President Obama has recently asserted that the Keystone Pipeline would merely take Canadian oil to other world markets with the United States acting like a “conveyor belt.” Obama said, “Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else.” The Washington Post called foul,
The president seriously overstates the percentage of Canadian crude that might be exported if the Keystone XL pipeline is built. He suggests all of it would be exported, without mentioning that it first would stop on the Gulf Coast to be refined into products. On top of that, current trends suggest that about one-third of that refined product would be exported. That is not insubstantial, but it is certainly much smaller than 100 percent.
All of this is laid out in the extensive report issued by the State Department earlier this year. The president might want to study it before he addresses the Keystone question again. In the meantime, he earns Three Pinocchios. We nearly made it Four Pinocchios, but it is correct that at least some of the product would be exported, based on current market conditions.