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Keystone XL pipeline protests

Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

"Keystone XL pipeline - to carry Tar Sands bitumen from Alberta to Texas"

Media reports in Rabble> http://rabble.ca/multimedia/2011/09/hundreds-sit-protest-keystone-pipeline

and from Calgary, photos to show the oilmen that police are on their side >

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Gallery+Police+arrest+protestors+anti+...

Protests in Washington and Ottawa > http://www.greenconduct.com/news/2011/09/25/keystone-xl-tar-sands-pipeli...

Protesters have been arrested by the 100s in Washington, and some in Ottawa.

The pipeline will carry dirty bitumen from Ft. Mac to Texas, where special refineries are equiped to turn it into gasoline.

That line will cross the Ogallala aquifer, the largest underground water supply in the USA. A spill might ruin that water.

 

Trans Canada Pipelines is the Canadian company that will build the pipeline if it goes ahead. They contend that the route over the Ogallala aquifer is the safest route.

On THAT point, some oddities are popping up, such as "expert testimony" by hydrologists. {note, there are many points to be made, this is the one inside thing I know of and it is all I can do today}

To Wit:

Safest Route?

The Trans Canada Pipeline's ["TCPL"] own webpage titled "Keystone XL Route Through Nebraska Safest Choice" > http://www.transcanada.com/5859.html references Jim Goeke [University of Nebraska hydrologist]:


   "one of the leading hydrogeologists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jim Goeke said in a recent Nebraska TV interview that the aquifer would not be at risk if there was a leak in Keystone XL."

 

   In TV interviews done in response to protests over the XL line, a TCPL spokesperson claims that "this is the safest route" [the one that crosses that aquifer].

However, a little searching [by me] found this quote from Jim Goeke in 2010:

"... several groundwater and geology experts expressed concerns about running a large oil pipeline through an area that includes the Ogallala aquifer.

"There are states that would kill for this [aqufier]" University of Nebraska research hydrogeologist Jim Goeke said of the aquifer. "People are right to not want to mess this up."

"Goeke told lawmakers that there would be a good chance of oil reaching groundwater in the event of a leak in the Sandhills."

- end quote -

So there he is, saying two different things... "no risk", "risk".


     Furthermore, TCPL's defence of this route cites the fact that many oil rigs and pipelines are allready there, over the aquifer. Does that make it right? Hardly!!


    And, that "90% of the farmers in the area have signed on", as if they have the aquifer's health in mind rather than the $ they will get from TCPL for running pipe on their land.

 

The debate goes on - to build the pipeline or use our remaining time before the shit hits the fan to reduce our use of fossil fuels with renewable energy and alternative energy to fossil fuels.

 


Comments

Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007


  The Tar Sands expansion is not just about climate change - in fact the activists getting arrested in Washington and Ottawa recently have it a bit wrong on that front because tar sands isn't really contributing that much more to climate change as compared to conventional crude oil, the difference is a drop in the bucket really.

    As a humanist, one of the worst things about the Tar Sands is the extraordinary cancer rate in the native communities just a few miles downstream of the Fort MacMurray tar sands. Its real, its proven, it is getting worse every year.

   On that note, its the toxins in Tar Sands that are what is worst about bitumen. There is a lot more toxins in tar sands crude oil [bitumen] than in conventional crude oil.

   The issue that really could stop expansion of the Tar Sands in Alberta is water. Getting the tar out of the sand takes a lot of steam, which comes from using natural gas to heat Athabasca River water. Without permits to draw even more water from that shallow beauty running from the Rocky Mountains - the headwaters precisely at Mt. Athabasca, 10,200 feet up there [I have been on top of it!] - to the Arctic Ocean, the tar sands cannot expand. Allready the water draws are depleting the river, especially in winter at lowest flow, beyond it's capacity to hold enough oxygen to sustain fish and other aquatic life. Taking more water would be commiting "fish-o-cide".

    The second more tenuous factor in tar sands expansion is the energy used, in the form of natural gas. Fully one third of Alberta's total natural gas production goes to the tar sands to make steam. That nice clean fuel, natural gas, could be used instead of coal to make electricity, or even to run vehicles. Activists could hammer away at that point to halt expansion - as natural gas supplies dwindle in Alberta over the next 20 years of planned tar sands expansions and continued operations, would they actually start importing natural gas to keep the tar sands going? It WILL get to that point... Proven natural gas deposits are only going to last for the next 15 years at the current rate.

   Water, natural gas, CO2 emissions, cancer causing toxins - what else is wrong with the Tar Sands? Moving the bitumen, thats what.

