IFG Report: Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb – Figure 2

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Koch Exacerbating CO2 Emissions

Koch’s potential CO2 emissions from Canadian tar sands could be more than that of Exxon, Chevron, and Conoco combined based on available data on the carbon content of each company’s acreage in Alberta, as reported in IFG’s Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb: the Koch Brothers and the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Washington Post recently confirmed IFG’s claim by quoting a Canadian oil official that Koch has “closer to two million acres” in Canadian tar sands territory, which could contain almost 20B metric tons of CO2. President Obama’s approval of Keystone XL would exacerbate CO2 emissions by intensifying tar sands extraction, whereas the President’s rejection of Keystone XL has the potential to keep tar sands in the ground. Keystone’s rejection could leave Koch with significant “stranded assets” stuck in Canada from which they would then not profit. That’s why Koch is spending so much on the political process to approve the pipeline and cash in on their enormous carbon assets in Alberta.

To take action, please sign the UNITY LETTER against the Keystone XL Pipeline, in partnership with 350.org and other organizations.
Click here to watch an anti-KXL video message from Lakota youth to President Obama.


IFG’s methodology in calculating Koch’s potential CO2 emissions involves a calculation of the recoverable bitumen from tar sands based on each individual company’s acreage in Alberta’s tar sands territories.

Barrels of recoverable bitumen were then converted to metric tons of CO2 emissions. This conversion was done by using the barrel-to-emission equivalence taken from Oil Change International’s report, “Cooking the Books,” which considers the full life-cycle of the oil sands (i.e., emissions during the various stages of production, refining, transportation, and combustion).

When the entire life-cycle is taken into consideration, the emissions intensity of oil sands is 598kgCO2/barrel. 598kgCO2 multiplied by each company’s respective net recoverable bitumen gives the total amount of emissions for each company.

For further calculations used in our methodology, please continue reading the full report here.

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