George Allen’s Senate campaign has a new ad out on the President’s decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline, and how that decision adds another link to the chain around Tim Kaine’s neck:
It’s a pretty good ad.
However, I suggest that while the pipeline decision is terrible policy, there are potential winners: the railroads.
Increasing rail transport of oil from Canada is an interesting way around the problems of building a pipeline that the administration’s green allies just don’t want. and according to this report, railroads could eventually carry far more Canadian oil than any pipeline on the drawing board. And this bit is too rich to ignore:
The study commissioned by the State Department estimated that rail alone could haul 1.25 million barrels of Canadian crude daily by 2030, or nearly twice the amount of the proposed pipeline.
“U.S. and Canadian rail sectors have a history of expanding to meet clearly defined demand increases,” according to the study, which cited North Dakota’s booming oil patch as a recent example.
That would be the same State Department the White House over-ruled in its Keystone decision.
A truly cynical mind would say that blocking the pipeline, with the clear understanding that railroads could more than make up for the difference, was actually a gift to one of the President’s great supporters: Warren Buffett. Through Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). And yes, the company ships petroleum products, even from Canada’s oil sands, though its partnership with CN.
Amazing thing, those fungible commodities. They always find a way to market.