Daily Ticker

Keystone’s importance has been exaggerated by both foes and supporters: Bill White

Daily Ticker

President Barack Obama won't make a final decision on the last phase of the Keystone XL pipeline for months, but Bill White, former deputy energy secretary, tells The Daily Ticker that it "ought to be built."

"We've seen an explosion of pipeline development in the last five years," he explains in the video above. "Pipeline transportation is a lot safer than rail or tanker transportation."

Related: Clean coal: "A terrible idea whose time has come," WIRED's Mann says

If approved, the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline would transport heavy crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., and extend south to Steele City, Neb., according to TransCanada (TRP), the Canadian oil giant spearheading the pipeline's construction. The southern portion of the pipeline, which runs from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, Tex., has already begun shipping oil. TransCanada executives say it would take nearly two years for the northern leg to be built.

The U.S. State Department released a long-awaited report in January that said the pipeline "would not significantly alter global greenhouse gas emissions." Opponents of Keystone argue that the risk of a spill is greater because raw tar sands bitumen is more corrosive and abrasive than normal crude oil.

White believes the hostility and resistance toward Keystone's construction can be blamed on both environmentalists and the energy industry.

"It's importance has been exaggerated," he says. "It has assumed this symbolic significance that is way out of proportion to its significance on the environment or energy policy."

Is White a supporter of fracking? Watch the video to find out!

Related: Fracking Is “the Biggest Boom Since the Housing Bubble”: Will It End the Same Way?

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