The Only Choice Is Where It Gets Burned

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The noted anti-development expert James Hansen and some other AGW supporters are out in force trying to block the proposed expansion of the existing Keystone Pipeline called the “Keystone XL”. They claim that it would be carrying “dirty oil” from the Canadian Oil Sands … and what makes oil “dirty” (other than not changing it every 3,000 miles)?

Why, CO2, of course, CO2 emissions from the Canadian oil production … as opposed to CO2 emissions from “clean oil” from Mexico, one supposes. They also claim that the oil sand production uses huge amounts of water. Finally, they say that there is a chance that at some point the new pipeline will create a spill … shocking news, I know, no pipeline has ever spilled before … and yet we continue to build them and use them. Go figure.

Knowing nothing about the project and little about the production of oil from sand, I thought I’d take a look at the situation. As is usual, I was surprised by some of the things I found out. First, where are we talking about? The oil sands are in Alberta, Canada, and the existing Keystone Pipeline starts in a town called Hardisty. Here are two existing and two proposed pipelines from the location of the oil sands.

Figure 1. Pipelines from the Alberta Oil Sands (orange sun). Existing pipelines are shown as solid lines, proposed pipelines are dashed lines. Current oil sands production is about 1.5 million barrels per day, and is projected to increase to 5 million barrels per day by 2020.

I read the AGW folks position papers, but unsurprisingly, their opposition fails to mention a few things about the situation.

First, it’s not like we’re not getting any “dirty oil” from Canada right now. The existing Keystone pipeline is currently delivering about 160,000,000 (160 million) barrels per year of the allegedly nasty stuff. So why are the AGW folks screaming as if they were “dirty oil” virgins? They’ve been burning it in their cars for the last few years, they have no plans to stop burning it in their cars, and now they’re bitching about it? Spare me.

Second, is the water use for oil sands extravagant? Survey says … no.

Figure 2. Life-cycle use of water to produce various kinds of liquid fuels, from CERA. 

In addition, the oil sand operators are limited by law from using more than 2.2 percent of the Athabasca River Water. Typically they use less than 1%.

Third, what about CO2? Well for me, I could care less. But some folks think it’s important. In any case, here’s the facts, from the independent analysis firm CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates), in a report entitled “OIL SANDS, GREENHOUSE GASES, AND US OIL SUPPLY: GETTING THE NUMBERS RIGHT” It says:

Transportation fuels produced solely from oil sands result in well-to-wheels life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 5 to 15 percent higher than the average crude refined in the United States.

That’s all? Five to fifteen percent higher? That’s what this whole screaming match is about? And the emissions from the oil sands mining or in-situ extraction are dropping all the time. Here’s the most surprising thing I found out. We import lots and lots of oil from Mexico … and emissions from Canadian oil sand oil are only 1.5% higher than those from Mexican oil.

Fancy that … nobody is complaining about emissions from “clean” Mexican oil, but “dirty” Canadian oil emits a WHOLE PERCENT AND A HALF MORE CO2 than Mexican oil and folks start screaming … does this make sense to anyone? Do we think the opponents of the pipeline might have some other agenda than CO2?

Finally, the most telling point to me in all of this is that the Canadians are not going to sit on the oil. Either it will go to the US via the existing Keystone and perhaps the proposed Keystone XL extension pipeline … or it will go to Asia via the Kinder Morgan and perhaps the Northern Gateway pipeline. But either way, it will be extracted, it will go through a pipeline, and it will be burnt.

So the choice is not whether the extra 1.5% of CO2 from the Canadian oil sands is going to enter the atmosphere—that ship has sailed. Their whole “dirty oil” CO2 argument is meaningless, because whether the Keystone XL pipeline is built or not, the oil will be burnt.

The only choice is whether it is burnt in the US or in China … and anyone who thinks that the latter course will cause less real pollution, not CO2 but real unburnt hydrocarbon and black carbon pollution, anyone who thinks there will be less of those nasty things if the oil is burnt in China is definitely not paying attention.

We have an amazing chance right now to secure a long-term oil supply from a friendly next-door neighbor instead of a bunch of aggro folks in the Middle East. If James Hansen and his allies prevent us from doing that, I will call down curses on their heads in the name of his precious grandchildren that he’s always talking about. Here’s the pathetic size of the emissions they’re up in arms about—the total emissions from the Canadian oil sands are 0.1% (a tenth of a percent) of global GHG emissions … and the emissions will happen whether the Keystone XL pipeline is built or not. If Hansen sentences his grandkids to get their oil from the Middle East and watch China burning the Canadian oil, he’s done much, much, much more damage to his grandchildren’s prospects than anything that might come from the extra few percent of CO2, CO2 that will come from the oil sands in any case.

I say emissions “might come from” the oil because the industry folks say that within the decade, the CO2 emissions from the oil sands will be on a par with conventional oil. They have already reduced emissions by about 40% from 2000 to 2009, and the process continues apace. Given their record, I see no reason to doubt that they will get to parity.

So I can only conclude that Hansen and his charming associates are not really concerned about CO2, they have other reasons for wanting to reduce US energy use and are using the small and decreasing difference in emissions as an excuse.

Bottom line? For me, the benefits from building the XL pipeline are much, much larger than any predicted costs, so my cost-benefit analysis says build it. Build it well, of course, route it around sensitive areas as best as we know how, build it to the highest of standards, oil spills are a bad thing … but build it no matter what the AGW folks might be on about.

w.

PS – Actually, no, I won’t curse Hansen’s sorry carcass and pathetic actions and minions, that’s literary hyperbole. He’s doing a great job of cursing himself already, karma is a bitch, so there’s no need for me to gild the lily. The worst thing is, after all his concern about his grandkids, when they’re grown they’re likely to curse him if he is successful in making them depend on the Middle East for their oil.

[UPDATE] Someone pointed out that I had not adequately addressed the argument that there is great environmental danger from the proposed Keystone XL crossing the Ogallala Aquifer. The Aquifer supplies water to many of the plains states in the central US.

That might be a reasonable argument if there weren’t a host of pipelines that cross the Ogallala right now, including carrying Canadian crude. The aquifer is the irregular area in the central USA, colored blue.

Figure 3. US pipelines carrying crude oil from Canada (red), other imports (dotted), and domestic production (blue). SOURCE

There are a couple of pipelines carrying Canadian crude that are already crossing the aquifer.

Crude pipelines are not as big a problem over aquifers as refined products, since these are much thinner and seep and are carried by rain down to the aquifer much easier than is crude oil. Here are the refined pipelines crossing the Ogallala aquifer:

Figure 4. US pipelines carrying refined oil products. SOURCE

Note that these are only the major pipelines, there are a host of smaller ones as well. As you can see, the Ogallala Aquifer is already criss-crossed by all types of pipelines, carrying all kinds of crude and refined oil. If it were a huge environmental problem, we’d have known about it long ago.

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127 thoughts on “The Only Choice Is Where It Gets Burned

  1. In my opinion, M Mann has little or no regard for his grandchildren and is abusing them by using them in this way. A drowning Mann will clutch at a straw as we are seing here. His grandchildren may well be ashamed to a acknowledge him in the future.

  2. Rumor has it that China and OPEC are funding the environmentalist action against the XL pipeline. Anyone out there got real evidence?

  3. More interestingly this is one mother of a shovel ready project that requires exactly squat $timula$ funding from the government. 10’s of thousands of jobs for construction and more once it starts delivering to refineries in South. Mostly Union jobs too so possibly Obama will get the message.

  4. There they go again, those dang pesky facts. A year or so ago, Uberdirector James Cameron showed his ugly mug up around Alberta, dragging a juggernaut of MSM with him, ostensibly to smear the oilsands in the wake of a few oiled ducks that set down in a tailings pond. The ultimate result? A collective yawn. Don’t hear much from ol’ Jim nowadays, you see. He’s an expatriate Canadian, and not one we, as Canuckleheads, are particularly proud of, it would seem. Another blowhard talent, good at Avatars and Deep Sea Photography, but stunned, as usual, by the facts. So one Jim down, another pops up. But Jim #2, you outta stick with the lecture circuit, that’s getting you in more hot water than is used to extract the dirty ol’ tar from the sand. Using recycled water too, I might add. But oh dear, those dang facts…you’re right, Willis, no point in gilding the lily.

  5. Canada’s entire co2 output is 2% of world co2. The oil sands throws out 5% of Canada’s 2%. Here are the entire breakdowns by sector of Canada’s 2% co2. (Source – Environment Canada 2010)

    Transportation – 22%
    Electricity – 16%
    Manufacturing and heavy industry – 15%
    Conventional oil and gas – 12%
    Agriculture – 10%
    Service industries – 8%
    Residential – 7%
    Oil sands – 5%
    Other fossil fuels – 5%

    Here is the water allocation for Alberta by sector – (Source – Alberta Environment)
    Irrigation/Agricultural – 44%
    Commercial – 30%
    Municipal – 11%
    Other – 8%
    Oil Sands – 7%
    Conventional oil and gas – 2%
    NOTE – actual oil sands water usage is 1/3 of the total water allocated.

    85% of all oil sand operations have NO TAILINGS PONDS what-so-ever. Same as conventional oil.

    I’m working the night shift pumping oil down to our US customers – just thought I’d drop by on my break and find this article and just had to respond.

  6. Asia is after hydrocarbons. Oil, coal bed methane, coal…this is not going to stop. Nor should it. Asia has the right to develop.

    Canada has the right to exploit its resources. And we will. Hansen be damned. His science is lousy and his politics worse. Curb your dog Yanks. Because the oil is coming on stream and it will be sold. To you (I hope) or to the international market. We cannot afford to leave it in the ground and we won’t. As Willis points out, the only question is which direction we export it.

