State Dept issues final enviro impact statement on Keystone XL Pipeline

tarsandsaction.org

Post by Ryan Maue

Friday evening news dump — in this case, the United States State Department drops a big one and essentially green-lights a “controversial” pipeline project.  The Keystone XL project Final Environmental Impact Statement is not a “decision” on the final construction of the project, but a key hurdle in the process.

“The $13 billion Keystone XL Pipeline cleared a key bureaucratic hurdle on Friday even as environmental groups vowed to continue fighting the project.”  Most of the news is covered everywhere on the web, i.e. MarketWatch

With that state of emergency declared with Hurricane Irene, the organized criminal disobedience syndicate has decided to put their “sit-ins” on hold, and return for an even bigger response next week, or something.

I thought the Obama administration was going to follow science when making its decisions, something the previous administration did not do as we have been told by the liberal media for several years now.  In their August 3 Letter from Scientific Experts to President Obama, the “Who’s Who” of the left-wing climate science establishment argues:

“The tar sands are a huge pool of carbon, but one that does not make sense to exploit.  It takes a lot of energy to extract and refine this resource into useable fuel, and the mining is environmentally destructive.  Adding this on top of conventional fossil fuels will leave our children and grandchildren a climate system with consequences that are out of their control.  It makes no sense to build a pipeline system that would practically guarantee extensive exploitation of this resource.”

The Green movement is apoplectic, including the journalists that peddle their wares.  That’s where I want to focus a later post, on how journalists are “reporting” the news.

About these ads

60 thoughts on “State Dept issues final enviro impact statement on Keystone XL Pipeline

  1. Amazing…

    There seem to be people who think the “evil oil companies” just smack pipelines down willy nilly with no concern about environmental issues or anything.

    $13 BILLION to lay some pipe. If you think that’s all just pipe and labor, then you don’t understand the industry at all.

    And, as always, if it annoys the dedicated, deluded Greens, then I’m all for it.

  2. Yup Ryan, as you predicted in our chat, Friday at 5PM on a day where a hurricane is leading the news and clearing out DC and NYC. Perfect timing.

  3. “Whether to approve this pipeline is the most important environmental decision President Obama will make before the election. If he sides with greedy oil companies instead of people and the climate, he will essentially be urging a huge part of his base to sit out the election.”
    ===============
    If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
    H. L. Mencken

    I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.
    H. L. Mencken

  4. Hillary Rodham Clinton is in charge of the above mentioned Dept. of State, IIRC? Pipe baby pipe!

    Cheers,

    Big Dave

  5. You’d think they would wise up by now. Everybody knows to watch the news wires on Friday night for news the Administration wants to bury. When there is a controversial bill up for a vote you know that it will come on a weekend night. Especially if it’s a holiday or there is a natural disaster in progress.

  6. Given the scale of the available resources and similar deposits worldwide what should we now say about the concept of peak oil ?

  7. Well we all know that the econuts will be trying to sabotage the construction as soon as it starts. Hopefully their EV’s will run down before they close enough to do any damage.

  8. Why is the country with the largest fossil fuel supplies buying “conflict oil” from Arabs?

    Did you know that UT just a few years ago did a study for Canada and built a pilot refinery showing how gasoline and diesel could be produced from coal by a modified “Fischer-Tropsch” process at under $30 a barrel in production.

    And the USA oil sands can be produced with lower emissions than standard oil production.

    And thanks to Bush the Tampa Electric demonstration project for clean coal has shown the way to higher efficiency, cleaner burn coal power plants. The plant is online right now.

    So I ask again, why does the USA buy “conflict oil”???

  9. Stephen Wilde:

    Given the scale of the available resources and similar deposits worldwide what should we now say about the concept of peak oil?

    As I tried pointing out on the other Oilsands thread: Originally development of the Sands was prohibitively expensive. However, after a lengthy stretch with oil prices high, technology has been developed to make Oilsands development cost effective. By inflating the price of oil the OPEC nations have effectively killed their own monopoly and market, and exposed more resources than have even been used yet.

    Peak oil was always a myth, and the believers just keep redefining it. There is more Oil in the Oilsands in Alberta than there ever was in the middle east. It’s now cost effective to bring to market. Technology developed for the Oilsands will be used to exploit Shale resources later.

    True believers just use words like “resorting to” and “open pit mining” and “environmental destruction”, because they have no actual knowledge.

  10. More information about the Keystone Pipeline project here…

    “The U.S. $13 billion Keystone pipeline system will play an important role in linking a secure and growing supply of Canadian crude oil with the largest refining markets in the United States, significantly improving North American security supply.

