Bill McKibben: poster boy for FAIL

Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist an...

Bill McKibben Image via Wikipedia

We told you so. Willis Eschenbach pointed out weeks ago how pointless and futile the McKibben driven 350.org protests about the XL pipeline were, because they did nothing to alter the fact that the oil would still be used, somewhere. See The Only Choice Is Where It Gets Burned

I mentioned in an essay Friday that:

Dr. Christy ended his essay with the title of this post saying “Don’t demonize energy, because without energy, life is brutal and short”….I thought those were good words to consider, especially since we have activist maniacs like weepy Bill McKibben out to demonize energy on a daily basis. McKibben and his followers, not possessing the intelligence to fully understand what they are doing, think “they won“.

Bottom line: that tar sands oil is going to be burned somewhere, in other countries willing to buy it. Stopping a pipeline has no effect on Canada’s export of the oil, only on American jobs, but McKibben and his 350.org is cluelessly ecstatic over this.

Looks like we were right, only one day later, Canada looks to sell the tar sands oil to China. From Energy Daily:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday that he was looking at exporting more oil to China after the United States delayed a decision on a controversial pipeline.

The conservative Canadian leader, taking part in a summit in Hawaii hosted by Obama said the pipeline decision had produced “extremely negative reactions” and that he discussed oil exports with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

“This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we are able to access Asian markets for our energy products,” Harper told reporters. “I indicated that yesterday (Saturday) to President Hu of China.”

Full story at Energy Daily.

McKibben’s goal of stopping the XL pipeline did nothing but hurt the United States and will have zero a net positive* effect on CO2 emissions from it. He’s not even a useful idiot.

*Update: Commenter Mark W points out that: Actually, this move will increase CO2 production, as it will take more energy to move that oil all the way to China

He’s right.

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Jeremy

So, can we finally acknowledge that poorly targeted environmental activism does nothing but prevent you from finding a job?

The government should sue/charge the 355 org with the amount that was lost for jobs. Simple.
Everything else is anti-American. ( and I’m not even American)

BC Bill

As a Canadian, I can’t understand why we had to ship our crude to the U.S. for processing. I thought economics says that it is more profitable to ship finished goods. What makes this even stranger is that Alberia, the source of the oil, is mostly (I exagerate, but not much) inhabited by Alberticans (American oil workers) and most of the companies involved in crude extraction are American or multinational, so the profit from oil extraction leaves the country anyway. Therefore, this crude export was all about creating American jobs. Alberian crude was going to go to Texas to create U.S. jobs in refining. Maybe if we sell to China, the laws of economics will apply and we will be allowed to sell semi-finished commodity to them. It would be against the Canadian national psyche to sell a fully finished product.

peter miller

The inevitable reaction to gross economic stupidity is to find an alternative. Emigrate, or find a new market and that’s just what is happening here. The only loser here is the USA – tens of thousands of jobs gone and loss of economic security – how stupid can you get?
I guess this is further evidence of the peaking and start of the ultimate decline of the USA, when dubious, economically disastrous, arguments win the day and vacillating presidents do the wrong thing hoping to win a few more votes.
I suppose the 20-50,000 who will not have a job because of this are supposed to feel warm and fuzzy about their sacrifice at the altar of the false God of Green,
Winston Churchill used to say:”You can always rely on the Americans to do the right thing – eventually!” In this case, I fear it will be too late.

But he got what HE wanted, and seeing how his fantasy includes holding the Green moral High Ground, He is self-assured that his victory is pure. Hugh Pepper, please, don’t rush to Bill’s defence again…the man is indefensible.

Jesse

I am sick and tired of radical environmentalists running our government. If they want to turn their own clock back 200 years, it’s okay with me. But don’t force the rest of us to follow along. There is plenty of places they could go to live like “mountain men”, so why don’t they just do it? Oh, I forgot, they couldn’t live without their cell phones, televisons, computers, air conditioning, electric lights, refrigerators, stoves, and automobiles.

MarkW

Actually, this move will increase CO2 production, as it will take more energy to move that oil all the way to China.