  7. All fossil fuels are dirty according to the nut cases running Australia, so we’re going to get rid of them and damn the expense. What the hell if Australia returns to the Stone Age ? Here is an extract of the current bill before parliament:


    The objects of this Act are as follows:

    (b) to support the development of an effective global response to climate change, consistent with Australia’s national interest in ensuring that average global temperatures increase by not more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels;

    (c) to:
    (i) take action directed towards meeting Australia’s long-term target of reducing Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2000 levels by 2050

    http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Fbills%2Fr4653_first-reps%2F0001%22;rec=0

  8. OPEC funding would make sense.

    We are on the verge of a oil glut that will last for years. Libya coming back onstream, Iraq ramping up production by a couple of million bpd and competition from abundant cheap gas.

    Somewhat ironically CAGW alarmism is causing increased use of gas over oil.

    OPEC is deeply worried about this and increase oilsands production would just worsen the over supply.

    I will LMAO if evidence comes to light that Hansen is secretly funded by OPEC.

  9. Philip Bradley says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:05 am
    I will LMAO if evidence comes to light that Hansen is secretly funded by OPEC.

    As will NASA’s admin, albeit a bit derisively. That would be instant termination, one would hope.

  10. Good analysis, but let’s leave the grandchildren – of Hansen or whoever – out of it.

  11. The issue became politicized in Idaho and Montana. Letters and other communications opposing the transport (of equipment for the Alberta oilsands) streamed into the Department of Highways in Montana, Morrison said.

    “We were shocked that only 37 per cent of those who wrote complaining [about the equipment going to the oil sands] lived in the state and the rest were from places like Nigeria, Venezuela. Most were international,” he said. “The equipment was held up for quite some time and some is still held up awaiting permits.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/diane-francis/oil-sands_b_978176.html

  12. A ‘glut’ of oil would help us get past the coming economic stresses whilst the global economies try to wean themselves off irresponsible government borrowing and printing of fake money.

    Additionally it would accelerate the third world dash towards relative prosperity and, as we should all know, prosperity, freedom and education inevitably lead national populations to voluntarily reproduce at less than replacement level.

    That is the way forward.

    As with all authoritarianism the contortions of the environmentalists would prevent progress towards population stability by perpetuating poverty indefinitely.

    As always, the law of unintended consequences applies.

    It is becoming clear that with responsible Oil Sand exploitation there is enough to cheaply fuel the world for centuries whilst we manage a transition to a stable, then declining global population on a voluntary basis.

  13. Well presented arguments, but one complaint:

    In the paragraph starting with: “Third, what about CO2? Well for me, I could care less.”
    It should be, “I couldn’t care less”.
    I don’t care how good everything else is, this is my one giant bug bear of speakers of English. I feel like smacking anyone who says it around the head. If you could care less, then you care a bit. If you couldn’t care less then it is impossible for you to care any less, you don’t care at all (which is what you mean to say).

  14. Wil says:
    October 6, 2011 at 1:43 am

    … I’m working the night shift pumping oil down to our US customers – just thought I’d drop by on my break and find this article and just had to respond.

    Thanks for the numbers and the comments, Wil. And for the oil as well.

    w.

  15. Friendly oil is better!

    The US also has plenty of oil waiting for the law to change so extraction can take place.

    Unfortunately President Obama is misguided and puts unwarranted environmental concerns above the jobs of Americans.

  16. Philip Bradley says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:05 am
    I will LMAO if evidence comes to light that Hansen is secretly funded by OPEC.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    We do know Mr Hansen has taken funding from profiteers in EXXON, Coal, and Tobacco.
    http://www.soros.org/resources/articles_publications/publications/annual_20070731/a_complete.pdf

    Page 123 [ ” The campaign on Hansen’s behalf resulted in a decision by NASA to revisit its media policy.” ]
    Page 143 [ “politicization of science ($720,000)” ]

    EXXON:
    http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/604052-element-alpha/66639-whos-betting-on-exxon-buffett-and-soros

    COAL:
    http://firebasefreedom.ning.com/forum/topics/george-soros-proud-new-owner?commentId=5663659%3AComment%3A3285

    TOBACCO:
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/262063-5-favorite-george-soros-stocks

    [ “Altria Group (MO): Soros owns 9,500 shares of Altria. It is a new buy for the latest full quarter in 2010. Altria, which produces and sells popular tobacco products such as Marlboro and Parliament cigarettes, Copenhagen and Skoal smokeless tobacco and more, offers a 6.10% dividend yield and has a market cap of just over $50B. The company has an impressive 84% ROE over the last 12 months and despite being a tobacco company, recently ranked 35th on a list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility magazine.”]

    MORE OIL:
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/262063-5-favorite-george-soros-stocks

    [ “Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR): This massive Brazilian producer has been boosted recently by the major discovery of reserves off the Brazilian coast. This type of extraction is more costly than traditional extraction, so, as prices for oil rise, the justification and margin on this type of extraction grows. Libyan instability leads to a spike in oil prices, which leads to increased value of PetroBras’ reserves. That said, this type of extraction is also known for its long-term nature. That means that investors are aware that the benefits of the reserves will be elongated over a period of time so momentary shakes to the oil market can have less of an effect on the stock. This is a double-edged sword. “]

    COULD the above oil extraction in Brazil be the reason for the Oil Sands attack?

    IMO Mr Hansen’s Hypocrisy has no ends.

  17. Just a thought how much air borne plant food would it take to tanker it from Canada to Asia as opposed to pumping it through a pipe to the USA?

  18. Messers Hansen, Mann and their assorted supporters are truly a ridiculous bunch. Besides the routine hypocrisy inherent in their statements and actions they appear unable to come to terms with the fact that as this riposte points out, the developing world will grasp the oportunities let go by the decrepit older democracies without any of the pathetic handwringing now common to public discourse in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Talk about stupidity.

  19. “I read the AGW folks position papers, but unsurprisingly, their opposition fails to mention a few things about the situation.”

    Unsurprisingly indeed! The whole truth is a foreign concept to the AGW climate con artists.

  20. It has become self evident that if something makes economic sense, then the greenies will probably be against it, but if it produces carbon dioxide, then they will definitely be shrill in their cries of objection, regardless of the net amount of the ‘evil gas’ produced.

    Canada’s tar sands reserves are currently estimated to contain 180 billion barrels of crude oil and both production and reserves are rising fast:
    http://www.rense.com/general37/petrol.htm

    Daily US crude oil consumption is around 18.7 million barrels per day – so Canada has around 26 years of US consumption in its oil sands reserves.

    The generally accepted resource estimate for the amount of crude oil which will eventually be recoverable from the Canadian tar sands is around 2,000 billion barrels, or 293 years of current US annual consumption. Note: It takes time, technology and detailed exploration to turn resources into reserves.

    My advice to our American cousins:

    1. Tar and feather – appropriate punishment – anyone opposing these pipelines, and

    2. Either invade and occupy Canada, or be a damn sight nicer to them – Canadians are a much nicer bunch of people to deal with than those from OPEC.

  21. With Brent at a $24 per barrel premium over WTI this is a great export opportunity for North America, and would also bring Brent and WTI back in sync, helping the rest of the world, especially developing countries, keep their oil bills and price risks down. Same applies to shale gas.

    Funny how existing dominant producers always play the environmental card when their position is threatened.

  22. Willis,

    Thanks you for doing this research. I did not know the facts until now. Below is a link to a short telephone interview with Hansen after his arrest. He was asked about exactly the same question; other countries are going to burn oil anyways. He never answered, going instead into the usual Earth’s energy budget imbalance / grandchildren diatribe. The link – from the horse’s mouth:

    Thanks again,

    J.

  23. There is an opportunity to restore the ogallala reservoir with water that is obtained from coastal desalinization plants and pumped through pipes that join the path of Keystone XL (If not for the “oh look. I told you so saboteurs” glamorizing their self-importance by creating disaster, it would work out great for everyone.)

  24. “Gild the lily”…I object, although perhaps it’s pedantic. The original quotation from Shakespeare is “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,” which are patently unnecessary actions. Gilding a lily doesn’t really make much sense to me.

    But as to the substantive points, I agree that the pipeline should be built. And I think the Obama administration agrees with its advantages, especially that of reducing the dependence on the more volatile Middle East. I think that the activists aren’t really concerned about the immediate effects of the pipeline, but they *want* to see continued higher prices and Middle-East dependence, because those arguments are used to create opposition to fossil fuel usage. Anything which makes fossil fuel less objectionable, which makes the average U.S. consumer more at ease with its usage, is therefore a bad thing (in the minds of the activists).

  25. “Transportation fuels produced solely from oil sands result in well-to-wheels life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 5 to 15 percent higher than the average crude refined in the United States.”

    Does the analysis of emissions from crude refined in the United States include the emissions from the drilling and transportation of crude to the U.S.?

  26. Willis writes “We have an amazing chance right now to secure a long-term oil supply from a friendly next-door neighbor instead of a bunch of aggro folks in the Middle East.”

    Some more stuff to ponder wrt peak oil…

    In terms of production potential, I’m sure the Canadian output could be increased but nowhere near enough to supply the US in it entirety. To put that claim into perspective, the 160 million barrels per year Canada produces amounts to about 2 days worth of world oil usage at around 80 million barrels per day. The US has a sizable portion of that.

    So if the US consumes around 20% of the worlds oil, then that represents 10 days worth of oil produced over the year. And again for perspective, production would have to be ramped up more than 30x to cover the US’s complete requirement. No small feat.

    And for a final perspective on that, I dont know how many years of oil is supposed to be there but even assuming it could be extracted fast enough with a 30x multiplier on current production, if say there was 200 years worth, then that equates to only 6-7 years worth with the increased production.

