WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Incorporating Alberta crude oil into the U.S. energy mix would enhance regional energy security because of the increased diversification, analysis concludes.
U.S. lawmakers are fighting over a measure that extends a payroll tax cut. A provision on one version of the measure gives U.S. President Barack Obama about 60 days to make a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline for Alberta crude.
The pipeline would carry so-called tar sands oil, which environmental groups describe as the dirtiest type of oil, to refineries along the southern U.S. coast. Backers said it would create numerous jobs while critics said most of Keystone's crude would go to foreign markets and do little for U.S. energy security.
Energy Policy Research Foundation, a think tank supported by the energy sector, argues that Keystone XL would provide security because it would diversify the U.S. energy mix.
EPRF argues Keystone XL is an "essential piece" of the petroleum infrastructure given rising production expectations from oil formations in North Dakota and Canada.
The report said a diverse energy market is one that's secure. Without Keystone XL, the report finds, Canadian shippers will simply look for another market to send their oil, leaving the United States short on Alberta crude.
"Without Keystone XL or alternative transportation capacity solutions, Canadian producers and government authorities may view full reliance on the U.S. market as too risky and seek alternative destinations," the report stated.