House Energy And Commerce Cmte Holds Hearing On Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey has made a rather odd request of TransCanada: that it seek to influence the marketing operations of refiners that buy Canadian crude oil shipped through the Keystone XL pipeline.

Senator Markey wrote a letter to TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling yesterday requesting that the company require buyers of oil that would be shipped through the proposed pipeline to market products derived from that crude only in the US.

“If the refined fuels produced from oil transported through the Keystone pipeline are simply exported, it would nullify the potential energy security benefits to the United States from the project,” Markey wrote.

The letter asked “whether you [Girling] will commit that TransCanada will enter into legally binding contracts to ensure that all of the refined fuels that would be produced from oil transported through the Keystone XL project will be sold in the United States and barred from further export.”

Michael Whatley, executive vice-president of the Consumer Energy Alliance – which is pro-Keystone XL – offered a fitting analogy for Senator Markey’s request.

“Think of a U.S. Senator telling a company like UPS or FedEx that they cannot ship products to customers unless those customers promise to not take their purchases to Europe on vacation.”