  27. Stuart Lynne says:
    October 6, 2011 at 1:25 am

    “More interestingly this is one mother of a shovel ready project that requires exactly squat $timula$ funding from the government. 10?s of thousands of jobs for construction and more once it starts delivering to refineries in South. Mostly Union jobs too so possibly Obama will get the message.”

    Stuart brings up a great point. Here we have a project which can provide REAL jobs for the U.S. and Canada (not the fake, government-funded Solyndra jobs), and help provide true energy independence for North America (how many times have we heard that we need to be “energy independent”?). I sickens me that we have people who are independently wealthly or have secure academic/government jobs protesting the creation of good U.S. jobs, particularly while unemployment hovers at 9% with no prospect of declining anytime soon.

    And thanks Willis for this essay – it brings some sanity back to the debate rather than emotion.

    PS
    For all of you out there who support the pipeline protesters, PLEASE make sure you STOP ALL USE OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS. NOW. TODAY. We know you wouldn’t want to be seen as a hypocrite.

    Here’s a partial list of products made from petroleum for you reference…

  28. Dr A Burns says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:05 am

    All fossil fuels are dirty according to the nut cases running Australia, so we’re going to get rid of them and damn the expense. What the hell if Australia returns to the Stone Age ?
    ============spot on!
    I see we sell the “cleaner” lng lpg to china for a pittance, ditto our petroleum goes os.
    the WE pay high singapore prices for other petrol and for our own gas.
    if they really didnt have their brains in their butts we would be using the gas more than we do and govt would be seriously helping to convert ALL cars to lng, and NO cars to be produced without dual fuel fitting. electric cars? that charge on Coal fired power, stupid to the max!
    but then JuLiar and bob are.to the point of embarrassment.
    anyone read the CFI (carbon Farming initiative)?? its convoluted and seriously insane.

  29. It’s not a given that a pipeline will be built to the west coast of Canada to ship oil to Asia. The environmental groups are already starting to line up money to fight the pipeline — pumping the cash to native groups to protest, something that always plays well in the media. The ultimate goal of the enviros is stop investment in oil sands and other unconventional oil with the purpose of diverting that investment to their favourite “green” companies — solar, wind, biofuels, biomass, etc. Note that over the past few years David Suzuki has been organizing protests in Quebec to stop oil sands oil from going east, thereby cutting of exports to Europe. The EU has just decided to penalize oil sands oil with their fuel quality directive (though it still has to be approved in the EU parliament), something championed by the European branches of the same environmental groups operating in North America. The protests against Keystone XL are intended to stop increased exports of oil sands oil south. So, if there’s no where for the oil to go, then investment dries up and goes elsewhere. The next big target, for which the environmental groups are preparing, is the fracking process for natural gas (tight gas) as well as tight oil formations. If they succeed with Keystone XL they will get a huge morale boost to fight on other fronts. Tracking the financing of these groups is difficult because large portions of their funding comes from organizations like the Tides Foundation and Joyce Foundation — basically money laundering groups for the uber-rich who don’t want the public to know what they’re funding. Take a look at the Tides Foundation tax forms which lists where they have given money and there is an extraordinary amount targeted specifically for their anti-“tar sands” campaign. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

  30. If we don’t buy that oil, it will be sold to someone else and shipped across the ocean. Pick your poison – a pipeline or supertankers?

    And how about ‘Peak Oil?’ We’re going to run out of oil someday, so let’s stop using it right now. Stop this pipeline, stop that refinery, stop drilling and looky looky – production drops! See, Peak Oil!

  31. Jay Currie says:
    October 6, 2011 at 1:45 am

    …..Canada has the right to exploit its resources. And we will. Hansen be damned. His science is lousy and his politics worse. Curb your dog Yanks……
    ________________________________________________________________________

    And to think it is MY tax dollar paying this criminal while the other criminals in DC shield him from prosecution under the Hatch Act.

    Oh for a Grand Jury to go after that man. Yes a Grand Jury CAN go after him if the government won’t.

    “…In the expanded legal dictionary/digest called “Words and Phrases”, on page 363, it defines the grand jury as: “The ‘grand jury’ is inquisitorial body of county, drawn and summoned from among its best citizens, and must investigate all violations of law under presiding judge’s direction and make presentments in accordance with such investigations.”

    In the second column of this page it continues: ” ‘Grand Jury’ is not judicial but accusing body, permitted to act upon knowledge obtained by members from any source.”……

    “But when grand jurors possess personal knowledge or are furnished with reliable information indicating that a crime has been committed by someone within borders of the county, it is the duty of the grand jury to fearlessly and fairly investigate the charges and indict the culpable party if the evidence warrants that finding [from U.S. Supreme court cases of Blair v. United States and United states v. Philadelphia].”, and

    “In the Blair case, supra, discussing the rights of a grand jury to investigate crime, Mr. Justice Pitney said: ‘ It is a grand inquest, a body with powers of investigation and inquisition, the scope of whose inquiries is not to be limited narrowly by questions of propriety, or forecasts of possible result of the investigation’”….” http://www.jurypower.org/grand-jury-power-mainmenu-29/grand-jury-power-to-charge-corruptcriminal-public-officials-mainmenu-31.html

    Too bad the Power Mongers have made darn sure the American people are ignorant of their rights as, other wise we would see a bit of house cleaning in the US government…..

  32. Brian Johnson uk says:
    October 6, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Biofuel requires Huge amounts of water doesn’t it?

    You bet it does; it also requires a lot of conventional fuel to produce and haul it around.

  33. Andy Revkin had a post about this a month ago. Here is what I posted there on 9/9/11-

    Nature Climate Change August 2011, pp 241-242, “What’s in a name?” by S. van Renssen reports that average refined oil sands delivered product is only 11% more emissions-intensive than average EU crude. As production processes improve, this will drop further.

    Estimated total reserves of 1.8 Trillion brls of oil.
    Of this, about 10%, or 170 B brls, is recoverable with today’s technology and price. This will increase with improved technologies and/or higher oil prices.
    Total oil sands land area is about 140,200 km^2. This is 0.8% of Canada.
    Recoverable oil density is at least 1.2 M brl per km^2.

    Current production rate is 1.5 M brl/day.
    By 2019, this will increase to 3.2 M brl/day.
    By 2019, total area developed will be about 1000 km^2/yr.
    Of this, 20% is surface mining. The remaining is in-situ with minimal surface perturbation.
    By 2019, surface mining will be about 200 km^2/yr.
    This is 0.03% of Alberta’s area, or 12 parts per million of Canada’s area. It is more than the annual ice loss of Greenland or the Antarctic. But, it is still pretty darn small.

    All producers already issue bonds, by law, to pay for environmental recovery back to self-sustaining ecosystems, monitored by gov’t agencies.

    Production will continue for at least 100 years, at which point almost all of the surface mined regions will be fully restored Boreal forest.

    Alberta’s growing economy, currently with 31% of GDP generated by energy industry, will continue to benefit from developing its energy resources.

    This resource is worth more than $20 Trillion to Albertans. The world is awash with customers. Good luck trying to stop them.

  34. Then there was the pearl-clutching over bird kills at the oil sands tailing ponds, to which I responded as follows–

    The American Bird Conservancy (ABC), an avian conservation group, observes that upward of 14 birds per megawatt of wind energy are killed each year, numbering more than 440,000. The organization projects the number will rise substantially as wind energy production increases.

    A wind farm averages 25% of capacity. That gives 14 birds per (1 MW * 365*24*0.25) = 0.006 birds/MWhr.

    Oil sands tailing ponds have killed about 1000 birds per year. Oil sands currently produce about 1 Million brls per day. That amounts to 365 M brls per year.
    A barrel of crude contains about (37 MJ/litre*3.78 litres/gallon * 42 gallons/brl) = 5.87 GJ/brl. That gives a total energy content of 2.14 x 10^9 GJ/year.
    A kWhr of energy is equivalent to (1000*3600) = 3,600,000 J = 0.0036 GJ. Therefore, the oil sands produce about 594 Billion kWhr per year, or 594 Million MWhr per year. The average bird kill rate is therefore 1000/594×10^6 = 0.0000017 birds/MWhr.

    The oil sands have a bird kill rate per energy produced that is approximately 3500 times smaller than wind farms.

  35. On big reason to approve this project is that it will result in less oil spilled on US coast lines. It is a fact that oil spills with pipelines are much rarer, more easily contained and hence smaller. If we don’t build this pipeline then we will have more oil on ships coming in to US West, East and Gulf Coasts.

  36. Not really to the point but what does “XL” stand for? Extra large? My next guess, seeing as it essentially is taking the shorter (straight line) path that the previous Keystone pipeline took a longer, “adjacent sides of the right angle” path, would be express line.

  37. Five Truths About Climate Change
    During the decade that Al Gore dominated the environmental debate, global carbon-dioxide emissions rose by 28.5%.

    But over the past decade, carbon-dioxide emissions in the U.S. fell by 1.7%. And according to the International Energy Agency, the U.S. is now cutting carbon emissions faster than Europe, even though the European Union has instituted an elaborate carbon-trading/pricing scheme.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203388804576612620828387968.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

    This may be behind the paywall, but I think you can register for 2 weeks free access.

  38. Willis — this is off topic (slightly), but I just read an article (WSJ – online) about the USPS wanting to encourage more junk mail as a way to solve its financial woes.

    it might be interesting to do some back of the envelope calculations to estimate what the contribution to anthropogenic CO2 is from the manufacture, distribution and eventual destruction of all of this junk mail is. Whatever it is, IMHO it is too much.

    The industry will claim that using recycled paper means they are “green” . Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that paper has limited recycling ability, and all the paper they use is less paper for other uses which instead have to use fresh trees.

    The air and road transport of this weighty junk of course uses non-recyclable petroleum products.

