-By Kate Sheppard
May 23, 2011- What do the infamous Koch brothers have to do with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which, if approved, would run 1,661 miles from Alberta, Canada to Texas, carrying 900,000 barrels of oil from Canada's tar sands to US refineries? TransCanada has requested permission to build the pipeline, but Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) want more information about how project might also benefit the right-wing financiers and their energy conglomerate, Koch Industries. The pair sent a letter ot Republican leadership on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asking them to formally request more information. This comes in response to an article from SolveClimate that indicated that the Kochs could profit big time if the pipeline is approved.
The lawmakers wrote:
Publicly available information indicates that the company is involved in several aspects of Canadian tar sands development. Koch’s Pine Bend Refinery in Minnesota currently processes roughly 25% of the tar sands fuel imports to the United States. Koch owns Flint Hills Resources, LLP, in Calgary, Canada, which is “among Canada’s largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters.” Flint Hills Resources also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, where the Keystone XL pipeline will begin. According to the Government of Alberta, Koch Industries has both proposed and producing tar sands projects in the province. The Oil Sands Developers Group also indicates that Koch is a tar sands project developer. Koch’s Corpus Christi refinery is positioned near the end of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and would be a potential buyer for the tar sands crude shipped through the pipeline.
When Democratic staff for the Energy and Commerce Committee recently inquired about Koch Industries' connections to the proposed pipeline, however, the company's representatives told them the firm has "no financial interest" in the project. Waxman and Rush want the committee's Republican leadership to formally ask the company to provide any and all documents relating to the pipeline.