Valero Poised to Export Keystone XL Crude Tax-Free

Valero Energy Corporation, a top U.S. refiner and one of the main backers of the failed effort to kill California’s climate laws, is poised to produce Keystone XL tar sands fuel for tax-free export to foreign markets. “The company that appears positioned to receive and refine more of TransCanada’s crude than anyone else is the Valero Energy Corporation,” DeSmogBlog reports:

Valero is publicly “dedicated” to the Keystone XL project, and their 310,000 barrels per day Port Arthur, Texas refinery would receive the Alberta-born crude. Valero has invested heavily to upgrade the Port Arthur plant to handle “heavy” “sour” crude (a.k.a. tar sands DilBit) for the past few years, anticipating the pipeline’s completion.

“The nation’s top refiner has locked in at least 20 percent of the pipeline’s capacity,” Oil Change International found, “and, because its refinery in Port Arthur is within a Foreign Trade Zone, the company will accomplish its export strategy tax free.”

“As far as I know, we’ve never said anything about exporting products to China, nor do we have plans to,” Valero spokesperson Bill Day told Platts EnergyWeek. Day’s statement is technically accurate — the company actually intends to export tar sands products like diesel and jet fuel tax-free to Europe, Mexico, and South America.