  39. Mr. Eschenbach I am in total ageement. The jobs, the oil and the tax revenue all are needed to help our economy. I used to own Kinder Morgan stock (KMP) and they are a good company as far as I could tell. The stock made me a little extra taxable income. Ain’t capitalism great.

  40. Is this the same bunch that gets apoplectic with every oil spill into the ocean or are there separate groups for each environmental concern in an effort to stay deconflicted?

  41. Shipping Canadian oil overseas to China, while we have to ship more oil in from the Middle East makes no sense within the “green” metric. “buying Local” goes for all products, not just groceries.

    In addition the Keystone pipeline will aid the US domestic production. Much of the North Dakota Bakken oil is currently stranded and has to be put on rail cars to get to refineries.

  42. In addition, even if the oil doesn’t get to Houston/Port Arthur via the Keystone extension, it will get there some other way. Other companies are looking at building other pipelines:

    http://fuelfix.com/blog/2011/09/29/crude-pipeline-planned-from-cushing-to-houston

    West Texas Intermediate is selling for over $20 a barrel less than Brent because it’s all backed up in Oklahoma. Whoever can get that oil down to the refineries in Houston, where it can be turned into products for export is going to make a lot of money. All the hippy protesters in the world aren’t going to stop it.

  43. Jarryd Beck says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:36 am
    I could care less.”
    It should be, “I couldn’t care less”.

    Willis and I must have been raised in the same community. Try an excuse on my mother and she would say “I could care less!” We knew exactly what she meant.

    For a discussion of this one:
    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ico1.htm

    Likewise
    http://chemistry.about.com/b/2011/01/08/flammable-versus-inflammable-what-is-the-difference.htm

  44. I almost had a heart attack this morning. This was in the Vancouver Sun. A good article on the possible alternative motives of US based “environmental” groups
    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Cash+flowing+from+green+initiatives+what+seems/5510578/story.html
    Why Almost a heart attack? The Vancouver Sun is more oft than not the mouth piece for the enviro weanies who have made Vancouver Canada’s Watermelon capital
    .
    Vivian Krause, who’s research the article is based on, can be found here:
    http://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/

    Alberta is acting smart, (for now at least). They’re getting paid billions to get what may be the largest naturally occurring toxic waste site on the planet cleaned up before an oil substitute comes along. Believe you me, one day, there will be an economically feasible substitute. The human profit motive combined with its ingenuity will bring it about. If they are really smart, they’ll make corporate income tax zero and the next thing, they substitute will come out of Alberta and the next boom will start.

  45. Peter Miller
    Your link didn’t work. Do those numbers include Saskatchewan which, I’ve been told by a credible source, have even more?

  46. The oil is being sent to Houston so it can be refined. A significant amount of the refined product will be exported at a nice profit. The point is we win both ways. We use part of it for our own fuel and lubricants and export the rest. FYI, we export about two million bbls of refined petroleum products a day. A large percentage of that was from oil sent to us from other countries for the purpose of refining.

  47. Didn’t have time to read all the comments, so apologies if someone has already mentioned “ethical oil” from Canada (whether oil sands or conventional) vs. the “conflict oil” of the mid-east and other theocracies and dictatorships.

    Ezra Levant’s book “Ethical Oil” advances the (reasonable) argument for liberals to counter – that as Obama’s pixie dust does not yet, and likely never will, provide cheap, reliable energy – should Americans import ethical oil from a free democracy, with all the attendant civil rights and freedoms, like Canada – or should the US continue to support religious and political regimes around the world by continuing to import conflict oil in tankers … protesting in Saudi Arabia is hard … much easier to picket in Calgary, where basic rights are defended.

  48. Willis: The only choice is whether it is burnt in the US or in China …

    Maybe.

    I would say that the real choice is how it gets to the US. If the Keystone pipeline is not extended, the oil will be pumped to the Pacific Coast, loaded into tankers, and carried by tankers to the US refineries in California and, after the Panama Canal enlargement is completed, to Houston.

  49. A person I know who works in the oil industry pointed out that the pipeline exists because the output from a refinery is larger than the input.

    I.e. one barrel going is becomes more than 1 barrel coming out. The analogy he used is basketballs and marbles. Unrefined crude has these all mixed together with the marbles in the interstices between basketballs; the refining process separates them out.

    The point is that oil pipelines push unrefined crude closer to the areas where the refined products are used largely due to simple economics. The alternative is then to spend even more energy/create more GHGs transporting refined products even if the exact same pipeline is used.

    Moving it some other way in turn creates even more energy waste/GHGs.

    But of course Hansen and company are playing politics, not actually offering alternatives.

  50. Willis writes common sense!

    Lloyds of London warns of an energy crunch beginning between 2012 and 2015.
    We critically need this fuel so we can drive to work, harvest our crops, transport our goods.

    If successful, James Hansen’s efforts would cause the greatest harm to his grandchildren by seriously harming our economy, increasing unemployment and increasing “national” debt.

    The wonderful “hope and change” has already cost us more debt that ALL previous governments put together: See: Obama Has Now Increased Debt More than All Presidents from George Washington Through George H.W. Bush Combined

    This $4.212-trillion increase in the national debt means that during Obama’s term the federal government has already borrowed about an additional $35,835 for every American household–or $44,980 for every full-time private-sector worker. . . .
    During that time, the debt increased at an average pace of $4.27 billion per day. Were that rate to continue until Obama’s term ends on Jan. 20, 2013, the debt would then stand at about $16.86534 trillion—an increase of more than $6.2 trillion for Obama’s four years.

    Hansen’s proposals would multiply that increase and rapidly accelerate the rate of growth of US debt , increasing from it’s current 100% of GDP to Greece’s level of 162%.

  51. HaroldW says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:51 am

    “Gild the lily”…I object, although perhaps it’s pedantic. The original quotation from Shakespeare is “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,” which are patently unnecessary actions. Gilding a lily doesn’t really make much sense to me.

    Thanks, Harold. You’re right, but you know us Americans, we love to change perfectly good British sayings. It appears, however, that there is over a century of historical weight to my usage:

    The term ‘paint the lily’ was used in the 20th century, with the same meaning we now apply to ‘gild the lily’. Clearly, this is the correct quotation. The two versions coexisted for a time, although ‘paint the lily’ is now hardly ever used. The first citation I can find for ‘gild the lily’ comes from the USA, in the Newark Daily Advocate, 1895, in what appears to be a half-remembered version of Shakespeare:

    “One may gild the lily and paint the rose, but to convey by words only an adequate idea of the hats and bonnets now exhibited absolutely passes human ability.”

    So, given that the saying has been in use now for more than 100 years, I think I’m justified in both using it and in saying that unlike to you, it makes lots of sense to me.

    All the best,

    w.

  52. No one wants refineries in his back yard. Down here on the gulf coast we realize that refining a good and safe business. These are productive jobs that other folks are missing out on. Your loss is our gain!

    Cleaning up the “dirty” tar from that huge natural oil spill should be good for the environment as a whole, so I cannot understand why these so called environmentalists are complaining. The sand is basically steam cleaned and returned to the environment better able to produce flora and fauna.

    It would not surprise me at all to find that China and other energy hungry nations are funding these protesters. It’s a competitive global market and Americans had better decide if we want to be in the game.

  53. Philip Peake says:
    October 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Willis — this is off topic (slightly), but I just read an article (WSJ – online) about the USPS wanting to encourage more junk mail as a way to solve its financial woes……
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Doubt if it will happen.

    Junk mail’s time is past as an ad medium at least for small businesses. The internet, word of mouth and Bandit Signs work. Newspaper ads, Yellow pages and Junk Mail are a waste of money. (A big zero in response)

    This is a subject we have researched extensively and it is not just my opinion or experience but that of other small business people I have talked to in person or over the internet.

  54. @ John Hultquist:
    Willis and I must have been raised in the same community. Try an excuse on my mother and she would say “I could care less!” We knew exactly what she meant.

    Knowing what she meant has nothing to do with the logic of her words. The first link of yours suggests that “I could care less” is actually sarcastic, meaning “As if I could care less”. Which is a BS whitewash of the problem. The problem is, “I could care less” holds the opposite meaning to that intended. What is intended is “I could not, in my wildest imaginings, see myself caring any less about this issue. In other words, I don’t give a hoot.” Your mother, if she chose the latter metaphor, might say, “I give a hoot”, when clearly she doesn’t. Or is she really being sarcastic? I doubt it. I suspect she is merely parroting what she has been brought up with instead of examining the logic and rejecting it. Call me a sceptic, but I like to examine the logic of things…..

    BTW Willis – love the logic of your ‘dirty oil’ arguments!

  55. Jarryd Beck says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Well presented arguments, but one complaint:

    In the paragraph starting with: “Third, what about CO2? Well for me, I could care less.”
    It should be, “I couldn’t care less”.
    I don’t care how good everything else is, this is my one giant bug bear of speakers of English. I feel like smacking anyone who says it around the head. If you could care less, then you care a bit. If you couldn’t care less then it is impossible for you to care any less, you don’t care at all (which is what you mean to say).

    What is this, National Pedant Week? Like the previous post, you’re busting me for something which has been common usage for decades, viz:

    I could care less
    A loathed phrase turns 50

    October 24, 2010|The Word, Jan Freeman
    It was 50 years ago this month — Oct. 20, 1960 — that one of America’s favorite language disputes showed up in print, in the form of a letter to Ann Landers. A reader wanted Ann to settle a dispute with his girlfriend: “You know that common expression: ‘I couldn’t care less,’ ” he wrote. “Well, she says it’s ‘I COULD care less.’ ”

    Ann voted with her reader — “the expression as I understand it is ‘I couldn’t care less’ ” — but she thought the question was trivial. “To be honest,” she concluded, “this is a waste of valuable newspaper space and I couldn’t care less.”