   The pipeline needed to carry the projected increases in bitumen produced at the Tar Sands will be called the Keystone XL, and it will cross over the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska. One good spill from the pipeline could contaminate much of the aquifer. The aquifer is an underground lake, and it is HUGE, supplying drinking water and agricultural irrigation for America's breadbasket states. If a spill contaminates the aquifer, hungry and thirsty Americans will wish they never let the Keystone XL pipeline be built.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

But the US State Department said the pipeline is safe! They wouldn't lie to us now, would they? Wink


Buddy Kat
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Joined: Sep 21 2006

 

 

For a country that is so scared and petrified of terrorism ....you have to wonder why they would create thousands of miles of terror targets , placing hundreds of community's at risk and not to mention the most valuable asset ..their aquifer. Anything for a buck and human life is expendable .....utterly sickening!

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0eQgUpkJ1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8LD5Q8ecc

 


Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

Another idea has been raised about the Keystone XL line - it will "export jobs to the USA". Alternatively, the refineries for Tar Sands bitumen should be built in Canada so we get that added value benefit.

Of course, I would rather see the Tar Sands limited to it's present size - plans are to expand FIVE TIMES what it is now.

Limiting the water use and natural gas use at the Tar Sands would keep it as it is;

   * They are sucking the Athabasca River dry, especially in winter... water levels so low that O2 is not plentifull, and aquatic life is dying in winter now. Imagine five times the impact!!

   * How is it a good thing to burn up ONE-THIRD of Alberta's natural gas production for Tar Sands operations? - that is what is happening now.

 

  I read a rumour, not sure if true: "If expansion goes ahead, one of the WORLDS LARGEST DAMs will be at Fort MacMurray - it will be holding back the tailings ponds."

  Maybe it is true... the tailings ponds are allready huge [deSmogBlog quote] -

"The toxic tailing lakes are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world. The toxic lakes in Northern Alberta span 50 square kilometers and can be seen from space.

A 2003 report concluded that "an accident related to the failure of one of the oil sands tailings ponds could have catastrophic impact in the aquatic ecosystem of the Mackenzie River Basin due to the size of these lakes and their proximity to the Athabasca River."

 

 

 

 

 


Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

Statement by the Environmental Defense Fund on the Protests in Ottawa and Washington:

 
http://environmentaldefence.ca/blog/line-in-sands

A Line in the Sands

If you stroll by Parliament Hill today, or turn on the news, you're likely to see a large group of people protesting the tar sands. Some of these people are also likely to get arrested in an act of non-violent civil disobedience. This follows a similar protest last month in Washington, D.C., where more than 1,200 people were arrested in opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

The acts of civil disobedience have been called for by author Bill McKibben, NASA scientist James Hansen and David Suzuki. These people have tired of the warnings of climate scientists going unheeded as ever more fossil fuel projects get approved instead of decision-makers making the necessary and rapid transition to clean, renewable energy.

In Canada, the flashpoint for the protests is the tar sands. The tar sands represent the largest pool of carbon on the continent, one that both the oil companies and the Alberta and Canadian governments appear intent on digging up and putting into an atmosphere that can't take anymore if we humans are to prosper.

At its core, the tar sands issue is a very simple one: A big belligerent industry is refusing to pay for the cleanup of its own pollution. And the industry's enablers in government are siding with this vested interest over the public interest. If the tar sands companies were smart, they'd stop digging in their heels. Stop denying the inevitable. In a world being warmed by their pollution, with entire island states about to wink out of existence, the pollution from the tar sands is only going to loom larger and larger on the horizon. And the public's anger at the lack of progress in reversing this shameful state of affairs is only going to deepen. Other countries are starting to figure things out. Why can't we?

So, over the coming days, look to see who is being called a "radical" and whether the label is being applied to the right party. In the face of the scientific evidence, it is in fact "radical" to propose burning more fossil fuels instead of pursuing the abundant renewable energy projects available to us. Remember that our children will be the ultimate arbiters of this debate, both writing the history books and living with the consequences of our actions. Even today, it's not hard to see how they will judge things.

Environmental Defence will continue to work through legal means to make our contribution to replacing fossil fuels with clean energy, with as much urgency as we can bring to bear.

 


Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

Another problem with the Keystone XL line is the blatant "Corporate-Government collusion".

Government is supposed to be there, for one thing, to balance the needs of industry against the public good.

Keystone XL proceedings appears to be "Trans Canada Pipelines {TCPL} telling government what to do", and "the US government helping TCPL get the approval for the pipeline"

We know it goes on all the time, but that is no reason to let it go on without resistance, and examples this blatant might get some smart [green] lawyers to declare the whole permit hearings invalid.

 

 Quote from > http://www.foe.org/internal-state-department-documents-raise-concerns-ne...

 

"We have obtained documents {link above!} from the State Department in response to our Freedom of Information Act request that provide evidence of agency bias and indicate the State Department was doing favors for TransCanada during the Keystone XL review.

