Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is Why Keystone Was Not Approved-Fiction!

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is Why Keystone Was Not Approved-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), owned by President Obama-backer Warren Buffett, would lose billions of dollars in oil freight if the Keystone XL Pipeline were approved.
The Truth:
This hoax has been circling the Internet in an email that went viral.
The claim that BNSF owns all the railroad lines that connect the United States to western Canada is false. Canadian Pacific Railway operates some 14,000 miles of rail that extend from provinces in western Canada down through the Midwest.

BNSF, meanwhile, operates 32,500 miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces, the company said on its website.

The eRumor’s claim that BNSF transports 80 percent of the oil imported from Canada is mathematically impossible. Berkshire Hathaway, BNSF’s parent company, said in its 2013 annual report that BNSF transports about 500,000 barrels of oil per day. That accounts for about 10 percent of oil produced in the lower 48 states.

The United States imports up to 2.2 million barrels of oil from Canada per day, according to an NPR report in April 2012. BNSF would have to transport 1.76 million barrels of oil per day to account for 80 percent Canadian imports, which is far beyond the company’s capacity.

The eRumor’s claims about the cost of transporting oil by rail vs. pipeline also appear to be incorrect. According to an April 2014 New York Times report, it costs about $5 per barrel to transport oil via pipeline, and $10 to $15 to transport oil via rail.

The claim that President Obama refuses to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline because Buffett stands to lose billions of dollars in oil freight is also false.

Experts have said that a combination of rail and pipeline is needed to handle the volume of oil being transported in the United States. Neither system will have the capacity to transport all the oil. Buffet weighed in on the issue in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune in Mach 2014.

“I think the Keystone pipeline is probably a good idea for the country,” Buffett said.

Buffet added that he wasn’t sure if it would be cheaper to transport millions of barrels of oil by pipeline or rail over the course of 100 years.

The eRumor was correct on one point, however. Buffet has been a longtime supporter of Obama. Buffett has a well-documented history of making campaign contributions and hosting fundraisers, as ABC News reported in 2011.

Posted 04/25/14
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