    Sounds good to me :^)

  11. If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that Obama was just greenwashing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction.
    James Hansen

    One would think that after the McChrystal saga, that even Hansen would use more tact when speaking about the President, of course Obama did grease the wheels for BP at the EPA so that the Macondo blowout could happen so for once Hansen is right. Funny how the :”greenest” people always seem to do the most real damage to the environment.

  12. Actually I thought the Time article was quite balanced. I just wish that the people opposing the line would realize the truth of the matter. The oil is shipped to the coast refineries, because they have the technology to refine the heavy oil. That is why the Venzuelian oil is shipped to these refineries. And yes, China has already committed more then 10 billion dollars to the oil sands, so no matter what, this resource will be used.

    But really, let’s get to the truth of the matter. oil is going to be a major source of energy for still quite some time. It has an energy density that makes it to good not to use. Also, to get all of the new renewable resources up and running in a pratical, cost efficient manner will take upwards of 20 years. It really is a catch 22, as we need energy now to build the energy and transmission infrastructure of tomorrow. It will not magically appear, no matter how many stars we wish upon.

  13. The ecocentrics post starts with: “For the past week, hundreds of activists—from celebrities and scientists to ordinary citizens—have come to Washington to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.”

    Hundreds? Mind boggling.

  14. I think another thing that is being missed, is that the money you guys in the states would pour into us here in Canada for our oil would create vast economic opportunities for most of your economy, Don’t forget, with 80% of Canadians living within 200 miles of our common border, and our Loony higher then your Buck, us Canucks just love cross border shopping, gambling, holidays, etc.

  15. tarpon @ 6:06 wonders why Americans are buying oil from Arab countries. I guess it’s because most people don’t know the source of their oil or anything about either the Arab countries or Nigeria or Venezuela or other countries from which it comes. There is a excellent discussion about the oil industry and ethics in Ezra Levant’s book, Ethical Oil. It won a business book award in Canada.
    I’ve just found what I think is a new website EthicalOil.org.

  16. I just read the article in MarketWatch ahhh the irony is just too much. When one of the protesters was interviewed she said “I’m worried about climate change,” Romer said in an interview with MarketWatch, after being asked why she took part in demonstrations. By routing fuel from the massive Canadian oil sands projects, the project will ultimately create a “huge amount of carbon and it’s non-sustainable,” she said.
    I’m sure the reporter must have been crying in his coffee as he went on to write – Romer wrote a detailed blog about her 53 hours in jail after her arrest on Aug. 20. She said she endured chilling temperatures in a lock-up with 20 other women with no beds or chairs. They used the wrappers from sandwiches in an attempt to keep warm.
    Toooooooo funny. Keep those heaters on eh. Cheers from Canada.

  17. Do not miss the oppertunity to rub it in, that the oilsands are a Natural oil spill. The reverse eco-speak of “What kind of planet hating blankity blank would not want this spill cleaned up” Seems to make econazis heads explode.

  18. News: if oil is sold anywhere, it doesn’t matter either who sold it or who bought it. It’s fungible.

    That means if you don’t buy from one source, you must buy from another. Now other customers (guided by price signals, etc) switch from your new supplier to your old. Net change is indistinguishable from none.

  19. Personally, I’d prefer the oil to be refined in Alberta as the gulf oil refineries are too much at the mercy of hurricanes. Still, if it makes Obama supporters stay home in 2012, I’m all for it. What I can’t understand is the discrepancy in costs between the Time article and that given above – was the Time $7 billion the Canadian dollar cost?

  20. This is getting hideous.

    “There is an estimated 400 gigatons of carbon sequestered in the Albertan oil sands, and burning all of it could raise the atmospheric concentration of carbon by 200 ppm—enough to push the climate well into the danger zone. Essentially, as the NASA climatologist and activist James Hansen argues, tapping the oil sands would mean “game over” for the climate.”

  21. Hansen is remarkable. A man with the chutzpah to say on his official NASA web site that the hard part of climate science is cherrypicking the data to get the results you want will do anything.

    Regards,
    Ric

  22. 200 ppm wouldn’t be nearly enough. To get a little protection against cooling, and to maximize ag yields, our goal should be “2,100 by 2100!” That means another 1,700 ppm or so. Clathrates, anyone?

  23. Well, golly gee … I wonder why the Obama administration is approving such an enterprise. Let’s see now …

    9% unemployment
    possible 20,000 jobs with pipeline construction
    November 2012 election

    That pretty much hits the high points.

