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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Washington Post Falls For Left-Wing Fraud, Embarrasses Itself -- By John Hinderaker, PowerLine

Today’s Washington Post features an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin headlined, “The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.” The article was based on a newly-issued two-page report by the far-left International Forum on Globalization. The Post reported:
You might expect the biggest lease owner in Canada’s oil sands, or tar sands, to be one of the international oil giants, like Exxon Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell. But that isn’t the case. The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.
Actually, nearly all of the tar sands leaseholders are smaller companies that you haven’t heard of–dozens, if not hundreds of them. Koch is not, in fact, the largest leaseholder, but hold that thought.
The Koch Industries subsidiary holds leases on 1.1 million acres — an area nearly the size of Delaware — in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, according to an activist group that studied Alberta provincial records. The Post confirmed the group’s findings with Alberta Energy, the provincial government’s ministry of energy. Separately, industry sources familiar with oil sands leases said Koch’s lease holdings could be closer to two million acres.The company with the next biggest collection of oil sands leases is Conoco Phillips.
This is sheer misinformation, based on a ridiculous chart that IFG included in its report. IFG compared Koch’s ostensible holdings with those of three American oil companies, none of which is a major tar sands player:

Acreage_Koch
The IFG folks apparently were too lazy to check on any other companies’ leaseholds, and the Post reporters obviously don’t understand that the big oil companies (Koch is not a big oil company) are not the biggest players in Alberta. I spent a few minutes on the Province of Alberta site that is IFG’s source. This map shows Koch’s leaseholds, which are tan colored:

Koch
This map shows the leaseholds of Canadian Natural Resources, Ltd., which are obviously much more extensive. Probably there are other companies that also have more acres under lease than Koch, if anyone has the time to spend on the Alberta web site:

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
So the fundamental point of the Post story, which relied uncritically on a goofball far-left report, is dead wrong. Moreover, the Post story itself acknowledges that the tar sands encompass 35 million acres, so Koch’s 1.1 million comprise less than 3% of the total. The whole point of this exercise is to make the Keystone Pipeline all about Koch, and that premise is implausible from the start.

But there is much more. The Post more or less endorses IFG’s theory that the Keystone pipeline somehow would benefit Koch, even though the Post notes that there is zero evidence to that effect:
Koch’s oil production in northern Alberta is “negligible,” according to industry sources and quarterly publications of the provincial government. Moreover, Koch has not reserved any space in the Keystone XL pipeline, a process that usually takes place before a pipeline is built. The pipeline also does not run anywhere near Koch’s refining facilities. And TransCanada, owner of the Keystone routes, says Koch is not expected to be one of the pipeline’s customers.
Given those facts, why is the Post indulging the left-wing fantasy that the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch? I would add this, from Wikipedia: the Athabasca Oil Sands planned production through 2024. Koch isn’t even on the list. Zero. Nada:

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