Johnny L

When Israel hits Iran and the Strait of Hormuz gets closed and when Chavez pegs off in the next few months leaving a potential civil war in Venezuela in its wake and oil is at $200+ a barrel and gasoline is $10 a gallon (if you can find it) in the US, methinks that the average US citizen will not be amused.

Pull My Finger

Actually worse than nothing consdiering all the CO2 emitted getting the oil to China who will certainly burn it with fewer precautions than the US has in place.
Why do these morons want to destroy their own country?

Johnny L

BC Bill….if you think that the economics of refining the product in Alberta (or Canada for that matter) wasn’t considered you haven’t been paying attention. It is not economical to do so….you need many pipelines to move highly volatile refined products to their market. The capital outlay is enormous, the margins are small.
Furthermore, Shell had proposed to build a multi-billion dollar refinery to refine oilsands oil in Sarnia but abandoned the project in 2008 due to economics and heavy pushback by environmentalists and first nations.

Mike from Canmore

Don’t underestimate the power of Tides Foundation, Suzuki et al to put the coastal pipeline into an overly burdensome “environmental” review

Juice

It’s going to be burned somewhere, and likely it will be burned dirtier, somewhere with fewer environmental regulations. You win this time “environmentalists.”

P Walker

We can thank our Waffler-in-Chief for this . Is there any hope left for this country ?

Schitzree

Will no one rid us of these turbulent climate priests?
(I mean get them out of our government and universities. Please don’t start threatening the lives of Climate Criers. Were not 10-10 after all)

Paul Westhaver

Canada has backed away from Kyoto as has Japan and China and the USA were never signatories.
Obama, in service to hi reelection campaign needs the support of the extreme left since he is at 40% approval in the polls. So he shortsightedly and suicidally chose to disable the pipeline.
I feel sorry for my American friends. However you have only yourselves to blame for this one. Obama is YOUR president and he is blocking the oil pipeline from you.
Canada will sell the oil to the available markets, China being one of many and USA will have to receive the oil via tanker of some other method that gives you no advantage. He handed a beating stick to the republicans, and the leftists are never really satisfied anyway.

saith MarkW upon November 14, 2011 at 10:04 am

Actually, this move will increase CO2 production, as it will take more energy to move that oil all the way to China.

As likely the US will still get a good bit of the oil, just at higher prices (to reflect the extra energy(oil) expended in shipping it less efficiently), thus causing each gallon delivered to a customer to release even more pollution than it otherwise would. This is how you win as an environmentalist, I guess.

There is no guarantee that Canada will be able to build a pipeline to B. C to ship anything anywhere. According to the timeline (http://www.northerngateway.ca/public-review/timeline) on the Enbridge site pipeline operation isn’t scheduled until mid-2016. The regulatory approval process will be completed in late 2012. First Nation groups are opposed so who knows.
It’s my understanding that existing capacity will initially be used to ship oil sands product to the U.S. so the only thing I see being lost in the short-term are jobs.
Also, anyone who thinks the planet is going to run out of oil anytime soon hasn’t been paying attention to shale oil, etc.

doug s

But you forgot that those who stopped it will be SAVED!!!! Hallelujah!!!!! Bless mother Giai, may she forgive us all!!!

corporate message

The older classification system has been replaced supposedly because of misuse of the terms defining the !Q ranges of the categories. This is how it goes:
IQ Range Classification
70-80 Borderline deficiency
50-69 Moron
20-49 Imbecile
below 20 Idiot
Please do not mis-categorize BIll’s usefulness.

BC Bill says:
November 14, 2011 at 9:59 am
What makes this even stranger is that Alberia, the source of the oil, is mostly (I exagerate, but not much) inhabited by Alberticans (American oil workers) and most of the companies involved in crude extraction are American or multinational, so the profit from oil extraction leaves the country anyway.

But not much…? How about a whole lot? In the Alberta oil patch, [oil sands] extraction is populated by Newfoundlanders; Fort McMurray sounds like St. Johns. For the conventional resource, the largest drilling contractors are Canadian, and the oil (refined or not) is Canadian. In all my travels around the upstream end of the patch, I rarely hear an American accent. The profit going SOB (South of Border) is based on a fraction of the dollar price of the oil to any SOB company. Refineries aren’t that profitable any more. Necessary, but not profitable. I do suggest checking one’s premises!