The documents are particularly troubling in light of the fact that Secretary of State Clinton said in 2010, before an environmental review was complete, that she was "inclined" to approve the pipeline. Indications of State Department bias and assistance to pipeline backers were also contained in documents obtained via WikiLeaks, and reported on by the Los Angeles Times in July 2011.

Friends of the Earth, the Center for International Environmental Law and Corporate Ethics International, all represented by Earthjustice, sued the State Department in May after the department failed to respond to our FOIA request filed in December 2010 and rejected multiple administrative appeals in early 2011. The State Department has finally begun releasing communications between department staff and Paul Elliott, TransCanada’s lobbyist who was previously a high-ranking aide on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign."

 


Then TODAY -

http://www.opednews.com/Quicklink/State-Department-Keystone-in-General_N...

State Department Keystone XL Hearings Run By TransCanada Contractor


In a stunning conflict of interest, public hearings on federal approval for a proposed tar sands pipeline are being run by a contractor for the pipeline company itself. The U.S. Department of State's public hearings along the proposed route of the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline this week are under the purview of Cardno Entrix, a 'professional environmental consulting company' that specializes in 'permitting and compliance.'

Cardno is not only running the State Department hearings, but also manages the department's Keystone XL website and drafted the department's environmental impact statement.

Comments from the public about the pipeline go not to the government, but to a cardno.com email

 

---Cardno website - statement about TCPL proposed XL pipeline:


http://www.entrix.com/projects/detail/keystone_XL_Oil%20Pipeline


Summary:
TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (Keystone) has applied to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for a Presidential Permit authorizing the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities at the border of the United States for the importation of petroleum from a foreign country.

Keystone contracted with Cardno ENTRIX as the third-party contractor to assist DOS in preparing the EIS and to conduct the Section 106 consultation process. 

 


Buddy Kat
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Joined: Sep 21 2006

I already heard Harper referring to the demonstrators as extremists...  the only extremests in the news lately have been the right wing ones , so I can see how the guilt of being responsible for creating murdering right wing extremist groups created by the  right wing poliitical and media tycoons can get to them.    To take it out on people who are concerned about the environment is a mistake and is not drawing a line in the sand but actually throwing the first punch....yep name calling is all the right can do and the word radical will be next ..followed by insrugent ..then militant...then  terrorist..etc 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0eQgUpkJ1Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8LD5Q8ecc


Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

Buddy - Yes, the PM is a hypocrit - Right wing extremists are much more dangerous that environmentalists for sure!!

 It is a typical RW tactic - attack your opponents with name calling instead of discussing the issues.

 -------

  One of the arguments against the Keystone XL line is that it will "export jobs from Canada to the USA"; it is suggested that we refine the tar sands bitumen in Canada, Alberta specifically, instead of exporting the raw material for processing in the USA [along the same lines as the exports of whole trees instead of lumber sawn by Canadian mills]. Ex Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed is one of those suggesting it, so the idea does have some credibility.

  However, I don't think so - building new refineries will do nothing to reduce our use of fossil fuels, or to reduce CO2 emissions.

   [I am more inclined to begin shutting down the most polluting fossil fuel extraction and refining operations and replacing them with renewable energy solutions, in an attempt to reduce fossil fuel use and the CO2 emissions from that source of energy]

  But about refining bitumen [tar sands crude] - the economics of it just don't add up... I got an explanation of that from "the CEO I know", copied here in case anyone is interested:


  From "the CEO I know" -

   The question "why not upgrade everything in Canada" is a good one. And the answer is complex.

 

1. There is surplus oil refining capacity in North America, but its not located in AB or anywhere else in Canada. Alberta's historic export market, the Chicago region, is oversupplied with Alberta heavy oil. There is spare pipeline capacity to Chicago (due to Enbridge overbuilding), but no capacity to refine more barrels in the Chicago region.

So there are two options: build crude lines to the Gulf Coast, where there is between 4 and 8 million bopd of accessible refining capacity (depending on crude type); or, build a new refinery in Canada and export motor fuels to USA. Other options, such as shutting down oilsands activity or building very expensive pipelines to Kitimat/Asia are not really on the table right now.

Because they have excess refining capacity the Houston refiners cannot charge as much as they'd like to refine a barrel into gasoline or diesel. They can cover their operating costs and earn a small return on historic investment, but they cannot charge enough to earn a return on the much larger investment required to build a new refinery.

The cost comparison is very clear: it costs several times as much per barrel to build and operate a new AB refinery, compared to expanding (or even just using) an existing, heavily depreciated refinery near Houston. And, its much cheaper to transport crude oil to a distant refinery than shipping gasoline or diesel to end markets.

