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Policy: Environment & Energy

MIT professor: Keystone XL pipline won't increase greenhouse gas emissions

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Climate Change,Ashe Schow,Keystone XL,Energy and Environment,Greenhouse Gases

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor said the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been opposed by environmentalists for five years, wouldn't increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Chris Knittel, professor of energy economics at MIT, said the pipeline would, if anything, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because the tar sands oil it would carry would displace the expensive heavy crude oil from Venezuela, which releases more carbon dioxide.

Knittel also said that a tar sands pipeline would be built regardless of whether the U.S. approves Keystone XL; it would just carry the oil someplace else. An estimated $32 million a day could be made from the pipeline, so even if environmentalists succeed in blocking it in America, someone will want that money.

Knittel also dispelled another environmentalist myth about the pipeline – that it would increase oil production. The Keystone XL would have a minuscule impact on the world oil market and would only lower gas prices a little, if at all — that small of an impact wouldn’t result in higher demand.

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