Koch Bros will be big winners if Keystone sludge-oil pipeline is approved

Well, there’s a surprise. Obama’s worst enemy, and the climate’s as well, the ever-famous Koch Brothers and Koch Industries, are positioned to be big winners if (when) the Keystone Tar Sands pipeline is approved.

Think about it this way — that pipeline isn’t carrying toxic sludge through two provinces and 12 states to Texas. It’s carrying money into the dirty pockets of two of the most power-mad, driven billionaires on the planet. (Did I mention that their daddy was a John Birch Society founder?)

Thanks to an alert reader, we find this via email. It’s from February, and so far, way off the radar. Time to make this connection a feature of the Keystone story — call it the Keystone–Koch Bros Pipeline.

David Sassoon writing at Solve Climate News (my emphasis):

The Keystone XL pipeline, awaiting a thumbs up or down on a presidential permit, would increase the import of heavy oil from Canada’s oil sands to the U.S. by as much as 510,000 barrels a day, if it gets built. … Opponents say it would magnify an environmental nightmare at great cost and provide only the illusion of national benefit.

What’s been left out of the ferocious debate over the pipeline, however, is the prospect that if president Obama allows a permit for the Keystone XL to be granted, he would be handing a big victory and great financial opportunity to Charles and David Koch, his bitterest political enemies and among the most powerful opponents of his clean economy agenda.

There is so much in the article that it’s hard to summarize. It’s also very well researched, especially considering that Koch Industries is privately owned (by the brothers, natch).

For example, there’s this detail, one of many:

An unknown amount of company profits — figures are unavailable as the company is privately held — come from the Pine Bend Refinery near St. Paul, Minnesota, which supplies 30 to 40 percent of Wisconsin’s transportation fuel[.] … About 80 percent of what the Koch refinery processes is heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands, a company spokesperson told the media last year. The oil that reaches the refinery is supplied through the Koch brothers’ Flint Hills operation in Calgary, the company’s website says. … [T]he oil sands crude which reaches the Pine Bend refinery on American soil accounts for about a quarter of the total supply reaching the U.S. from Alberta’s tar sands mining operations.

The Koch Brothers are deep into the Tar Sands project, and will be huge beneficiaries of the Keystone XL Pipeline. They own sludge-oil (called “heavy oil” by insiders), refineries, even regional pipelines for distribution.

For a nice interactive map of the Keystone pipeline, helpfully provided by TransCanada Corporation, click here.

The Keystone–Koch Brothers Pipeline. Remember that name. If Obama wants to do them a dis-service, he will un-approve that pipeline. Or he can serve up more “mush from the wimp” and give them everything they want.

It’s his call, and his alone. Sir.

GP


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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