Refining margins and rates of return are lousy right now, simply because we have more refining capacity than we need in North Am (demand has stopped growing due to high gasoline prices, and refiners continue to tweak their plants, improve efficiencies and get slightly more capacity from existing units). The economics are not there to build new refineries. The economics of major expansion are shaky. About the only thing that works is running discounted barrels from an oversupplied region (AB) thru a refinery with spare capacity and strong demand (ie in Houston). The difference is at least $10 per barrel, and as much as $25 per barrel in some cases. Its no contest.

 

2. Some say, why be so cautious, why not insist that anyone wanting Alberta barrels must refine them in Alberta? (ie the Peter Lougheed approach).

There are two problems with this. First, the oil production and refining business is the world's largest business. It is global, and capital flows to the best opportunities. Producing bitumen in AB and refining it in Houston ranks well. But producing and refining that bitumen in AB does not. So if you force producers to refine in AB, you will kill new production projects. Alberta is a significant oil producer, but even with plans to double production to 5 million bopd we will only be about 5% of the global market. We cannot tell the market what to do.

And if the AB govt subsidizes a new refining project, it will forever be "high on the cost curve" - a weak competitor in a very competitive game.

Its never wise for govt to force industry to do something that doesn't make competitive sense. And its even worse to subsidize industry to "lure them into it".

 

3. The CO2 Issue: by refining the barrels in Houston we avoid the uncertainty of Canadian greenhouse gas policy. That is goofy, I know. And placing the burden of GHG reduction on oil producers and refiners is also goofy (motorists emit 85% of the CO2 from each barrel). These are goofy times, and avoiding CO2 risk is wise. So, run those barrels thru existing refineries and minimize CO2 emissions in AB. We are already moving to mothball billions of dollars worth of good power plants simply to meet questionable CO2 targets. If we can't run those plants to normal end of life, why would we build new refineries that bring additional CO2 risks?

 

4. Overheated Labour: its baffling that AB unions want more work in AB, when we are already importing foreign workers to do existing projects. The social problems, high costs, environmental impacts, clogged roads and poor productivity are outcomes we don't need.

One principle ought to drive public policy and economic decision making: "Let the market decide". Market forces tell us to produce more oil in North America (oil prices are high). Market forces tell us to ship that oil thru large pipelines (low cost), refine that oil in existing refineries with spare capacity (low cost), and sell that oil in high-demand markets (where refined product prices are high).

 

--------------------

The mind of a corporatist at work is an interesting thing, but how can you argue against them when they drag the debate into the arena of economics, of which they have a Masters Degree {MBA} in?

Note that he employs that tired old and worn mantra of capitalism "let the markets decide".

It is probably in "the bigger picture" where their arguments eventually fall short, since they are so utterly locked into capitalist economic theory that they cannot think outside that box.

{I suggested to him that we change the economic model as a way to save the planet from runaway global warming, but there has been no time for a reply yet - if you want to know how he answers it I will post it here.}

 


Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

Two unexpected occurances:

 - the Keystone XL pipeline was not given the rubber stamp by the White House, it has been delayed until at least 2013 to explore alternate routes around the Ogallala aquifer

 - and 2nd, I didn't start a new thread on this news!!

 

  So there are two good things on an otherwise dreary cold and wet BC winters day. This decision is going to cost Alberta a lot, and TransCanada pipeline corp. a lot more.

 

  On the other hand, there is a sudden panic about getting the tar sands bitumen flowing to the BC coast to go to the Asian market. The preferred route has allready been turned down, mostly due to First Nations resistance to it.

  There is an existing pipeline - going from southern Alberta to Vancouver along Hwy 3 - but it isnt big enough and it cannot carry bitumen, which has to have solvents added to it, and it has to be heated over the entire distance to get it to flow. Benzene is one of those solvents... a very carcinogenic substance that will evaporate if the pipe ruptures, benzene cannot be contained except under perfect conditions and so everyone along the route has that threat hanging under them [in the ground].

  They will use the excuse that "the line is allready there"but it isn't nearly that simple. A new line will be laid, and the oil tanker traffic will increase 10 times on the west coast of BC, and there will be a huge storage facility built near the port at Vancouver.

  We will have to continue to protest and defeat these plans, just as we have TWICE now. Occupy your dirtiest sources of energy!!

 

---ps - new markets essential for expansion plans:

  The new markets for tar sands bitumen are very important for tar sands expansion plans. Much of the investment money for expansion, and some of the work, has allready been done, so there will be money lost if it doesn't happen.

  HA!! The world is changing, and they are unable to accept it. Tar Sands expansion is a bad idea - the water and natural gas used now is beyond the limits of reason, more would be outrageous. The tailings ponds sit beside the Athabasca river, and one day it will all flood and it will all be washed downstream, but just sitting there as it is - a huge open sore on the boreal face of mother earth.

 ETC., you don't want me to say all that is wrong with the tar sands, not again.