Bruce Cobb

McKibben and his fellow travelers simply use warmlogic, which has nothing to do with what is real, but is based on their fantasy that oil is bad because the process of burning it produces evil, planet-destroying C02. Their “thought” process then goes: oil is bad, and therefore, anything which makes it easier to both procur and process that oil is immoral, even if that particular way in fact produces the least amount of C02, being the most efficient. If something is inherently immoral, then the argument that “someone else will just do it if we don’t” doesn’t fly.
Thus we have this “victory” of the carbonistas over evil oil. In Water (melon) World, it is a very real victory.

Kaboom

McKibben, enemy of both the 99% and the climate. How very ironic.

BillD

The radical environmentalist are not just about getting rid of fossil fuels. The word is that they want to replace fossils fuels with clean, renewable energy. Some estimates suggest that solar will be cheaper than coal in the next five years, its price is coming down so fast! Of course, there are times when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, so forms of energy storage will need to be developed. However, by just delaying the pipeline for a few years, it is indeed possible that the pipeline will be come uneconomical, especially considering the enviromental costs of tar sand oil. And then we will need to retrain all of those petroleum engineers and coal miners to work on solar energy. That will be a difficult transition.

R. Lee Shearer

Maybe Greenpeace can build a sail powered tanker to help out the Chinese, who I bet will refine the syncude to Canada and U.S. EPA standards.
Of course, all of Greenpeace Vessel burn fossil fuels (although the Rainbow warrier can sail on the wind too). Maybe their helicopter only burns biofuels.

Brandon Caswell

The economical reason for not building refineries in Canada is not about costing more to move the finished product. It is because refineries are expensive (and maybe impossible to build in our new green climate) and it is was cheaper to just move oil to a refineries that already exists but are under-utilized. Plus there is no 5 years of permitting and law suits to use existing refineries. They are talking about 7 billion for the pipeline, that might not even build a single refinery, let alone enough to process all the oil. I’m in Saskatchewan and I would love to see refineries being built up here, but I’m realistic about the chances and economics of it.

Brandon Caswell

Plus Saskatchewan and Alberta are both already suffering from a labour shortage and people from BC and Ontario are too superior and smug to move out here to work. The people from the Maritimes however move here all the time and are smart enough to go where the work is instead of just complaining and demanding the world should bring everything to them.

Latitude

Ottawa has thrust trade with Asia to the top of its economic agenda after the Obama administration imposed a potentially fatal delay on a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline between the two countries.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadas-trade-vision-shifts-beyond-the-united-states/article2235094/

Dave Worley

POTUS negotiating “Pacific Trade” agreement overseas now.
No correlation of course.

David Ball

Time for the econaughts to stop using fossil fuel altogether. I promise I will use their share sparingly and wisely to keep my family and I safe and healthy and warm. Remember, no backsies, …… 8^D

EternalOptimist

Like most things in life, there are winners and losers here.
As an outsider, with no strong feelings on the subject, I can see that the US is not amongst the winners. What sort of American would think this is a good idea ?

john

Guest Post: Energy Independence – The Big Lie
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-energy-independence-big-lie
The green energy Nazis despise coal and nuclear power, which account for 31% of our energy supply. They want to phase coal out. They aren’t too fond of fracking either, so there goes another 23% of our supply. You might be able to make out that itsy bitsy green circle with the 7% of our supply from renewable energy. And more than half of that energy is supplied by hydro power. Less than 2% of our energy needs are met by solar and wind. For some perspective, we need to use the equivalent of 17 billion barrels of oil per year to run our society and solar and wind supplies the equivalent energy of about 300 million barrels of that total. I think our green energy dreams will come up just a smidgen short of meeting our demands.
Lets talk losses for a moment…
AC Transmission Line Losses
http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2010/ph240/harting1/
[snip]
According to the Department of Energy, California lost about 19.7 x 109 kWh of electrical energy through transmission/distribution in 2008. [1] This amount of energy loss was equal to 6.8% of total amount of electricity used in the state throughout that year. At the 2008 average retail price of $0.1248/kWh, this amounts to a loss of about $2.4B worth of electricity in California, and a $24B loss nationally.
And for the current boondoggle in the Northeast we have this:
Studies in New England where transmission for 12GW of wind (24% of energy) is estimated to cost $17B or 6.6 cents per kWh or twice the cost of the natural gas saved. $17B is a midrange estimate with cost estimates going as high as $25B. This is in addition to the $45B for the wind turbines. Total cost is 8 times the cost of the natural gas saved.