    ================================

    She couldn’t have known it at the time, but her reader’s trivial question would be wasting newspaper space (and bandwidth, too) for decades, as it blossomed into one of the great language peeves of our time. In 1972, Ann’s sister and fellow advice-peddler, Dear Abby, used “could care less” in print herself, and got an earful from readers. In 1975, the Harper’s usage dictionary declared that “could care less” was “an ignorant debasement of the language.” (Said panelist Isaac Asimov: “I don’t know people stupid enough to say this.”) In 1979, William Safire declared in his New York Times column that “could care less” had finally run its course: “Like most vogue phrases, it wore out its welcome.”

    But three decades on, “could care less” is flourishing. Ben Zimmer, examining its career last year in a column at the language website Visual Thesaurus, reported that “could care less” had steadily gained ground in edited prose. In American speech, according to research by linguist Mark Liberman, “could care less” is far ahead of the “couldn’t” version. And “could care less” is no recent corruption, Zimmer found; it shows up in print by 1955, only 11 years after the first sighting of “couldn’t care less.”

    So the usage is over a half century old. The author goes on to discuss some other usages that pedants like yourself bothered people about before you showed up:

    Among the peeves of 100 years ago, there are plenty of short-lived scandals, nits nobody has picked since the Treaty of Versailles. Usagists once scorned ovation (for “applause”) because the word “really” meant a minor Roman triumph. Dirt was supposed to mean “filth,” not good clean soil. Reliable was called a “monstrous” coinage, practitioner “a vulgar intruder.” But none of these rulings had much effect.

    In our time, bemused has quietly shifted its sense from “befuddled” to something like “wryly or quizzically amused.” Apparently everyone finds it more useful in its new role, because objections (though they have been recorded) are relatively rare. The transition from “was graduated from college” (once the proper form) to “graduated from,” in the 19th century, met little resistance, and the 20th-century move to the simpler “graduated college” is well underway.

    Other peeves just won’t die. Aggravate was aggravating Latin-minded usage writers in the 1860s, and you still hear from people who think it should mean only “make worse,” not “annoy.” Other issues nearing the 150-year mark are the propriety of “there’s two more,” the use of decimate to mean “destroy,” and the debate between “taller than I” and “taller than me.” Compared to these hardy perennials, “could care less” is a mere sprout.

    Finally, the author gives a summary (emphasis mine):

    Last month in Reader’s Digest, this month in the Simmons College Voice, all over the Web, sober professionals and spelling-impaired amateurs continue to insist that “I could care less” really must mean “I care to some extent.” But it doesn’t; it never has; it never will.

    So I’m sorry, Jarryd, but there’s a whole host of things in English that make absolutely no sense. Why does “a pair of pants” mean one item of clothing but “a pair of shirts” means two items of clothing?

    And I’m sure that there was a string of dang nitpickers like yourself bitching for the first hundred years that the expression “a pair of pants” was common … then people gave up on the stupid insistence that the language has to make sense when it doesn’t.

    Many, many things in English are illogical and make no sense, Jarryd. I speak English the way it is spoken. And neither I nor the other millions of English speakers are likely to change, so you’d better get over it and forget about your pet peeve or else you’ll be making a social nuisance of yourself by complaining about people saying perfectly valid things like “a pair of pants” or “ovation” or “I could care less” until you die …

    And while I could care less if you do that, given the negative social aspects of always trying to correct your friends about how English should be spoken when you are wrong regarding how the language actually is spoken, you probably should care more …

    w.

  56. Willis, thanks for bring this to our attention.

    Time to write/call our congressmen and senators, again even if you are not an American. Many lobbyists lobby for foreign companies, so no reason non Americans cant put in their comments.

    US Senate Committee on Energy and resources, Members: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=About.Members

    US House of Rep, subcommitee on Energy: http://science.house.gov/subcommittee-energy-and-environment (Members listed on right)

  57. TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney) says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Good analysis, but let’s leave the grandchildren – of Hansen or whoever – out of it.

    You’re missing the historical reference. I’d love to leave out the grandkids, but Hansen is always raving about how we have to do something or other on account of the grandchildren

    w.

  58. CO2 from the oilsands, is called pollution. The author, Mike De Souza, writes many alarmist articles.

    “the statistics left out of the inventory revealed that the industry’s annual pollution had grown by nearly 300 per cent since 1990, and was no longer reducing emissions per barrel of oil produced.”

    Oil lobby group CAPP got “help” from muzzled federal expert
    http://www.vancouversun.com/life/environment/lobby+group+CAPP+help+from+muzzled+federal+expert/5512052/story.html

  59. I must admit that anything a fraudulent old eco loon like Hansen is against has very probably got great merit and should be supported.

    But it is very interesting that Hansen is putting in an appearance at the Royal Society’s “Warm Climates of the Past” bunfight next week.
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/6/hansen-at-the-royal-society.html

    I hazard a guess that Hansen won’t be paying for his air fare or his accomodation. I doubt that the Royal Society will pick up the tab. So it is likely to be the taxpayer, either here in the UK or you lot in the USA. And is he using his holiday allowance, or had he been given paid leave?

    Anyone know?

  60. The whole oil sands development is viewed as a lucrative cash cow for the Green Extortionists, and so far they have extracted tons of cash from them both directly and indirectly.

    One example of the indirect method is the recently created ‘Boreal Forest Iniative’ which is being used by the ‘Conservation Biology’ department orf Eco-Crisis Inc. to suck money out of the oil sands companies because they are in a (miniscule portion of) the boreal forest.

    Here’s more junk science from Paul Paquet, a disciple of Reed Noss et al, who is such a joke that his wolf research business in Banff National Park was thrown out of there about a decade ago. And that says a LOT considering how eagerly Parks Canada supports crisis junk science.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/17/oil-sands-wildlife

  61. If the Key Stone pipeline is canceled it could be a bigger win for Canada and the USA.

    As a Canadian I am of 2 minds as to whether to Key Stone pipeline should go ahead or not.

    The Key Stone pipeline would have a great economic benefit for the USA, especially the Gulf States if the pipeline were successful.

    Remember Canada will be shipping crude oil to the US Gulf States for eventual processing into many petroleum by products including Gasoline and Diesel fuels to name just a few, that are then reshipped all over the states for manufacturing and energy use.

    The real benefit for Canada and the USA would be a cancellation of the Key Stone Pipeline and for the Processing plants to be built near the Oil sands.

    This is where the real money is!

    This would create serious high paying jobs and a boom in the mechanical equipment/with Canadian and US labor and jobs in a constant high demand, affecting and growing supply industries of every conceivable kind both in Canada and the USA. There are many large Industry refinery / processing company’s standing by with a plan B option; they already have options or ownership of land ready to go.

    Warren Buffet is one of many to reconise this very strong possibility he and others are already planning great north/south resurgence in the rail lines and rolling stock. This would also benefit many other USA states en-route allowing distribution points for petroleum products all along the route.
    This in turn could create business opportunity and production facility/plants and factories all along the rail and road routes.
    Oil/ petroleum makes literally 1000”s of essential products for industry the auto sector being one of many.
    This might still be the best and most economic way with other benefits such as massive upgrade to the aging rail system that is a wonderful multipurpose shipping ability anyway.

    A Win -Win solution only the Greens will hate.

  62. Willis, the choice we face is not between Middle East oil, or Mexican oil and Canadian oil, it is between oil and alternative energy sources. The rest of the world is dealing with this challenge now successfully; it is only in the United States that there is controversy surrounding this issue. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the USA burns about 25%b of the world’s fossil fuel energy. This is both unfair and unwise.

    By the way Willis, tar sands oil is carbon rich, and the amount of gas required to heat and process it is about 20% of the available gas Canadian supply. Threats to the environment, including the water, which you gloss over, are well-documented.

    There are too many risks____environmental and ecological___ to make the building of another pipeline a safe choice.

  63. Good analysis, but let’s leave the grandchildren – of Hansen or whoever – out of it.

    You’re missing the historical reference. I’d love to leave out the grandkids, but Hansen is always raving about how we have to do something or other on account of the grandchildren …

    Hansen does that for a reason: His CO2 catastrophe isn’t visible now and it won’t be important for his kid’s future, so he has to use the grandkids. My prediction is that those kids will die of cancer, not global warming.

  64. Hugh P;
    Successfully? Name one country or region. The BRICs are laughing their way to the bank selling hyper-priced gear to fools willing to buy it, and doing at most little demo projects for show. Countries spending big on ‘mitigation’ like Spain, Scotland, Denmark, England are achieving bupkiss and burning money wholesale.

    And by the IPCC’s own figures, with the delusional “2°C” target stripped away, all the CO2 targets being met won’t have an actual detectible effect on temps for many decades, or even, as the Aussie minister blurted, many centuries.

    At the cost of massively depopulating economic devastation. Which is, the Greens publicly confide, a feature, not a bug.

  65. Well, as a Canadian, I’d sooner we moved all those Texas refineries to wonderful Canada, and not the raw product in the other direction:-)

  66. So instead of “dirty” oil from a strong democracy and ally like Canada, Hansen and his travellers would prefer blood-soaked oil from scumbag terrorist-supporting dictatorships like Saudi Arabia?

  67. Hugh Pepper, you are completely wrong. The rest of the world (except stupid Australia and Britain) is dropping “green” technologies like they had plague as energy prices rise unecessarily during economicly difficult times.

  68. Hugh Pepper:

    Willis, the choice we face is not between Middle East oil, or Mexican oil and Canadian oil, it is between oil and alternative energy sources. The rest of the world is dealing with this challenge now successfully; it is only in the United States that there is controversy surrounding this issue. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the USA burns about 25%b of the world’s fossil fuel energy. This is both unfair and unwise.