 

--money lost today:

  TransCanada Pipelines corporation complains that "if they had even given us a hint that this route could be rejected we would not have proceeded this far". TransCanada has spent over 1 Billion dollars on land leases and planning and engineering and preparation work, lawyers, etc.

  I say HA!! Gee, you didn't see any resistance coming eh? You boldly went ahead with it before getting final approvals. Too bad about the Billion Dollars, and the $4 per share drop, but you just don't get it - Tar Sands is dirty stuff, nobody wants it, the world has to move away from fossil fuels and obviously we would move away from the dirtiest of fossil fuels first, and that is the tar sands crude crude oil.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Let nobody be fooled that the U.S. administration is having second thoughts about the pipeline. Obomba simply wants to delay the announcement of his approval until after the 2012 election.

He's got the speech all typed up. If he doesn't get to read it, his Republican successor will.

ETA: Naomi Klein is calling this a big victory. She's wrong.


Policywonk
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Joined: Feb 6 2005

Noah_Scape wrote:

Buddy - Yes, the PM is a hypocrit - Right wing extremists are much more dangerous that environmentalists for sure!!

 It is a typical RW tactic - attack your opponents with name calling instead of discussing the issues.

 -------

  One of the arguments against the Keystone XL line is that it will "export jobs from Canada to the USA"; it is suggested that we refine the tar sands bitumen in Canada, Alberta specifically, instead of exporting the raw material for processing in the USA [along the same lines as the exports of whole trees instead of lumber sawn by Canadian mills]. Ex Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed is one of those suggesting it, so the idea does have some credibility.

  However, I don't think so - building new refineries will do nothing to reduce our use of fossil fuels, or to reduce CO2 emissions.

   [I am more inclined to begin shutting down the most polluting fossil fuel extraction and refining operations and replacing them with renewable energy solutions, in an attempt to reduce fossil fuel use and the CO2 emissions from that source of energy]

  But about refining bitumen [tar sands crude] - the economics of it just don't add up... I got an explanation of that from "the CEO I know", copied here in case anyone is interested:


  From "the CEO I know" -

   The question "why not upgrade everything in Canada" is a good one. And the answer is complex.

 

1. There is surplus oil refining capacity in North America, but its not located in AB or anywhere else in Canada. Alberta's historic export market, the Chicago region, is oversupplied with Alberta heavy oil. There is spare pipeline capacity to Chicago (due to Enbridge overbuilding), but no capacity to refine more barrels in the Chicago region.

So there are two options: build crude lines to the Gulf Coast, where there is between 4 and 8 million bopd of accessible refining capacity (depending on crude type); or, build a new refinery in Canada and export motor fuels to USA. Other options, such as shutting down oilsands activity or building very expensive pipelines to Kitimat/Asia are not really on the table right now.

Because they have excess refining capacity the Houston refiners cannot charge as much as they'd like to refine a barrel into gasoline or diesel. They can cover their operating costs and earn a small return on historic investment, but they cannot charge enough to earn a return on the much larger investment required to build a new refinery.

The cost comparison is very clear: it costs several times as much per barrel to build and operate a new AB refinery, compared to expanding (or even just using) an existing, heavily depreciated refinery near Houston. And, its much cheaper to transport crude oil to a distant refinery than shipping gasoline or diesel to end markets.

Refining margins and rates of return are lousy right now, simply because we have more refining capacity than we need in North Am (demand has stopped growing due to high gasoline prices, and refiners continue to tweak their plants, improve efficiencies and get slightly more capacity from existing units). The economics are not there to build new refineries. The economics of major expansion are shaky. About the only thing that works is running discounted barrels from an oversupplied region (AB) thru a refinery with spare capacity and strong demand (ie in Houston). The difference is at least $10 per barrel, and as much as $25 per barrel in some cases. Its no contest.

 

2. Some say, why be so cautious, why not insist that anyone wanting Alberta barrels must refine them in Alberta? (ie the Peter Lougheed approach).

There are two problems with this. First, the oil production and refining business is the world's largest business. It is global, and capital flows to the best opportunities. Producing bitumen in AB and refining it in Houston ranks well. But producing and refining that bitumen in AB does not. So if you force producers to refine in AB, you will kill new production projects. Alberta is a significant oil producer, but even with plans to double production to 5 million bopd we will only be about 5% of the global market. We cannot tell the market what to do.

And if the AB govt subsidizes a new refining project, it will forever be "high on the cost curve" - a weak competitor in a very competitive game.

Its never wise for govt to force industry to do something that doesn't make competitive sense. And its even worse to subsidize industry to "lure them into it".

 

3. The CO2 Issue: by refining the barrels in Houston we avoid the uncertainty of Canadian greenhouse gas policy. That is goofy, I know. And placing the burden of GHG reduction on oil producers and refiners is also goofy (motorists emit 85% of the CO2 from each barrel). These are goofy times, and avoiding CO2 risk is wise. So, run those barrels thru existing refineries and minimize CO2 emissions in AB. We are already moving to mothball billions of dollars worth of good power plants simply to meet questionable CO2 targets. If we can't run those plants to normal end of life, why would we build new refineries that bring additional CO2 risks?

