Posted by Andy on Monday, February 13, 2012.

Keystone: "XL" is pretty apt

We’re in the midst of 24 Hours to Stop Keystone XL, a day-long push by 35+ organizations to send half a million letters to Senators asking them to stop the pipeline. It’s a worthy, urgent cause and we at Brighter Planet will all be sending our letters today.

Naturally we were tinkering with some of the numbers related to Keystone, and one question jumped out at us: Just how much CO2 emissions are represented by the oil in KXL at any given point in time?

To get an answer we used CM1’s Fuel Purchase impact model, feeding in the total volume of the pipeline extensions1, along with the type of oil (in this case, crude). The result:

2.4 million tons CO2e

That’s the GHG emissions represented by the oil that would be inside KXL at any point in time. Here’s the methodology.

“XL” is right.


  1. Wikipedia tells us the radius and length of the two extensions that make up the “XL” part of Keystone. We plugged that into Wolfram Alpha to get the volume.

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