The Economics Of Keystone XL

With Guest Host Jessica Yellin.

The Keystone Pipeline is closer than ever to being built. We look at the politics and the economics of Keystone.

Some of more than 350 miles of pipe awaiting shipment for the Keystone XL oil pipeline is stored at Welspun Tubular, in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP)

Some of more than 350 miles of pipe awaiting shipment for the Keystone XL oil pipeline is stored at Welspun Tubular, in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP)

This week the US Senate will vote on the fate of the long delayed Keystone XL pipeline. If it passes, the President is likely to veto the measure, setting up a showdown with his critics in Congress — including some members of his own party. The pipeline would bring crude oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Supporters say it will bring jobs, economic growth, and greater energy independence. But opponents insist it’s an environmental disaster waiting to happen. This hour On Point,  pipeline politics, economics, science and the symbolism of Keystone.

— Jessica Yellin


Elana Schor, energy reporter for POLITICO. (@eschor)

Ernie Goss, professor of regional economics at Creighton University. Director of the Goss Institute for Economic Research. (@erniegoss)

David Keith, professor of applied physics in the Harvard school of engineering and applied sciences and of public policy in the Harvard Kennedy School. Author of “A Case for Climate Engineering.”

Brian Schweitzer, former Democratic Governor of Montana. Chairman of Stillwater Mining Company. (@brianschweitzer)

From The Reading List

POLITICO: Keystone on the move in Congress — “The Keystone drama began when Democratic leaders cleared the way for Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu to seek a vote on a pro-pipeline bill that could bolster her standing at home before her Dec. 6 runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy. Then after aides in both parties suggested their opponents would object, the embattled Landrieu won bipartisan agreement to take up a proposal that she has been pushing throughout the campaign season.”

Washington Post: Keystone XL is now a rallying point to save Mary Landrieu’s career — “This week, though, Keystone XL has become a symbol for moderate Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) — a demonstration that they can serve as the bridge between the new Democratic minority and the Republican majority in the next Congress.”

New Yorker: The President and the Pipeline — “According to Steyer, the opposition to Keystone emerged from the President’s failed efforts to tackle climate change early in his Administration. Obama had some limited successes. In 2009, in one of his first acts in office, he ordered the Department of Transportation to implement higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars; in 2012, the rules were finalized, and they are his single most significant climate-change policy.”

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