in tax-free Foreign Trade Zones, where it can be refined and then sold to international buyers—at a higher profit to Big Oil.
For tar sands producers, maximizing profits means breaking out of the Canadian and American Mid West markets, which are currently saturated with tar sands oil leading to a reduced price for the commodity. A pipeline to the Gulf Coast allows them to receive a higher price for their oil on the international market
For Gulf Coast refiners, who face a declining domestic market due to a stagnant economy and rising vehicle efficiency, maximizing profits means tapping into a burgeoning international market for petroleum products. Twenty-five percent of Gulf Coast refinery output is already going to export and Keystone XL will feed this growing trend because the heavy sour oil derived from tar sands is ideal for producing diesel, the product most in demand on the export market.
The oil industry is not concerned with U.S. energy security, jobs, or the U.S. national interest. It is purely interested in maximizing profits.