Monday, September 26, 2016

Kelcy Warren's Doublespeak



Here you will find a memorandum concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline project from ETP CEO Kelcy Warren to "All Partnership Employees". This "internal memo" was distributed to the press, much of which simply repeated the many problematic statements contained within verbatim, without the critical analysis the content deserves. We could certainly dissect this propaganda piece line-by-line, but will instead concentrate on two especially revealing sentences:

"Once operational, the project will safely move American oil to American markets. It will reduce our dependence on oil from unstable regions of the world and drive down the cost of petroleum products for American industry and consumers."

The idea of moving "American oil to American markets" may literally be correct...if one were to construe Asia as an "American market". But the sentence that follows is outright false. Numerous investigations have revealed that foreign interests have their fingers in the Bakken pie:
"But rather than serving the exclusive interests of American consumers, critics point to evidence the oil will go abroad. In December, Congress lifted the 40-year ban on crude oil exports.
“We track [Dakota Access Pipeline] and the export dynamics closely,” says Bernadette Johnson, the managing partner at Ponderosa Advisors, an energy advisory firm. Johnson notes that the pipeline provides a “competitive option” to bring Bakken barrels to the Gulf Coast, where “some of it may be exported.”

The Intercept also reviewed regulatory filings that suggest some of the oil transported by the Dakota Access Pipeline will be shipped overseas."
Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports, The Intercept, September 1, 2016

"Seventeen financial institutions have loaned Dakota Access LLC $2.5 billion to construct the pipeline. Banks have also committed substantial resources to the Energy Transfer Family of companies so it can build out more oil and gas infrastructure:
All told, that’s $10.25 billion in loans and credit facilities from 38 banks directly supporting the companies building the pipeline. These banks expect to be paid back over the coming decades. By locking in widespread drilling and fracking in the false name of U.S. energy independence and security, the banks are increasing our disastrous dependence on fossil fuels."
Who's Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline? Food and Water Watch, September 6, 2016
 
Taken as a whole, these two sentences amount to an astounding display of doublespeak, perhaps penned by a tricky lawyer. Logic would dictate that exporting fossil fuels will neither reduce US dependence on foreign oil, nor lower prices here at home. Where is the evidence to support Kelcy Warren's claims? All we can find is data that indicates precisely the opposite. Perhaps his words are a mantra that Kelcy Warren must repeat to himself over and over to convince himself and all who will listen of the righteousness of his actions?


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