Luke

I think the reason there is no economic case, in terms of transporting raw/finished goods, is the that modern refining has very little product loss. In fact, in the case of heavy oils like those from tar sands, I believe that there is actually an increase in volume after refining due to all the hydrogen that must be added to upgrade it for maximum productivity, which could yield an increase in overall transportation costs.

J Martin

I don’t know anything about crude oil and energy generation, but if the object of selling the oil is to improve the Canadian economy, wouldn’t it be more effective and of longer term benefit if the oil was burnt in Canada to produce electricity and heat at very very low cost to households, and possibly even zero cost to businesses and factories located in Canada.
Surely that would bring a long term and widespread increase in the Canadian standard of living. Or wouldn’t that work ?

crosspatch

So, can we finally acknowledge that poorly targeted environmental activism does nothing but prevent you from finding a job?

The “green” movement is simply the “red” movement that has changed colors. It is about using environmental concerns to advance the global socialist agenda. In this case, diverting energy resources from the US to China. If you look at environmental policy, it is always about hamstringing the economies of Western Europe and North America and diverting resources to other places where there are no “environmental” agitators. It isn’t about the environment at all. It is about using environmental concerns to further the global socialist agenda.

Resourceguy

I look forward to the day when the Chinese sell enough US treasuries to pay for a new pipeline corridor in Canada for multiple oil and gas lines to the coast for Asian export at locked in prices and no possibility of it going down coast to whacko California.

BC Bill

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:
November 14, 2011 at 10:23 am
BC Bill says:………
But not much…? How about a whole lot? In the Alberta oil patch, [oil sands] extraction is populated by Newfoundlanders; Fort McMurray sounds like St. Johns. For the conventional resource, the largest drilling contractors are Canadian, and the oil (refined or not) is Canadian. In all my travels around the upstream end of the patch, I rarely hear an American accent. The profit going SOB (South of Border) is based on a fraction of the dollar price of the oil to any SOB company. Refineries aren’t that profitable any more. Necessary, but not profitable. I do suggest checking one’s premises!

Yes, the comment about Alberticans was more than a small exageration, though one sure has the impression that in Calgary executive positions in oil and gas exploration and development are disproportionalely held by Americans.
On the economics of refining, I guess that United States should be grateful that they have at least temporarily been saved from the terrible economic folly of refining crude in Texas. In Canada we may just have to suffer the economic hardship and refine crude ourselves if we want to sell oil sands oil (sarc). There you go readers, don’t look on this as a win for the greens, but a fortuitous reprieve from entering into a bad deal! (more sarc).

More Soylent Green!

Dave Worley says:
November 14, 2011 at 10:41 am
POTUS negotiating “Pacific Trade” agreement overseas now.
No correlation of course.

I’m not sure what the one thing has to do with the other, so you’re very likely correct that there is no correlation.

nc

Billd and everyone else it is oil sands, not tar sands. I know tar sand sounds worse therefore its popularity. For those that think the oil sands production area is some huge blight on the earth, see if you can find it on Google earth.Then after you have found it compare its production area to the size of a city. In my example the active production area is only 1/3 the size of Edmonton.

Latitude

Ever notice how we’re all running out of carbon fuels, oil, coal ,etc…..
…but countries have enough to sell to other countries?
Obviously, Canada is not worried about running out………..

rabbit

Obama may likely come to regret this decision.
In the next election, Republicans are going to accuse Obama of costing America jobs, energy, and money.
Should the Gateway (west coast) pipeline get approved within a year, the Republicans will have an even bigger stick to hit Obama with. Throw in an oil shortage — perhaps caused by Middle East unrest — and you have a perfect storm.

