API Chief: Obama's Claim on Keystone Pipeline 'Factually Incorrect'

By Penny Starr | January 6, 2015 | 6:56 PM EST

Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, held a press conference with reporters on Jan. 6, 2015 following his annual State of American Energy speech in Washington, D.C. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, says President Barack Obama is “factually incorrect” to say that the Keystone XL Pipeline will not benefit Americans.

At the press conference in Washington Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Gerard about Obama’s remarks in November about the pipeline, which, if approved, would transport crude oil from Canada and from two U.S. states to refineries on the Gulf Coast.



Obama said at the time that the pipeline would only benefit Canada and would not have any impact on domestic gasoline prices.

CNSNews.com asked Gerard: “In November, President Obama said at a press conference – he was asked about the Keystone Pipeline and he said, quote, 'Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else.' Quote: 'It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.'"

“Let me say first and foremost, what the president said is factually incorrect,” Gerard responded, citing the U.S. State Department’s report on the pipeline, which states that, among other benefits, the project would generate more than 42,000 jobs in the U.S. during the estimated two-year construction time frame.

Gerard also said the pipeline would not only transport Canadian crude oil but crude from the Bakken Formation of oil and natural gas deposits in North Dakota and Montana – all bound for refineries on the Gulf Coast.

“That’s why the Keystone XL Pipeline is built to the Gulf Coast,” Gerard said. “It’s built there, because we have the world-class largest refinery sector to be able to produce that in a clean and environmentally safe way -- to refine product, if you will, for the U.S. and global market.”

Gerard added that all crude oil in the U.S. – including that from Canada – is banned from export, a ban API is in favor of lifting.

Gerard also said it was a “misstatement” by Obama to say that crude oil production does not have an impact on domestic gas prices.

“Frankly, that’s just factually a misstatement, because what happens - as I mentioned earlier - all the reports … have concluded crude oil exports will actually lower the cost of domestic price of gasoline,” Gerard said. “As I mentioned earlier – it’s seems a little counter intuitive to some – but the reality is the No. 1 driver on the price of gasoline is the cost of crude oil,” Gerard said. “The more supply brought to the global marketplace continues to put downward pressure on the price of that crude oil.”

Because the pipeline would originate in Canada, its construction must be approved by the State Department. The project has been under review by the Obama administration for six years.

On Tuesday, Sens. John Hoeven (R-S.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) introduced S. 1, the first Senate bill of the 114th Congress, to authorize construction of the pipeline.

“This is about building the infrastructure that we need to build a comprehensive energy plan for this country,” Hoeven said at a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday.

But the White House is already saying Obama will veto any bill that reaches his desk.

“I can confirm for you that if this bill passes this Congress, then the president wouldn’t sign it,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing on Tuesday, according to Roll Call. “The pipeline route has not even been finalized yet.”