  24. “Bob Tisdale says:
    August 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    The ecocentrics post starts with: “For the past week, hundreds of activists—from celebrities and scientists to ordinary citizens—have come to Washington to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.”

    Hundreds? Mind boggling.”
    Classic. In the small (15,000 population) of Broome, around 7000 turned up to protest against a giant gas hub, second largest in the world, that is being forced on this tourist town in Western Australia. This is despite several alternatives that are better. Protests and blockades are ongoing with regular updates on http://www.pindanpost. com

  25. Life’s a bitumen. Bill McKibben is having a cow, and an aneurism. Hurricane on one side, its cause on the other. No Sarkhov needed. As Irene becomes a windy rainstorm (albeit a major bloody inconvenience), Athabaska Goop gets the green light, but not the green stamp.
    Meanwhile Kurdish Iraq is set to become the biggest conventional oilfield in the world….
    (popcorn)

  26. The irony is the pipeline SAVES on CO2 emissions since the oil will be purchased from Canada come what may. Only question is whether you have to burn fuel oil to get it to San Diego in tankers or not burn fuel oil by pipeline to the Gulf refineries.

  27. Peak oil always was a crock, because all products derived from hydrocarbons are derivable from all hydrocarbon sources.

    There are vast deposits of coal, shale oil, oil sands and heavy oil.

    Enough for many hundreds of years.

    The issue has been bringing the cost of technology to extract down to the point where it is cheaper than imported oil, with a very substantial risk premium in case OPEC crashes the price of oil to bankrupt these efforts. Which it tried in the 1990s.

  28. Nothing changes – you can 100% guarantee anything to do with energy which makes sense, the greenies will be against it.

    However, if it is goofy and/or very expensive, inefficient and makes no economic sense, they will be for it.

  29. This could turn into more Keystone Cops than Keystone pipeline. Why are American environmentalists worrying about tarsand extraction? It will be done in Canada a country nearly twice the size of the US with 10% of the population. They don’t seem to worry and the extracting company does a nice tidy up job after the event.

    It is about time that some Americans got real about what a modern civilisation needs to survive and the first requirement is cheap energy which Canada is helping you to. A word of thanks would be better than the winging.

  30. Friends:

    The article reports:

    “In their August 3 Letter from Scientific Experts to President Obama, the “Who’s Who” of the left-wing climate science establishment argues:

    “Adding this on top of conventional fossil fuels will leave our children and grandchildren a climate system with consequences that are out of their control.”

    The climate system has always provided consequences that are out of anybody’s control. Or are they claiming hurricane Irene is being controlled?

    Droughts, floods, heat waves, cold snaps and severe storms have always happened. They probably always will. Nobody can control them and the pipeline will not change that one jot.

    People have always had to cope with “consequences” of a climate system that is out of control. Our children and grandchildren need the affluence provided by adequate fuel supplies to assist them to cope.

    The pipeline is needed for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

    Richard

  31. Tom on 26/8 9.25 pm. I think you made a ‘typo’ you are referring to the committment to the UNCCF that Combet signed that was 600 million a year from Carbon taxes, we haven’t got 650 billion yet? Ozzies debt has just topped two hundred billion though. Not sure what you were referring too. Yeah the Gillard stat dec but look I hope that isn’t another Grench
    fantasy with faked emails.

  32. “Whether to approve this pipeline is the most important environmental decision President Obama will make before the election. If he sides with greedy oil companies instead of people and the climate, he will essentially be urging a huge part of his base to sit out the election.”

    He’s more likely to gain much more support from floating voters than he might lose from the Green movement if he approves the pipeline and in doing so show the nation that he is on their side and will back common sense decision vital to the economy of the nation. He will show strength if he faces down the ridiculous ravings of the Green movement. with all their blustering led by the stupid ‘game up’ Hanson, who, with his jackbooted friends. dosn’t seem to understand the word ‘democracy’, living as he does in his fairyland of make believe.

  33. CodeTech says:
    August 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    Stephen Wilde:

    Given the scale of the available resources and similar deposits worldwide what should we now say about the concept of peak oil?

    As I tried pointing out on the other Oilsands thread: Originally development of the Sands was prohibitively expensive. However, after a lengthy stretch with oil prices high, technology has been developed to make Oilsands development cost effective. By inflating the price of oil the OPEC nations have effectively killed their own monopoly and market, and exposed more resources than have even been used yet.