G. Karst

He who hesitates is LOST. GK

bubbagyro

It looks like “Hu’s on first”.

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta

BC Bill: After reading your comments a couple of times, I have concluded that it is your intention to slander and ridicule your Albertan neighbors. Characterizing our oil industry as populated with American oil workers is complete nonsense as is your contention that the industry is made up of mostly American and multi-national companies.
Our industry is dominated by Canadian companies, Encana, ARC, Talisman, Imperial Oil not to mention the hundreds of small and medium producers. Together they re-invest profits to the tune of $25 – $30 billion annually as opposed to your moronic suggestion that the profits are being siphoned-off to some evil empire.
I work in the industry every day. I have nearly 20 young men working for me today. They hail from Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and as far afield as South Africa. Most of the guys here today are (shock and horrors!) British Columbians! I printed-off what you had to say about them. I`m afraid the moderators won`t allow me to tell what your fellow BCèrs had to say about you.

Jackstraw

In Canada they are calling this move by the White House a nakedly political move and compare the current geopolitical risk in the US simular to that of Venezuela, Russia, or Libya. Embarrassing
http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Yedlin+Pipeline+decision+signals+open+business/5694979/story.html

George Lawson

How have these idiots been allowed to impose such a negative influence on mega business decisions that could massively benefit the US. economy well into the distant future. Why does America allow itself to be influenced by this small group of idiots who believe they can change the world by hitting the US hard and bringing its misguided intentions to have such a catastrophic effect on what was once a great world leading economy? Why is the US government seemingly so impotent against this dangerous cult? We in Britain have our own problems with these stupid people, but casting them aside, as they surely will be, will not be made any easier if you in the United States allow such dangerous people to gain seriuos control of your country.. Come on America, get your act together, show some of your historic backbone and demonstrate some resolve in the interests of your economic future, Your leadership in casting aside this misguided but influetial group of anti-capitalist boneheads is vital to your future and to that of the rest of the world..

bubbagyro

The irony is that we will end up buying the Canadian tar oil, but shipping it through the Canal up to the Gulf to the refineries, since the ecotards will tolerate zero refineries on the left coast. So, we will end up with a higher spill risk (ships’ spill risk is almost ten times higher than pipeline spill risk). Just add on the transportation costs. Hahaha! Obama is definitely not a useful idiot, just the other kind.

CodeTech

It’s sad, really. We (Alberta) wanted this pipeline, because we WANT to contribute to North America’s energy independence. It makes economic and political sense for the US to obtain oil from Canada instead of Venezuela or any middle-east country.
However, the product will continue to be produced, Oilsands production will continue to get more efficient, and production will continue to ramp up, no matter who buys it.
Don’t let the red-herring about a pipeline to the coast being blocked fool you. There already is a major pipeline going to port, and product is already moving west. If increasing that capacity runs into trouble, it won’t be insurmountable: more pipelines will be built and oil will flow.
There’s the key: THE OIL WILL FLOW, there will always be a market, the giant natural oil polluted area known as the Oilsands will be cleaned up one way or another.
Americans in Alberta? Only someone not in Alberta would believe that. We’ve come to appreciate and embrace the work ethic of Maritimers, and even the occasional Ontarian and Quebecer, once they realize they can practically write their own paycheque amounts when working in the patch in Alberta.

TRM

sarc
Watch out Canada, next thing McKibben will be demanding is that you stop oil sands development or face sanctions and possible invasion if that doesn’t work
/sarc

davidmhoffer

BC Bill;
It would be against the Canadian national psyche to sell a fully finished product.>>>
Oh my, coffee all over the screen thanks a bunch. The truth hurts. When you spray coffee through your nose and laugh until you start to lose consciousness, it hurts even more.

bubbagyro

Latitude:
That’s because the oil engineers understand that oil is continually being produced by abiogenic production in the earth’s mantle, and that we have an infinite supply because of that. True, stuff that isn’t pooled in domes we have to work at a bit to get it out if the domes have move out of place to the source (tectonics). Tar/shale sands are all over North America and mostly have yet to be exploited. Solar and wind power can never ever compete with oil and gas in the long run, mostly because of durability issues.