 

4. Overheated Labour: its baffling that AB unions want more work in AB, when we are already importing foreign workers to do existing projects. The social problems, high costs, environmental impacts, clogged roads and poor productivity are outcomes we don't need.

One principle ought to drive public policy and economic decision making: "Let the market decide". Market forces tell us to produce more oil in North America (oil prices are high). Market forces tell us to ship that oil thru large pipelines (low cost), refine that oil in existing refineries with spare capacity (low cost), and sell that oil in high-demand markets (where refined product prices are high).

 

--------------------

The mind of a corporatist at work is an interesting thing, but how can you argue against them when they drag the debate into the arena of economics, of which they have a Masters Degree {MBA} in?

Note that he employs that tired old and worn mantra of capitalism "let the markets decide".

It is probably in "the bigger picture" where their arguments eventually fall short, since they are so utterly locked into capitalist economic theory that they cannot think outside that box.

{I suggested to him that we change the economic model as a way to save the planet from runaway global warming, but there has been no time for a reply yet - if you want to know how he answers it I will post it here.}

I think you miss one major point about requiring the bitumen to be processed in Canada; that it will slow down development. And of course delaying the Keystone XL and stopping other options for export of raw bitumen will also tend to slow down development of the tar sands.

Also an MBA is not exactly a masters in economics (not that a masters in economics is that useful in looking at the real world either).


Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
The Tar Patch is already focusing on pipelines to the Pacific, and have said that is their next move. I wonder if the aboriginal concern for the natural world will hold up in the face of the $ millions coming their way. B.C. has already offered to split the profits on a LNG (liquid natural gas)port project up Kitimat way, and the offer - going outside treaty negotiations - has been accepted by First Nations people there, with alacrity. Maybe Tar Patch sludge projects would not be so readily taken up? Perhaps someone here has wording of the exact agreement?

Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Q: could the Canadian government, the Alberta government, or TransCanada launch a NAFTA challenge to the US citing impeded access to the American market as a result of Keystone XL being delayed?


voice of the damned
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Joined: Sep 23 2004

Boom Boom wrote:

Q: could the Canadian government, the Alberta government, or TransCanada launch a NAFTA challenge to the US citing impeded access to the American market as a result of Keystone XL being delayed?

Good question. I wouldn't think that trade-agreements usually require the participating countries to allow the building of facilitating infrastructure.

Otherwise, and yes this is a wacky hypothetical, let's say TransCanada calculated that, for optimum efficiency, their pipeline needed to go up Mount Rushmore and into Lincoln's nostrils. I assume that the American government could veto that, without running afoul of NAFTA.  

 

 


Policywonk
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Joined: Feb 6 2005

voice of the damned wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

Q: could the Canadian government, the Alberta government, or TransCanada launch a NAFTA challenge to the US citing impeded access to the American market as a result of Keystone XL being delayed?

Good question. I wouldn't think that trade-agreements usually require the participating countries to allow the building of facilitating infrastructure.

Otherwise, and yes this is a wacky hypothetical, let's say TransCanada calculated that, for optimum efficiency, their pipeline needed to go up Mount Rushmore and into Lincoln's nostrils. I assume that the American government could veto that, without running afoul of NAFTA.  

Given the unbalanced nature of NAFTA, I don't know if a Chapter 11 suit could be launched against the American government.


Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
Policywonk wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

Q: could the Canadian government, the Alberta government, or TransCanada launch a NAFTA challenge to the US citing impeded access to the American market as a result of Keystone XL being delayed?

Good question. I wouldn't think that trade-agreements usually require the participating countries to allow the building of facilitating infrastructure.

Otherwise, and yes this is a wacky hypothetical, let's say TransCanada calculated that, for optimum efficiency, their pipeline needed to go up Mount Rushmore and into Lincoln's nostrils. I assume that the American government could veto that, without running afoul of NAFTA.  

Given the unbalanced nature of NAFTA, I don't know if a Chapter 11 suit could be launched against the American government.

You must all recall how much Canada had to pay out to satisfy American producers of wood products? It's only a matter of claiming unfairness to American producers of anything and having a Congress singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic in the next breath. But surely this outcome is "good", environmentally? The Canadian Tarpatch,damned by American environmentalists, IS UNTENABLE? Or are you asking, Boomer, out of hope that no challenge is possible? :)

Boom Boom
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I was asking the question because I faintly recall the US have gotten concessions out of us using NAFTA, and thought we should return the favour. Maybe that would bury NAFTA forever if we used it successfully against them? Laughing

However, my priority wish would be for the tar sands to be shut down forever and permanently - or at the very least, downsized and fiercely regulated with regard to safe environmental principles; and then regulated some more. With the end objective of making investment in the tar sands untenable from a profit point of view.

