Days after US President Joe Biden canceled plans to construct the Keystone XL pipeline – meant to hold oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to Nebraska – social media posts alleged the transfer was as a consequence of Warren Buffett's huge political donations to Biden's marketing campaign. They are saying Buffett-owned railways now have a vested curiosity in transporting the oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would have carried. Buffett, nonetheless, didn’t donate to Biden's 2020 presidential marketing campaign and oil from Canada that’s believed to have traveled via the Keystone XL pipeline is probably going to make use of present and new pipeline infrastructure to enter the USA.
A provide depot serving the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is idle in Oyen, Alberta, Canada on February 1, 2021. REUTERS / Todd Korol
Viral examples of posts making this declare might be seen right here, right here, right here, right here, right here, right here and right here.
Most articles characteristic an image of pipeline development alongside the textual content studying: “The Keystone Pipeline. Canceled by Biden on day one. Warren Buffett owns the railroad that now transports all that oil. Warren Buffett donated $ 58 million to the Biden marketing campaign. Warren Buffett would lose billions of in transportation prices if the pipeline had been accomplished. See how the coverage works? It's not a query of the setting, it's a query of cash … "
By "Keystone pipeline," the articles check with the Keystone XL pipeline, a venture canceled by Biden on his first day of obligation on January 21, 2021, dealing a deadly blow to a long-lasting venture that might have transported 830,000 barrels per day. of heavy oil sands crude from Alberta to Nebraska.
Environmental activists and indigenous communities hailed the cancellation, and merchants and analysts stated US-Canadian pipelines would have greater than sufficient capability to deal with rising volumes of crude from Canada, the main overseas provider. of oil in the USA (right here).
A map of the Keystone XL route alongside the prevailing Keystone pipeline community, in service since 2010, might be seen right here.
DID BUFFETT MAKE A DONATION FOR A BID?
The primary declare in these articles is that Warren Buffett, the American enterprise mogul and billionaire, has donated $ 58 million to Joe Biden's 2020 marketing campaign. In response to the general public information of OpenSecrets and a spokesperson for Buffett, this declare is fake.
Debbie Bosanek, assistant to Warren Buffett, informed Reuters by e-mail that “Mr. Buffett didn’t donate any cash to Biden's presidential marketing campaign in 2020. He’s submitting all submitting necessities for political contributions and has not made any contributions to any PACs.
Enterprise Insider (right here) additionally reported that Buffett didn’t donate to Biden throughout this election after donating to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in earlier elections.
OpenSecrets.org of the Middle for Responsive Politics, a Washington, DC-based, nonprofit and non-partisan analysis group that focuses on authorities transparency and monitoring cash in politics, lists contributions right here. insurance policies of Warren Buffett. Whereas Buffett donated to the Congressional Democratic Marketing campaign Committee (DCCC, the committee liable for electing Democrats to the Home of Representatives) and former astronaut and junior senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ ), no different political recipient is listed for this 2019-20 election cycle (this was additionally reported by Yahoo! right here).
Buffett is the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate that acquired Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp (BNSF) in 2009, which on the time was the biggest acquisition ever by a billionaire investor (right here). The BNSF is among the largest freight rail networks in North America, with "a 32,500-mile rail community in 28 states and three Canadian provinces" (right here). Its trains carry vitality (comparable to oil and coal), agricultural and client merchandise.
Nonetheless, railways like Buffett-owned BNSF (right here) usually are not the first technique of transporting oil from Canada to the USA.
MOST US PETROLEUM IMPORTS FROM CANADA USE PIPELINES, NOT RAILWAYS
Maps of the Keystone Pipeline System and the Keystone XL Pipeline present its route: Keystone XL reportedly created a 'shortcut' for transporting oil from Alberta to Nebraska, whereas the prevailing Keystone pipeline community connects the Canadian supply to a number of US states (right here).
Canada is the principle provider of overseas oil to the USA. In 2019, for instance, the USA imported three.7 million barrels per day from Canada (right here), or roughly 1.35 billion barrels for the yr. Throughout that yr, 110.2 million barrels of crude oil had been transported from Canada to the USA by rail (right here), which signifies that solely about eight% of the nation's imports years from Canada had been transported by rail.
Dave Smallen, director of public affairs on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, despatched Reuters estimates for 2020 calculating that of oil from Canada to the USA, 74.four% utilizing pipelines versus three% by rail.
Briefly, rail infrastructure can’t compete with present pipelines to maneuver oil on the tempo of the USA. A historic (1982-2018) have a look at the prevalence of transporting pipelines, ships, trains and vans for oil transportation might be seen right here.
Reuters reported in 2013 – when the Keystone XL was below debate – that some business officers, vitality analysts and up to date knowledge had raised questions on whether or not the business was actually eager on the business. embrace crude by rail, primarily emphasizing the financial price of utilizing rail. pipelines (right here).
"It’s costly to move crude by rail, particularly over lengthy distances," Ben Cahill, senior researcher within the Vitality Safety and Local weather Change program on the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research (CSIS) informed Reuters. . Because of this, "operators choose to make use of pipelines and solely use rail as a backup answer".
HOW TO TRAVEL THE KEYSTONES XL PIPELINE OIL?
The messages say the Buffett Railroad is now 'hauling all that oil' following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. That is incorrect, as many of the oil that might have used the Keystone XL will doubtless undergo present and new pipelines.
America can be nonetheless poised to import document quantities of Canadian oil within the years to come back, and several other of the strains carrying this crude are increasing quickly (extra on this in a Reuters report right here).
Cahill informed Reuters that after the cancellation, "extra pipelines will come on-line and exports of crude by rail will proceed to be a final resort."
The North American upstream staff at vitality consulting agency Wooden Mackenzie despatched Reuters the findings of the corporate’s North American Crude Market Service report, which agree with this prediction. He notes that "the impacts of a [Keystone XL] cancellations are average over the medium time period to a big extent as a consequence of two different pipeline initiatives simply across the nook (Enbridge Line three Alternative (L3R) and the TransMountain Enlargement venture (TMX). ”These pipelines“ will doubtless scale back minima contractual till 2030. "
In response to studies from Reuters and business specialists, the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t seem to imply a profitable enhance in crude oil exercise by rail that might profit the BNSF Berkshire Hathaway Railway.
Berkshire Hathaway didn’t reply to Reuters' request for touch upon potential positive factors from the cancellation of Keystone XL.
False. Warren Buffett didn’t donate $ 58 million to Joe Biden's 2020 marketing campaign. A lot of the oil that might have been transported by the now canceled Keystone XL pipeline will doubtless use present and new pipeline infrastructure, not the railways.
This text was produced by the Reuters Truth Test staff. Be taught extra about our social media publish verification work right here.
Correction February three, 2021: Eliminated reference to Vitality Info Administration / Division of Vitality in paragraph 15, knowledge is from BTS. Corrected the Wooden Mackenzie staff title in paragraph 22.