The Keystone XL pipeline could produce four times more global warming pollution than the State Department has calculated, a new study concludes. The U.S. estimates didn't consider that the added oil from the pipeline would drop prices by about $3 a barrel, spurring consumption that would create more pollution, the researchers said. The American Petroleum Institute found the study to be irrelevant because the tar sands will be developed and oil will be shipped by railroad if not by pipeline, spokeswoman Sabrina Fang said.
The researchers estimate that the proposed pipeline, which would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, would increase world greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 121 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. The State Department said this year that at most, the pipeline would increase world carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons. The new estimates, from scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute, were published Sunday by the journal Nature Climate Change. The State Department declined to comment.