    Peak oil was always a myth, and the believers just keep redefining it. There is more Oil in the Oilsands in Alberta than there ever was in the middle east. It’s now cost effective to bring to market. Technology developed for the Oilsands will be used to exploit Shale resources later.

    True believers just use words like “resorting to” and “open pit mining” and “environmental destruction”, because they have no actual knowledge.

    You’re right. New techniques have been developed to extract the oil in-situ, without resorting to any mining. On a previous here, I tried to explain this to someone who apparently cannot read. The individual keep repeating the phrase “open pit mining”, in spite of my attempts to make clear the process developed by Shell Oil do not use these techniques.

    Originally, it was thought a great deal of water would be needed to extract the oil. Shell tried to obtain water rights on the Yampa River and met with howls of protest.

    They dropped those water plans.

    I believe they have solved that particular problem. I also believe they are simply waiting for an administration that will be more accommodating than the current one. Interior Dept has kept a pretty tight lid on opening up the oil shales to development. Who knows, 2013 may see the start up of oil shale development.

    A Texas university has also developed a technology capable of producing oil from coal at less than $30 per barrel. When I contacted the professor behind the research, I was told they can’t talk about it because an oil firm is buying the rights. Of course coal deposits in Wyoming and Montana are in private hands, so there will be no government approvals needed.

    I do believe Peak Oil is another myth. Of course if some elements of our society can prevent the development of these fuels, it can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Sort of like a wood burning tribe having a ‘Peak Wood’ crisis when members are forbidden access to the forests.

  34. Steve Oregon says:
    August 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    This is getting hideous.

    “There is an estimated 400 gigatons of carbon sequestered in the Albertan oil sands, and burning all of it could raise the atmospheric concentration of carbon by 200 ppm—enough to push the climate well into the danger zone. Essentially, as the NASA climatologist and activist James Hansen argues, tapping the oil sands would mean “game over” for the climate.”

    Steve,

    As this link demonstrates, the CO2 hypothesis on AGW has been falsified:

    http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateReflections.htm#20080927:%20Reflections%20on%20the%20correlation%20between%20global%20temperature%20and%20atmospheric%20CO2

    CO2 keeps going up, yet world temperatures go their own way. There is very little correlation between CO2 levels and climate. You have to have correlation before you can even think about a causal link between the two.

  35. No shame in leaving our children and grandchildren trillions in debt and an order of magnitude larger in liabilities, but nay we will not leave them a bad “climate”. IMO take care of our freaking spending spree, perhaps leaving them with means to rectify any bad climate we leave them. Is there no tipping point in debt and liabilities?

  36. So these greens are against creating thousands of local jobs and in favour of propping up OPEC dictatorships? Maybe I’d have some respect for these people if they instead staged a sit-in at a polluting oil installation in Saudi Arabia or Suidan, but I’m not holding my breath. Hypocrites, all of them.

  37. Keystone of course built a pipeline to Cushing Oklahoma last year. I have pics on my cell phone. The biggest “incident” was a tiny missing the mark of perfection in the steel of some imported pipe. This pipe wll last 40 years and after testing, one day removed. It can go decades without a leak. My fathers land had a pipleine crossing and in it’s total length no leaks in 40 years. It was removed becauase API tests found tiny corrosive pits. Crude is corrosive and they watch it for safety. Natural gas is also corrosive. They want natural gas for electric turbines? It is also high pressure.

  38. Leo G says:
    August 26, 2011 at 6:45 pm
    “t really is a catch 22, as we need energy now to build the energy and transmission infrastructure of tomorrow. It will not magically appear, no matter how many stars we wish upon.”

    Leo, it’s not a Catch 22, it’s unviable. About 30 years ago i read first about the concept of a “solar breeder”, that would be a factory producing solar cells and running entirely on energy produced by its own products, and producing a surplus.

    A simple concept enough so why has nobody tried to demonstrate it works to this very day, well i don’t even put a question mark there, it’s not even a rethorical question. If it worked it would be done, so obviously it doesn’t.

    The conclusion is: As long as we build solar cells we need an abundant source of cheap energy because without one we couldn’t be making solar cells. “Energy Of Tomorrow”? Don’t hold your breath.

  39. Steve Oregon says:

    August 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    If we were to burn all of the oil at once, yes it might raise CO2 by 200ppm. But we aren’t going to burn it all at once. It will be burnt over decades, probably many decades, which will give plants plenty of time to consume the CO2 and re-sequester much of it.

    Regardless, so freaking what? The planet would be much better off if the CO2 concentration in the air was three times it’s current value. 200ppm is just a good downpayment.

