While the Keystone XL pipeline has stirred plenty of controversy, all consumers can agree that higher gas prices are bad.
According to a recent report by Consumer Watchdog, the Keystone pipeline could increase gas prices in the Midwest by 25 to 40 cents per gallon. The Los Angeles Times explains the pipeline would “allow oil companies in Canada to export crude oil to a range of markets in the U.S. and abroad, leading to possible increases in the prices paid in areas that are already heavily dependent on that oil.”
The Los Angeles Times states that, in a 2010 report, Canadian regulators said they hoped the Keystone pipeline would help Canada "obtain new customers and higher prices for the country's oil." Areas of the U.S., like California, that import very little oil from Canada might see slight price increases, but areas, like the Midwest, that rely on Canadian oil would suffer the highest gas hikes.
The Keystone XL pipeline, if built, would transport crude oil 1,700 miles from Alberta to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast. Although the controversy is complex, in short, proponents of the pipeline say that it would introduce new jobs and supply the U.S. with a new source of crude oil, and opponents argue that the pipeline could have a hefty environmental impact that first needs to be investigated.
President Obama remarked last month that his decision on the pipeline is hinged upon its environmental impact. Read more here.
Although the pipeline has divided public opinion, in a recent poll, 59 percent of Americans support the pipeline while 28 percent oppose it. Forty-seven percent of respondents answered that the protecting the environment is less important than generating new sources of energy.
The Obama administration is unlikely to make a decision on the pipeline until late this year. Read more here.