I am seriously worried about an increase in pipelines through BC and more tanker traffic on the BC coast, though.

I suspect Harper, when he meets Obama this week, will blackmail the US president into approving XL by using increased tanker traffic on the West Coast as leverage. The bastard knows no bounds. Yell


1springgarden
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Why is the Canadian government itself so bent out of shape over this US roadblock to this TransCanada Pipelines corporate-owned pipeline? See Nov 12 Globe and Mail: "Flaherty talks tough on pipeline delay" Also, the oil itself is privately owned so extracting and shipping more oil primarily benefits the oil corporations who own this privatized resource.  Why the need to expand Alberta oil production and trans-shipment capacity?  Why not leave the extra capacity in the ground?  Is Alberta's labour-market not hot enough as is?  Can the Alberta environment withstand the higher production that this pipeline will demand?

It seems to me the benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline will flow to TransCanada Pipeline and Exxon, Suncor shareholders and that most Canadians don't stand to benefit at all from Keystone XL.  So is this the Harper government for and by the oilpatch corporations?  Looks like it to me.  Or explain how Canadians' interests are being impinged by this roadblock of the Keystone XL pipeline and where the protest is.


Unionist
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1springgarden wrote:

 So is this the Harper government for and by the oilpatch corporations?  Looks like it to me.

Could be.

Quote:
Or explain how Canadians' interests are being impinged by this roadblock of the Keystone XL pipeline and where the protest is.

Can't.


M. Spector
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I'm pretty sure Harper has already got the message that Naomi Klein and others have failed to get: That the pipeline will be approved, but not a day before the November 6, 2012 presidential election.


Gaian
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1springgarden wrote:

Why is the Canadian government itself so bent out of shape over this US roadblock to this TransCanada Pipelines corporate-owned pipeline? See Nov 12 Globe and Mail: "Flaherty talks tough on pipeline delay" Also, the oil itself is privately owned so extracting and shipping more oil primarily benefits the oil corporations who own this privatized resource.  Why the need to expand Alberta oil production and trans-shipment capacity?  Why not leave the extra capacity in the ground?  Is Alberta's labour-market not hot enough as is?  Can the Alberta environment withstand the higher production that this pipeline will demand?

It seems to me the benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline will flow to TransCanada Pipeline and Exxon, Suncor shareholders and that most Canadians don't stand to benefit at all from Keystone XL.  So is this the Harper government for and by the oilpatch corporations?  Looks like it to me.  Or explain how Canadians' interests are being impinged by this roadblock of the Keystone XL pipeline and where the protest is.

quote: "Why the need to expand Alberta oil production and trans-shipment capacity? Why not leave the extra capacity in the ground?" That would require the intervention of people in power using your rationale, that we don't need the oil now (and it's disrupting Earth's ecosphere, leading to horrible conditions for the grandkids) - and if we get down to work on alternative power and conservation it might lie there forever. Unfortunately, the people in power, and all the shareholders and dependent pension plan holders, etc. etc. ...a large chunk of unthinking, greedy, ignorant humanity - deny the resultant dangers of mining it. Perhaps when Texas gets too uncomfortable to live in - and their drought this year shows that is very possible - capitalist market principles will be set aside. Pension plans will shun oil...like tobacco -and all pensioners will demand to see a copy of their listed sources of income and Tar Patch capitalism will be tamed. :) But in the meantime, there are people benefitting financially, wherever there is a public stake in the corporation - and there's the pitiful royalties for Alberta. Or does getting that up-close to realities of the market leave one feeling too involved in the process of self-destruction?

Boom Boom
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Breaking news on CBC's P&P:  The State of Nebraska and TransCanada have reached an agreement to alter the course of Keystone XL, and Nebraska has suspended its legislature tomorrow to have a full day of hearings into XL.

 

ETA: surely the American left can see through Obama's posturing - delaying the decision one year?


M. Spector
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Boom Boom wrote:

ETA: surely the American left can see through Obama's posturing - delaying the decision one year?

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

But many of them are too busy declaring "victory" and applauding Obomba and his State Department for "listening" to their concerns.

Fortunately, however, not everyone is bamboozled by ingrained loyalty to the Democratic Party:

Debra White Plum, Oglala Lakota, wrote:
President Obama, in my opinion, has released a statement that is very disappointing. I believe he is playing politics now. A statement to DENY the TransCanada dirty oil pipeline would have demonstrated that he is walking his talk. However, to postpone a decision until after the election next year does put a huge economic price tag on the project that TransCanada may not be willing to pay, thus scuttling their plan, causing them reroute directly out of Canada and staying out of North America. That action by the corporation will just put their weapon of mass destruction into the First Nations communities it must run thru to get to the west coast of Canada. Wherever they plan to run this pipeline, there will be a fight, either here or in Canada. We need to shut down the tarsands oil mine. Then there will no need for a pipeline anywhere. Source

Note the contrast with the other comments on the same page.


