Pleading CEO confirms Big Oil needs Keystone
1.23.2014 · Tom Steyer
This tar sands investor just proved our point.
We’ve been saying that the Keystone XL pipeline is absolutely critical to unlocking more reserves and more production in the Alberta tar sands, all the while locking us into more pollution. Now, it turns out, oil insiders are saying the same thing.
Christophe de Margerie, CEO of one of the largest foreign oil companies, urged the U.S. to allow construction of Keystone XL, insisting that, “the pipeline has to be done.”
His company, Total, has slowed its oil development, and he notes that:
“If production costs rise above the selling price, things will stop.”
Big Oil needs Keystone XL — it is the key to unlocking the tar sands. The project would spur investment in the Alberta tar sands and enable the oil industry to ramp up production at an irreversible rate, with potentially devastating impacts on our climate.
In June, President Obama made clear that the Keystone XL pipeline would only be approved if “the project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Mr. de Margerie just admitted that the pipeline fails the President’s test.
When de Margerie argues that the Keystone XL pipeline is critical to lowering production costs and exploring more aggressively to find new reserves, the argument that the tar sands will be developed with or without this pipeline falls apart.
The reality, as de Margerie acknowledges, is simple. A “yes” on Keystone means more oil will be extracted, and significantly more carbon pollution will be put in the air. A “no” on Keystone means less oil will be extracted, and significantly less carbon pollution.
It’s on President Obama, and our nation, to not let that happen.