Goolsbee Says U.S. Opponents of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline Are Naive

People in the U.S. opposing TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline are being “naïve,” said Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

“It’s a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don’t build that pipeline,” said Goolsbee, speaking today in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada. “Eventually, it’s going to be built. It may go to the Pacific, it may go through Nebraska, but it’s going to be built somewhere.”

TransCanada and Nebraska announced Nov. 14 they would collaborate on a new path for the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, intended to deliver crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries and ports on the Gulf of Mexico. Opponents said the original path threatened an aquifer under the Nebraska Sandhills that provides drinking water to 1.5 million people.

When asked by Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) Deputy Chairman Frank McKenna whether Canadians are being “screwed” of oil money as a result of the pipeline delay, Goolsbee said he had no “insight” into the matter, and that distribution costs are a major component for oil prices around the world.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Costelloe at

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