What are the numbers telling us when it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Keystone XL pipeline? All depends on who you want to believe. The U.S government says there will be no appreciable increase in GHG emissions. A new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute dispute that.
Researchers Michael Lazarus and Peter Erickson claim the government didn’t take into account an increase in the amount of oil on the market as a result of the proposed infrastructure. The inference here is the project could reduce oil prices, leading to increased consumption and therefore more emissions.
“We find that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could lead … to an increase in global GHG emissions four times as big as prior analyses have concluded,” the study says.
So who is right? Doesn’t even seem the two sides are even looking at the same thing. At least that’s how the Canadian government sees it. Ottawa agrees with the U.S. State Department’s claim and asserts the study’s finds are based on false assumptions.
One thing the public might be able to agree on is another conclusion made by the researchers and that is “the need for greater availability and transparency of oil supply and demand analyses.“