    The rest of the world is doing what? Excuse me? Who freaking cares? But for sake of interest, what exactly do you think the “rest of the world” is doing?
    Fair? What is “fair”? Are you in third grade? Still smarting from dodgeball?

    By the way Willis, tar sands oil is carbon rich, and the amount of gas required to heat and process it is about 20% of the available gas Canadian supply. Threats to the environment, including the water, which you gloss over, are well-documented.

    I have to assume you’re reading challenged, since the alleged “threat to the water” is covered quite thoroughly. However, instead of actual numbers, you’ve simply made a broad, unsupported statement. Ridiculous. The one number you actually provide is so wildly wrong it could only come from the raging pen of a scaremongerer.

    There are too many risks____environmental and ecological___ to make the building of another pipeline a safe choice.

    Not that I actually care, but what risks? You have not stated any. All you have done is express that you, like apparently millions of others, are incapable of critically evaluating information and instead believe someone else when they tell you a pipeline is unsafe.

  69. Philip Peake says:
    October 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

    . Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that paper has limited recycling ability, and all the paper they use is less paper for other uses which instead have to use fresh trees.

    The best comment I’ve seen about paper recycling is that the trees used are grown like a crop for the purpose, so “saving trees” is like saying, “Recycle your bread crumbs! Save the Wheat!”
    Heh.

  70. Willis:
    I think there’s another factor you haven’t included. If the oil is going to China, the well-to-wheels calculations go up because of the added transportation from Canada to the Pacific rim. Plus, the environmental risk goes down if a pipeline is used instead of ships and trains. IIRC, the Alaskan pipeline was to have extended down to the contiguous US, but environmentalists blocked that and the ocean terminal was created. Hence the Exxon Valdez spill wouldn’t have happened if the pipeline had been allowed.

  71. Re: caring, etc.
    I’m definitely on the “couldn’t” side, but have come up with a great (even slangy) compromise:
    “As if I could care less!”
    I commend it to all.
    :)

  72. Robert of Ottawa says:
    October 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Well, as a Canadian, I’d sooner we moved all those Texas refineries to wonderful Canada, and not the raw product in the other direction:-)

    Unfortunately your refinery equipment seems to be stuck somewhere between Idaho and Montana. The ‘mega-load’ thing is in worse shape then the pipeline thing.
    http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2011/09/23/montana-judge-delays-mega-load-ruling-until-october

  73. But W., I fear you stand revealed, nekked as a jaybird. Coming down on the side of “consensus grammar”, however crapulous! It’s shocked and saddened are we with standards of clarity and coherence.

    >:-p

  74. Martin Brumby says:
    October 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

    “I hazard a guess that Hansen wont be paying for his air fare or his accommodation. I doubt that the Royal Society will pick up the tab. So it is likely to be the taxpayer, either here in the UK or you lot in the USA. And is he using his holiday allowance, or had he been given paid leave?”

    “Anyone know?”

    I don’t know who is paying his way (he has considerable means, so a trip like this is no big deal relative to his personal wealth).

    However, isn’t it interesting that when he needs to transport himself somewhere across the globe, “dirty” petroleum is there to make his planes fly and his transportation cars operate safely?

    I really think that these people need to STOP USING ALL PETROLEUM PRODUCTS. PERIOD. TODAY. Not doing so is just utter hypocrisy…

  75. Paul H
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/06/the-only-choice-is-where-it-gets-burned/#comment-761017

    I posted this in tips and notes, but it has since been cleaned. Hooray!

    According to Dr. Suzuki, all fossil fuels are unethical, because burning them causes global warming.

    David Suzuki: Is oil from Alberta’s tar sands ethical?
    http://www.straight.com/article-478056/vancouver/david-suzuki-oil-albertas-tar-sands-ethical

    And a rebuttal from Ethical Oil

    David Suzuki’s moral relativism on the ethics of oil
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/story_print.html?id=5506222&sponsor=

  76. @Galane says:

    October 6, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Build the bloody pipeline, but instead of wasting money running it wayyyy over and down to the southern shore of Texas, build a refinery in Idaho and pipe the oil a much shorter nearly straight shot south.
    ————-
    Not only that but it’s a lot more efficient to pump refined products through a pipeline than tar.

  77. The real travesty is that we (Canadians) will not be shipping oil/crude down south but the bitumen. The bitumen is mixed with diesel and send down, then once extracted the diesel is sent back up in the loop. So, instead of selling oil/crude at over $100 a barrel, we will be selling the bitumen for about $10. Canada is getting screwed again and our resources ransacked. We should be sending the bitumen to the east and make fuel that we can sell at huge profits.

  78. Willis: I could care less.

    You are correct.

    It is an irony: a locution whose meaning is the opposite of the literal interpretation, and it always has been. When spoken, the tone of voice communicates the irony.

    Alternatives are “Like I could care less”, “Do you think I could care less?”, and “I could care less –NOT!”

    Nothing is more tedious than the slings and arrows of misguided pedants — the proud man’s contumely when he is utterly wrong.

    You have my sympathy for tolerating us.

  79. Robert of Ottowa: The rest of the world (except stupid Australia and Britain) is dropping “green” technologies like they had plague as energy prices rise unecessarily during economicly difficult times.

    Solar, wind and biofuels R&D and installation are expanding worldwide. The rate fluctuates, but no one is “dropping” them. All energies have their problems: solar is diffuse and limited to daylight, but petroleum is a long way away from where most people live, and growing demand has driven up the price, and probably will continue to. Sure the alternatives have subsidies, but we pay our military to protect the tankers — without military protection, the pirates would capture all of them.

  80. TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney) says:
    October 6, 2011 at 2:22 am
    Good analysis, but let’s leave the grandchildren – of Hansen or whoever – out of it.
    ==================================================================

    That would be possible if the ‘warmista’ would stop invoking the, “do it for the children” tug on emotion. Our resistance here in Australia is “for the children” … in fact, to give them a future economic prosperity to look forward to. I am appalled at the level of AGW indoctrination of children in Australian schools by the (socialist) educationalists.

    Hanson should not invoke his grandchildren as a cause or they too will become embroiled in his deception.

  81. “Not only that but it’s a lot more efficient to pump refined products through a pipeline than tar.”

    Not really. First it’s not TAR. 2nd, refine the crude and you have many different products, which would require a separate line for each instead of one big line. You’d need 6 smaller pipelines instead of one.

    “build a refinery in Idaho” The NIMBY’s and environmental assessment process, let alone the actual cost of the refinery, would cost multiple billions and take 25 years to complete. Why bother when the capacity already exists?

  82. Willis-

    Thanks for a great post on something, the approval of which, in earlier times, would have been a no-brainer. But to the eco-nuts (I refuse to call them environmentalist. I’m an environmentalist) anything to do with oil is bad and they oppose it. You would think that this is only pipeline bringing Alberta oil sand products to the U.S. Not so. In addition to the existing TransCanada Pipeline, there are several others. See this site:

    http://www.cepa.com/map/pdf/liquids-pipelines.pdf

    You covered the water use and CO2 arguments well. Their other main argument is that it goes over a portion of the Ogallala aquifer in eastern Nebraska. So a spill would contaminate the aquifer. This is highly unlikely since the Ogallala doesn’t recharge in that area very fast. Also, the water flow is from West to East so anything getting into the aquifer would not promulgate to the west. Pumping water out of it has been called “mining paleowater.” For the Wikipedia article on the Ogallala see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer

    Note also that a U.S. State Deparement study found that the route of the Keystone XL pipeline would be unlikely to have significant environmental impacts.

  83. Septic Matthew says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Robert of Ottowa: The rest of the world (except stupid Australia and Britain) is dropping “green” technologies like they had plague as energy prices rise unecessarily during economicly difficult times.

    Solar, wind and biofuels R&D and installation are expanding worldwide.

    No, “green” technologies are not expanding “worldwide”. They are expanding where the local government subsidizes them, or requires them (ethanol), or does both.

    But when the subsidies dry up, so do the installations.

    The rate fluctuates, but no one is “dropping” them.

    Germany is cutting back, and Spain has dropped subsidies entirely. The article about Spain says:

    Factories world-wide that had ramped up production of solar-power components found that demand for solar panels was plummeting, leaving a glut in supply and pushing prices down. Job cuts followed.

    Spain’s experience should have been a wake-up call for those pushing solar … but as you have just proven, not everyone woke up. Bloomberg News says:

    Solar Sales May Drop for First Time as Rates Cut, BNEF Says
    October 05, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT
    Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) — Sales of solar panels may decline for the first time in 2012, leaving manufacturers with mounting inventories and excess capacity, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.

    “New capacity in 2012 is likely to be flat if not lower than this year after significant drops in subsidies in key European markets,” Martin Simonek, a solar analyst at the London-based research firm, said in an interview. “That demand during 2011 has been stronger than last year has helped many companies stay alive. Next year will be different.”

    As always, it’s subsidy driven.

    All energies have their problems: solar is diffuse and limited to daylight, but petroleum is a long way away from where most people live, and growing demand has driven up the price, and probably will continue to. Sure the alternatives have subsidies, but we pay our military to protect the tankers — without military protection, the pirates would capture all of them.

    We pay our military to protect all ships at sea, from tankers to those carrying solar panels from China and wind turbines from Germany. So that subsidy is across the board, everyone enjoys it, not just oil.

    So if the world is not “dropping green technologies” as you claim, Matthew … then why is the “demand for solar panels plummeting”? Why are solar sales dropping for the first time?

    Easy answer … subsidies, and the lack thereof.

