Experts: Obama's Wavering on Keystone XL Keeping Gas Prices High

Image: Experts: Obama's Wavering on Keystone XL Keeping Gas Prices High

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 09:33 AM

By Melanie Batley

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President Barack Obama's reluctance to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, despite widespread popular support for the project, is not only hindering America's energy independence but driving up the price of gas for American consumers.

According to a column in Forbes Magazine by Kathleen Hartnett White and Vance Ginn, experts at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, recent geopolitical instability and disruptions and bottlenecks in the supply of Brent crude oil from the North Sea have driven up costs for American refiners, leading to higher retail prices at the pump.

"If President Obama approved construction of the Keystone XL's northern leg, more of the relatively cheaper WTI (West Texas Intermediate crude) oil could reach refineries along the Gulf Coast. This would reduce the risk premium that geopolitical instability attaches to oil prices and thus lower the gasoline price," the authors wrote.

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White and Ginn say that only a sufficient infrastructure, such as the one provided by the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, could harness America's vast energy resources and processing capacity so as to stabilize prices and provide North American energy independence.

"Keystone XL makes the emerging North American energy axis real and could check Vladimir Putin's petro-power. Eliminating the risk of geopolitically driven supply disruptions in oil imports means enhanced U.S. energy security," the authors wrote. "It also could mean a lower price at the pump, making the wallet of every American who uses gasoline smile."

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