  40. Oil from Canada is already reaching the U.S., but by rail and truck. Pipelines are more cost effective and use less energy. Trying to stop construction of the pipeline is illogical from any standpoint unless your aim is to punish yourself.
    Another illogical decision based on a similar thought process occurred, probably unnoticed, in Washington State. The Port of Vancouver, WA, has determined that they will not allow shipment of US coal to China or anywhere else through their port. So, it goes through another port at greater expense and puts the potentially huge revenues into the pockets of someone else. Ah, but they feel so righteous.

    Which came first, stupidity, or eco-derangement syndrome?

  41. I worked surficial geology at the oilsands in the mid 90′s. We could tell how close the oil was to surface by the size of the pine trees that grew there. Once the taproot of the tree hit the oil, the tree died. A skeletal forest of 5 foot trees meant good oil was close to surface. The water table in the area was brown, not safe to drink, and stunk like diesel. We couldn’t discharge it to the river because it was deemed hazardous waste the moment we touched it. The oilsands mining IS cleaning up a huge oil spill, it’s just one that we didn’t cause, so some of the greenies don’t want us to touch it.

    Any high school kid looking for a good science project and who has access to clear pressure vessels might consider this one: sealed, clear plastic tanks at 1 atm pressure that are mostly a) nitrogen, b) CO2, and c) another gaseous atom, I’d suggest oxygen or helium, and d) regular air. Each tank needs a thermometer (of the same type as the other tanks) suspended in the body of the tank the same way. Make sure you get help to safely work around the gasses, safely filling the tanks in an open, well ventilated area. Take baseline temperatures before coming outside, or before dawn. Set up all tanks outside and take temperatures on a regular basis (either every hour, or every 1/2 hour, or constantly if you have thermometers compatible with a datalogger) from all 3. If current popular thought on CO2 is correct, the sunlight should make that tank much, much hotter than the other gasses. I know what results I’d expect, but the budding scientist should make their own predictions and then test them. Remember to keep everything equal between the cases, all sealed, all the same container type, all the same thermometer type.

  42. “It does not escape our attention that storms of this size and character will be the new normal on a warmer planet.”
    So, they’re saying in the future, hurricanes will tend to fall apart easily, and be normal – sized. Horrors! It really is worse than we thought.
    Their most idiotic, most nonsensical statement of all (and there’s lots to choose from) seems to be: “It makes no sense to build a pipeline system that would practically guarantee extensive exploitation of this resource.” The logic (if you can call it that) on that one is so convoluted, it boggles the mind. See, if you build an oil pipeline, then you might – horror-of-horrors actually wind up using the stuff. Which is “exploitation” of a resource. Or something.

  43. How many of these protesters live on subsistence farms, living on only what they produce (only using horses, mules or oxen of course to till the land)? How many are subsistence hunter/gatherers, living off the land, migrating with the changing of the seasons? My guess is none. These hypocrites are the biggest fools on God’s green earth and they are trying to destroy our country. As for me, my wants are simple. I like the lights to go on when I turn on the switch, the oven to heat up when I turn it on and I like gasoline available when I need to fill up my truck. And I want the costs to be as low as we can reasonably expect.

  44. I’d be willing to entertain the arguments of these “environmental” protesters if they set up their pup tents, wielded their signs, and scream their slogans in the capitals of countries that commit human rights atrocities against their own people while selling their oil to the Americans.

  45. Steve Oregon says:
    August 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    “This is getting hideous.”

    Yup. Pagan belief systems like yours inevitably lead to hideous outcomes. High energy costs. Unemployment. Poverty. Disease, Hunger, and Starvation. Truly hideous, to any self aware and civilized person.

    The solution is low cost, readily available energy. We have more than 200 years worth within the contiguous United States, at 2011 consumption rates. That is ‘proven’ reserves’, not pie in the sky, puke green energy ‘projections’. We can get this economy moving again and stop the hideous impacts of high energy costs, wealth destroying subsidies on inefficient high cost ‘green’ energy, and over regulation based on the false AGW meme… or we can continue down the hideous path you advocate.

    Your inability to accept responsibility for the pain, suffering, and death that you and the AGW advocates are forcing on the populations of the world, in the completely wrong headed pursuit of controlling CO2 plant food, is heartless, cruel, and immoral. Truly ‘hideous’!

  46. Philip Bradley says:
    August 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm
    “Peak oil always was a crock,… There are vast deposits of coal, shale oil, oil sands and heavy oil.
    Enough for many hundreds of years.”
    Spot on, how very true. And lets not forget natural gas.

Comments are closed.