    Or we could look at the use of ethanol in fuel. The huge “success” story on this one is Brazil. Here’s the latest news from the south:

    Brazil Moves to Cut Back Its Pioneering Alcohol Fuel Program
    June 17, 1989|WILLIAM R. LONG | Times Staff Writer
    RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil is taking measures to curtail the growth of its pioneering alcohol fuel program, which has saved gasoline and reduced pollution but has caused economic distortions and cost the nation billions of dollars.

    The government has whittled away price incentives for using pure alcohol fuel, diminished the amount of alcohol added to gasoline, and told auto manufacturers to begin producing fewer alcohol-powered cars.

    Oops, Brazil is dropping ethanol, just like Robert said[DELETED, old article, didn’t notice. – w.] … or we could look at wind power. From the Guardian:

    Is Germany’s windfarm dream a load of hot air?
    Wrangling over subsidies has seen construction of offshore windfarms in Germany fall far behind schedule

    Oooops …

    I could find dozens and dozens of examples, but that should serve. So I’d say Robert is right. Subsidies for alternative energy are falling all over the world, and installations of so-called “green” technologies are falling in lockstep.

    w.

  84. Jurg Burg says:
    October 6, 2011 at 6:13 am

    It’s not a given that a pipeline will be built to the west coast of Canada to ship oil to Asia. The environmental groups are already starting to line up money to fight the pipeline — pumping the cash to native groups to protest, something that always plays well in the media. The ultimate goal of the enviros is stop investment in oil sands and other unconventional oil with the purpose of diverting that investment to their favourite “green” companies — solar, wind, biofuels, biomass, etc. Note that over the past few years David Suzuki has been organizing protests in Quebec to stop oil sands oil from going east, thereby cutting of exports to Europe.

    Thanks, Jurg. You are right that it is not a given that a pipeline will be built to the west. But I doubt very much if the oil will just stay in the ground. There’s too many dollars, and too many jobs, for that to happen.

    Regarding your comment on Suzuki and the “native groups”, you underestimate the pipeline folks. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline folks say:

    Building New Partnerships with Aboriginal Groups
    Enbridge has a long history of working with Aboriginal groups and has put in place a detailed Indigenous Peoples policy that identifies paths to mutual success. We have embraced a new relationship with Aboriginal peoples across Canada and recognize Aboriginal rights.

    Northern Gateway is committed to working with First Nations and Métis groups along the pipeline route to create meaningful economic opportunities and to incorporate traditional knowledge into the planning and operations of the project. A measure of our success will be our ability to accomplish these goals.

    To achieve this high level of respectful and meaningful involvement, Northern Gateway is seeking to develop:

    • Aboriginal equity ownership in the Kitimat terminal and pipeline operations
    • Protocol Agreements that provide funds to support a dialogue between Northern Gateway and Aboriginals groups
    • Additional agreements that cover specific opportunities such as employment, training, business procurement and environmental protection
    • A coastal community strategy to build upon the local knowledge and skills of coastal First Nations

    Given the jobs and the money involved, and the generally poor job opportunities and sluggish economy in that part of the world, I suspect that there will be a whole lot of local support for the pipeline (along with the inevitable protests you speak of.)

    w.

  85. Willis,.
    Your conclusion that after all the BS is debunked that the ulterior motivation becomes clearer resonates with me. This should be a focus of attention in examination of the CAGW propaganda, i.e. can we see the motivation that is not relevant to the science shining through the spin? It is likely to be the most successful in creating discomfort…..
    Ken

  86. old engineer says:
    October 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    … You covered the water use and CO2 arguments well. Their other main argument is that it goes over a portion of the Ogallala aquifer in eastern Nebraska. So a spill would contaminate the aquifer. This is highly unlikely since the Ogallala doesn’t recharge in that area very fast. Also, the water flow is from West to East so anything getting into the aquifer would not promulgate to the west.

    That might be a reasonable argument if there weren’t a host of pipelines that cross the Ogallala right now, including carrying Canadian crude. The aquifer is the irregular area in the central USA, colored blue.

    Crude pipelines are not as big a problem over aquifers as refined products, since these are much thinner and seep and are carried by rain down to the aquifer much easier than is crude oil. Here’s the refined pipelines crossing the Ogallala aquifer:

    As you can see, the Ogallala Aquifer is crisscrossed by pipelines …

    w.

  87. Willis,

    Excellent post. However, one article you referenced in a response; “Brazil Moves to Cut Back Its Pioneering Alcohol Fuel Program June 17, 1989|WILLIAM R. LONG | Times Staff Writer”, does appear to be from the LA Times, in the year 1989. Not exactly the latest news from the south.

  88. Steve Allen says:
    October 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Willis,

    Excellent post. However, one article you referenced in a response; “Brazil Moves to Cut Back Its Pioneering Alcohol Fuel Program June 17, 1989|WILLIAM R. LONG | Times Staff Writer”, does appear to be from the LA Times, in the year 1989. Not exactly the latest news from the south.

    My bad, ignore alien orders … Brazil is still in the “require it” column with all local motor fuel requred to be 25% ethanol. Except right now they can’t get enough ethanol, so they’ve temporarily reduced the requirement to 20%.

    Many thanks,

    w.

  89. Willis in regards to the ‘pair of pants-single shirts’ issue, it’s the fault of our ‘better halves’.
    They’re the ones who buy ‘pairs of knickers’ even though they only have one bum,
    and ‘single bras’ even though they have two breasts.

  90. I would prefer that a very large state of the art refinery be built in North Dakota. This is the newest article I could find on the number of refineries in the USA.
    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/06/no-new-oil-refineries-since-1976.html
    We have become a net exporter of gasoline.
    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2011/05/03/US-becomes-net-fuel-exporter/UPI-38911304425703/
    http://www.firstenercastfinancial.com/news/story/45062-us-net-gasoline-exports-45-july-vs-year-ago

  91. Willis: Subsidies for alternative energy are falling all over the world, and installations of so-called “green” technologies are falling in lockstep.

    OK, some looseness in “all” over the world — biofuels R&D remains strong and is increasing in China, Indonesia, Brazil (!) and the U.S. Solar continues to expand in Japan, the US, India, China and (this fluctuates) Germany. Wind continues to expand in China, the US and India.

    It’s true that one subsidy does not justify another, but all energies and transportation technologies have been subsidized: you can hardly fly into an airport that wasn’t financed by government, or on a plane that didn’t benefit from government subsidies, or powered by an aircraft engine whose development wasn’t subsidized. The Boeing 787 is manufactured from carbon using materials and techniques invented under government subsidy. Same for fiber-optic cables and the internet, and same for the carbon-based filaments carrying the electricity of the future.

    How much besides oil goes through the Persian Gulf where we have our largest naval deployments? Coal? Aluminum? Solar Panels? Automobiles? Do you really think that our Pacific fleet is guarding Pacific shipping? One can’t say for sure, but I think that when oil runs out the U.S. will stop patrolling the Persian Gulf — it isn’t really a nice place for our fleet. It is hard to say exactly how much of the defense budget is oil related, but I think it’s considerably more than total government subsidies for alternative energy supplies. We should invent a currency denomination called the “Solyndra”, worth somewhere between $550M and $950M, and tally up how many Solyndras per month our oil-related military deployments are costing us.

  92. Re: I could care less.

    Most examples given above are examples of words subtly changing in meaning. Pair of pants has a very good reason. This is about a whole term being the complete opposite thing, and very wrong.
    If everyone is wrong, it doesn’t mean that they are right. I don’t care how many people “understand” the term, it’s still wrong. So language evolves by the illiterate making mistakes, they’re still wrong. It’s on par with the use of “yous” as the plural of “you”.
    I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks, they’re still wrong. I also couldn’t care less about continuing this pointless argument. We have better things to argue about, such as how we throw Gillard out of my country.

  93. Willis writes “So if the world is not “dropping green technologies” as you claim, Matthew … then why is the “demand for solar panels plummeting”? Why are solar sales dropping for the first time?”

    Errr…dont you think the global economic recession might have something to do with that?

  94. Willis also writes “We pay our military to protect all ships at sea, from tankers to those carrying solar panels from China and wind turbines from Germany. So that subsidy is across the board, everyone enjoys it, not just oil.”

    I think if you take the wider view, securing the oil resources in the middle east has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and has significantly contributed to destroying the US economy. I certainly wouldn’t belittle the true costs of oil. Any “CO2 cost” is insignificant by comparison.

  95. Figure 2. Life-cycle use of water to produce various kinds of liquid fuels, from CERA.

    Asinine biofuel-bashing. Those figures are such a lie. Idiotic.Stupid.Evil.Lying.

    Included in that intentional misinformation is rain that falls on the crops. Any other water used in biorefining is EASILY recycled or simply delivered to another end-user like feedlots or irrigation systems.

  96. DocWat said Oct 6 at 1:13AM says Rumor has it that China and OPEC are funding the environmentalist action against the XL pipeline. Anyone out there got real evidence?

    DocWat, it has been proven and articles published in the Vancouver Sun that American interests like the various entities funded by George Soros and the Packard Foundation from LA have been funnelling miilions of dollars to the anti- Northern Gateway Pipeline activists and the First Nations to protest against the development of Northern Gateway. So if you want OPEC and the Chinese to butt out of your internal matters, maybe start by getting American special interest to butt out of an internal Canadian matters.

  97. SteveE says:
    October 7, 2011 at 3:30 am

    “Probably best to axe the pipeline as petrol usage is plummeting too!”
    “Or maybe there could be another reason…”

    The reason is that people can’t afford it! How much TAX is in that petrol?

    BTW I’ll take the pipeline oil any day. Bring it on!

  98. Ray says:
    October 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    The real travesty is that we (Canadians) will not be shipping oil/crude down south but the bitumen. The bitumen is mixed with diesel and send down, then once extracted the diesel is sent back up in the loop. So, instead of selling oil/crude at over $100 a barrel, we will be selling the bitumen for about $10. Canada is getting screwed again and our resources ransacked. We should be sending the bitumen to the east and make fuel that we can sell at huge profits.