Boom Boom
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Excellent post, Spector.


Roscoe
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Joined: Nov 7 2010

Not to worry. I'm sure President Obama realises the necessity of shutting down the eevil unethical dirty tar sands. He has the environmentalists' cause close to his political aspirations, if not his heart.

Considering the implications of the California electoral college, California's even heavier and dirtier oil is not to be mentioned so that both the Obama Administration and the environmental industry can ignore implications of hypocracy.

Relying on ethical middle east oil transported halfway around the world makes much more sense n'est ce pas? Dealing with those friendly, reasonable Iranians who control the Strait of Hormuz is preferable to dealing with pesky Canuckistanians whining about NAFTA and trees.

Just in case though, the wise President has quietly authorised increased offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Bering Sea, Beaufort Sea and that staple of American ethical oil, the shale oils of the Bakken and Colorado.

Celebrate your "Great Victory", tree huggers, the Big O has your back.Laughing

 


Roscoe
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Joined: Nov 7 2010

M. Spector wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

ETA: surely the American left can see through Obama's posturing - delaying the decision one year?

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

But many of them are too busy declaring "victory" and applauding Obomba and his State Department for "listening" to their concerns.

Fortunately, however, not everyone is bamboozled by ingrained loyalty to the Democratic Party:

Debra White Plum, Oglala Lakota, wrote:
President Obama, in my opinion, has released a statement that is very disappointing. I believe he is playing politics now. A statement to DENY the TransCanada dirty oil pipeline would have demonstrated that he is walking his talk. However, to postpone a decision until after the election next year does put a huge economic price tag on the project that TransCanada may not be willing to pay, thus scuttling their plan, causing them reroute directly out of Canada and staying out of North America. That action by the corporation will just put their weapon of mass destruction into the First Nations communities it must run thru to get to the west coast of Canada. Wherever they plan to run this pipeline, there will be a fight, either here or in Canada. We need to shut down the tarsands oil mine. Then there will no need for a pipeline anywhere. Source

Note the contrast with the other comments on the same page.

Steve will throw the chicken farmers under a bus in exchange for the Big O's XL approval after engineering an empty victory for the environmentalists and a re-election for himself.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Roscoe wrote:

Relying on ethical middle east oil transported halfway around the world makes much more sense n'est ce pas? Dealing with those friendly, reasonable Iranians who control the Strait of Hormuz is preferable to dealing with pesky Canuckistanians whining about NAFTA and trees.

Using sarcastic "ethical oil" arguments to support the Keystone XL pipeline?


Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
Roscoe must have had a bad time on The Market, lately. Has to unload his pent-up shit somewhere, I guess. Never did understand what that type has to say to their children about their future, however. Something philosophical about life's a big crapshoot, I suppose. Lovely species.

Roscoe
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Joined: Nov 7 2010

M. Spector wrote:

Roscoe wrote:

Relying on ethical middle east oil transported halfway around the world makes much more sense n'est ce pas? Dealing with those friendly, reasonable Iranians who control the Strait of Hormuz is preferable to dealing with pesky Canuckistanians whining about NAFTA and trees.

Using sarcastic "ethical oil" arguments to support the Keystone XL pipeline?

 

No, using sarcastic "ethical oil" arguments to highlight the geopolitical consequences of spurning Canadian oil.

 

My hopes are that XL isn't built because Canadian producers will have to wean themselves off the American option and invest more in Canadian options including Asian exports, supplying eastern provinces and upgrading in Canada.

 

Won't happen though. XL is a done deal. Obama just pulled the old 'bait and switch' - TCP gets the pipeline, the Americans get the oil and jobs and the protesters get an empty 'victory'.

 

I think you usually have the correct analysis of the situation and, for all your support of the anti tarsands crowd, you are a pretty shrewd operator. How are your stocks doing?


Roscoe
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Joined: Nov 7 2010

Gaian wrote:
Roscoe must have had a bad time on The Market, lately. Has to unload his pent-up shit somewhere, I guess. Never did understand what that type has to say to their children about their future, however. Something philosophical about life's a big crapshoot, I suppose. Lovely species.

Nice to see you back, George.Laughing

Roscoe has had a very good time in the markets lately. Buying good, solid, dividend-paying blue chips with every market downturn. I've been a tree-hugger all my life but even tree huggers need to earn a living. My children appreciated having food to eat every day.

What do you say to your children? Something about saving the planet with environmentally-friendly hovercraft powered by the laughter of children?


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