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US importing large amount of Russian oil, but Facebook post misstates Keystone XL role – WRAL-TV

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Tampa, Fla. — On social media, Americans are frustrated with rising gasoline prices. Online critics of President Joe Biden have blamed him personally for the price spike, though experts have said that the price increase has more to do with higher demand during the economic recovery following the business shutdowns of the coronavirus pandemic.

One recent Facebook post merged this line of argument with another criticism: Biden was coddling Russia with his energy policies.

The post said, “The imbecile in chief is now importing 800,000 barrels of oil from Russia. Guess how much oil the (Keystone XL pipeline) would have carried from Canada? I will give you a hint. It rhymes with 800,000 barrels.”

After years of acrimony, Biden used the power of the executive branch to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported crude oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with another leg stretching to Gulf Coast refineries. From there, refined petroleum products could be sold either in the U.S. or to foreign buyers.

Oil experts say the post draws a misleading relationship between Russian imports and the Keystone pipeline project.

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The facts behind 800,000 barrels

The most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that in May, the U.S. imported 844,000 barrels per day of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia. That’s almost 10% of all the U.S. imports for that month.

Historically speaking, this is a large amount, setting a new monthly record for Russian oil imports.

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A large reason for the spike in Russian imports is believed to be sanctions the U.S. placed on Venezuela in 2019. Much of what the United States has been importing from Russia is a gooey, semi-refined fuel that the Russians call “mazut” that is similar to the Venezuelan product. Some U.S. plants have specialized systems to refine these fuels, and some oil companies have turned to Russia to keep those factories going in the absence of Venezuelan imports.

As for the canceled Keystone XL pipeline, it would have been able to carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil every day.

Could Keystone XL have saved the U.S. from importing from Russia?

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Experts said that any impact from the Keystone XL pipeline would have been years down the road. Even if all legal obstacles were to disappear, the project would have involved the construction of 1,204 miles of new pipeline in Canada and the United States.

This means the pipeline wouldn’t have solved the immediate problem referred to in the Facebook post.

“There is no justification for comparing oil import levels from Russia to the transportation capacity of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or to suggest that these imports from Russia would have been entirely displaced by crude transported through Keystone XL,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

In addition, “the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t have produced oil — it would have transported oil,” said Severin Borenstein, director of the Energy Institute at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

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In other words, just because Keystone XL might have been able to carry 800,000-plus barrels a day “does not mean that production in Canada would have been 800,000 barrels a day higher than today,” Bordoff said. The pipeline might have simply displaced other types of transportation, such as tanker trucks, that are currently used to carry oil away from Alberta.

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There’s no guarantee that oil producers in Alberta would have sold that theoretical excess production to the U.S.

Finally, the United States produces much of its own oil and could produce more if needed.

In 2020, the most recent full year, the U.S. exported 8.51 million barrels a day of petroleum and imported about 7.86 million, marking the first year since at least 1949 that the U.S. was a net annual petroleum exporter, according to the Energy Information Administration. That same year, the United States produced about 18.4 million barrels of petroleum per day, which is more than its daily consumption of 18.1 million barrels a day.

PolitiFact: Half-true

Our ruling

A Facebook post said the U.S. is “now importing 800,000 barrels of oil from Russia,” but that this could have been prevented if the Keystone XL pipeline hadn’t been canceled.

The amount of oil being imported today from Russia has reached a record level of more than 800,000 barrels a day. That does roughly equal the transport capacity of the Keystone XL pipeline — but it’s not as simple as substituting one source for the other.

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The pipeline would have required years of construction and likely more legal challenges, so it couldn’t have solved today’s demand needs. Even in the future, there would be no certainty that the pipeline could produce a net increase of 800,000 barrels a day, rather than just transporting oil from Canada that is currently being transported some other way. Nor would producers be obligated to sell that entire amount to the U.S.

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We rate the statement Half True.

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Updating Special Ad Audiences for housing, employment, and credit advertisers

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On June 21, 2022 we announced an important settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will change the way we deliver housing ads to people residing in the US. Specifically, we are building into our ads system a method designed to make sure the audience that ends up seeing a housing ad more closely reflects the eligible targeted audience for that ad.

As part of this agreement, we will also be sunsetting Special Ad Audiences, a tool that lets advertisers expand their audiences for ad sets related to housing. We are choosing to sunset this for employment and credit ads as well. In 2019, in addition to eliminating certain targeting options for housing, employment and credit ads, we introduced Special Ad Audiences as an alternative to Lookalike Audiences. But the field of fairness in machine learning is a dynamic and evolving one, and Special Ad Audiences was an early way to address concerns. Now, our focus will move to new approaches to improve fairness, including the method previously announced.

What’s happening: We’re removing the ability to create Special Ad Audiences via Ads Manager beginning on August 25, 2022.

Beginning October 12th, 2022, we will pause any remaining ad sets that contain Special Ad Audiences. These ad sets may be restarted once advertisers have removed any and all Special Ad Audiences from those ad sets. We are providing a two month window between preventing new Special Ad Audiences and pausing existing Special Ad Audiences to enable advertisers the time to adjust budgets and strategies as needed.

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For more details, please visit our Newsroom post.

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Impact to Advertisers using Marketing API on September 13, 2022

For advertisers and partners using the API listed below, the blocking of new Special Ad Audience creation will present a breaking change on all versions. Beginning August 15, 2022, developers can start to implement the code changes, and will have until September 13, 2022, when the non-versioning change occurs and prior values are deprecated. Refer below to the list of impacted endpoints related to this deprecation:

For reading audience:

  • endpoint gr:get:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field operation_status

For adset creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/adsets
  • field subtype

For adset editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdCampaign
  • field subtype

For custom audience creation:

  • endpoint gr:post:AdAccount/customaudiences
  • field subtype

For custom audience editing:

  • endpoint gr:post:CustomAudience

Please refer to the developer documentation for further details to support code implementation.

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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We’re having trouble playing this video.

The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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