    The oil companies make about $0.08 per profit $1 of refined gas. That’s not a huge profit, but they do a high volume.

  99. Hugh Pepper says:
    October 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    Willis, the choice we face is not between Middle East oil, or Mexican oil and Canadian oil, it is between oil and alternative energy sources. The rest of the world is dealing with this challenge now successfully; it is only in the United States that there is controversy surrounding this issue. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the USA burns about 25%b of the world’s fossil fuel energy. This is both unfair and unwise.

    It’s so unfair. They offered it up for sale and we said we’d buy it!

  100. Willis,

    Several posts have questioned whether the Saudi’s have been funding the protests against the pipeline, while that is not clear, what is clear is they’ve been attempting to influence the media through legal threats and pressure. A very clever group called ethicaloil.org has greenie heads spinning by questioning the morality of buying oil from a country that silences women, doesn’t allow them to work or leave the home without a male guardians permission, stones homosexuals etc etc. They have obviously hit a nerve as the Saudi’s through one of the world’s largest law firms threatened CTV (one of Canada’s largest private television networks) with legal action if they ran ethicaloil.org’s advertising. See the story here along with a great television ad:
    http://www.ethicaloil.org/news/saudi-arabia-moves-to-censor-canadian-tv-ad/

    This ad also ran on the Oprah network and the Saudi story has been picked up by the mainstream Canadian media here:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ethical-oil-ad-sparks-war-of-words-between-ottawa-saudis/article2173999/

  101. These oil hating folks should be banned from using any fossil fuela!!
    http://fuelfix.com/blog/2011/10/06/api-keystone-xl-opponents-want-to-politicize-pipeline-decision/
    A small but vocal minority of fossil fuel foes are mounting “sideshows” designed to distract from the potential jobs and energy security benefits of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said today.

    The State Department is holding its final public hearing on the proposed pipeline in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, paving the way for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to determine whether the project is in the national interest next month.

    In recent days, environmentalists have sounded the alarm about e-mail correspondence between State Department officials and TransCanada’s top lobbyist that they say reveals an overly “cozy” relationship and bias in favor of the project. And on Wednesday, conservationists filed a federal lawsuit alleging that U.S. officials illegally allowed TransCanada Corp., to begin preparing the pipeline route even though it hasn’t formally been permitted.”

  102. More Soylent Green! says:
    October 7, 2011 at 6:35 am

    So, instead of making $0.08 Canada will only make $0.008. Even if the capital cost of a FCCU is high and its operation is tricky, this equipment returns millions of dollars in profit every day. This is all going South. It’s a shame for Canada.

  103. ““build a refinery in Idaho” The NIMBY’s and environmental assessment process, let alone the actual cost of the refinery, would cost multiple billions and take 25 years to complete. Why bother when the capacity already exists?”

    Well said.

    Environmental regulations make building new refineries not cost effective. It’s easier to expand capacities at existing refineries that are already permitted. That’s where we on the gulf coast has an advantage. We also have the advantage of plenty of fresh water. Most refineries are also on waterways which allow the transport of bulky refined products and raw materials by barge. Rail systems also are in place along these waterways. We are also at the apex of a vast pipeline network The infrastructure is already in place.

    For all of the above reasons, the Keystone pipeline to the gulf coast is the most efficient, logical and environmentally friendly choice.
    Lucky us!

    This begs the question: Since it’s better for “the many” or “the commons”, to use liberal parlance, why then are they fighting it? My only logical answer is that they do not really understand the meaning of “the commons” as the basic infrastructure provided by the free market. Their definition of “the commons” is a massive bloated bureaucracy controlled by government; one where they can “feel” that they are in control with a solitary vote (but where they are really being deceived time and again).

  104. TimTheToolMan: Why are solar sales dropping for the first time?”[sic]

    Not the first time: the overall growth rate oscillates. Solar power from pv cells can be installed faster and less costly than nuclear power (per gigawatt-hr of electricity produced), with less capital risk. Since people are much more active in the daytime than at night (industry and commerce generally), in most parts of the world where solar is installed the lack of power at night is not much of a problem.

    Notice that Solyndra did not simply fail; it was pushed out of business by other manufacturers, including those in the U.S., that expanded more rapidly and cut costs dramatically.

  105. From today’s newspaper, I thought these two headlines were kind of interesting.
    The E.U. is trying to vilify Canada’s oilsands. But meanwhile, their CO2 emissions continue to grow.

    Vote by European Commission to discriminate against oilsands crude should be wake-up call for Ottawa
    http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=5517745&sponsor=

    EU greenhouse-gas emissions +2.4% in 2010: estimates
    http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=5519141&sponsor=

  106. For anyone still hung up on CO2 emissions, one of the best ways to improve that statistic is to build new coal plants, which can reduce CO2 emissions (improve efficiency for the rest of us) by 30 to 40% over the average installed plant.

    http://www.worldcoal.org/coal-the-environment/coal-use-the-environment/improving-efficiencies/

    Somehow I just don’t see Big Green going for that, even though it is by far the most cost effective (profitable, for the rest of us) technique available for a large scale and fast to implement improvement. They get vastly reduced CO2, the rest of us get to save for retirement.. No Greenie in their right mind would want any of those things, it just reeks of a capitalistic solution.

  107. Regarding people dropping green schemes, Anthony highlights this one:

    Flagship UK carbon capture project ‘close to collapse’
    Scottish Power expected to pull out of government-promoted scheme to build a £1bn prototype CCS plant at Longannet

    A £1bn flagship government project for fighting climate change – the construction of a prototype carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Longannet in Scotland – is on the verge of collapse, it emerged on Thursday.

    Talks between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) and Scottish Power have run into deep trouble and the electricity supplier is expected to pull the plug on the government-promoted scheme, which hoped to bury carbon emissions from the coal power station in the North Sea.

    Willis’s Rule of Development states “If it doesn’t pay, it doesn’t stay.”

    w.

  108. Cam_S
    How quickly Europe forgets that North America saved their bacon twice.

    It was European masters who exploited the abundance of fur-bearing animals in North America to help create Canada. Yet today they turn up their noses at fur coats mostly harvested by native North Americans. It’s a bloody business…and now Canadian oil is a dirty business. But, of course, Europeans would prefer to buy their oil from unethical, immoral sources.

    Here’s what ethicaloil.org has to say:

  109. this pipeline vs railroad argument is one of those “whose ox is gored” things.

    it is conventional wisdom that pipelines will carry more than railroads. however that is not necessarily true. one of the figures that i saw bandyed about was that the pipe line proposed was 590,000 bbl per day.

    some staring at the wall calculations indicate that that would take about eight, YES EIGHT, modern trains to carry that much.

    [590,000×42/30,000/100] that is 590,000 bbls times 42 gal per bbl divided by 30,000 (the capy of modern tank cars) divided by 100 {a very conservative car count for a given train}. naturally there would be the same number of trains returning empty. so we have 8 trains, plus 8 mt’s, per day with 4 locomotives each and dividing the distance by ~500 miles [a distance easily traveled by these trains on a daily basis] and you have a reasonable quantity for the equipment needed. {for the ohhh but gang there are 4 railroads doing just this in this area with coal at the present time.} (yes they do have a verision of “flood loading for loading and discharging the trains [look up “tank trains”] which have been in use for nearly 40 years.)

    it is quite possible that a minimum amount of track will have to be laid to reach the loading and discharge points.

    the real sauce in the game is that railroads can haul things over the same route other than liquids. when the alaskan pipeline was built the people of the state desparately wanted to build a railroad instead of the pipeline because of this feature. (its one of those transportation in six feet of snow things).

    however the safety aspect of the pipeline was used to carry the day. [after quite a number of years the local folk might have a thing or two to say about that in regards to the alaska pipeline].

    and then yes we have the problem of a trainwreck right on top of a pipeline (as happened in san bernadino quite a number of years ago).

    when all is said and done its sheep, goats and hippopottamusasssss.

    C

  110. Willis’ rule is “Willis’s Rule of Development states “If it doesn’t pay, it doesn’t stay.” ”

    CCS was doomed from the beginning. Its an expensive pointless technology, highly constrained by geography. All cost and uttely no benefit. Added risk too I might ad, if the CO2 was to rise again en mass for whatever reason then it would suffocate everything in the vicinity.

  111. Marlow Metcalf says on October 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I would prefer that a very large state of the art refinery be built in North Dakota.

    Very smart proposition; THEN you only have to be concerned about (a) piping or trucking or ‘training’ all the various cracked and ‘catalytically’ derived products to the using locations/into the existing distribution chain and (b) assuring adequate AC Power generation and delivery into the new refinery plant… maybe not a very wise move after all.

    What about building a pipeline to EXISTING refineries who have the distribution network already in place and more than adequate AC Power gen and delivery to the plant?

    Wise, huh?

    .

  112. all of the distribution nodes for the various products have connections for pipelines, trains, and trucks. the mode of transportation is simply dictated by a combination of factors namely the size of the shipment, the speed that it needs to be delivered and the size of the storage medium that the reciever has.

    if the shipment is 10,000 gallons and you need it this afternoon then naturally a truck from the local refinery is indicated. if you need 100,000 gallons a day but your need starts in about a month then you probably will think about railroad service pretty heavily. 25,000,000 gal per day yeah probably a pipeline but if you’re on the coast bringing it in by the shipload is interesting although it will take years to get going.

    i live in long beach california where we have all 4 systems in operation, and believe me the idiots will find a way to bitch about any proposed system.

    the appearance is that using excess capacity of an existing system is the only way to go with the current political situation.

    C

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