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  •  how many times (4+ / 0-)

    do we have to debunk this talking point before it goes away.

    To review, there is a hard cap on how much fossil fuels we can burn.  Logically, this should really be only the least carbon intensive fuels.  THus, the MOST carbon intensive fuels must stay in the ground.  The oil companies extracting tar sand oil have been quite upfront that the development of the sands is limited by the price they can obtain and their capacity to export from the region, which is why they want a large pipeline to Texas refineries in the first place.  Thus, restricting this pipeline in turn restricts the economic viability and rate of development of the tar sands, which should not be developed

    I realize that many have been confused or hidden behind the cumulative nature of climate change.  Yes, restriction on no single carbon source has any significant impact on climate change by itself.  However, that's a fallacious argument in the extreme when we are confronted with a situation where many if not most carbon sources must be limited.  It's very much like the argument that no single bag of potato chips will make you obese by itself.  That's entirely true, but it is no argument for pigging out on potato chips and expecting not to gain weight from them collectively.  If you are trying to lose weight, then all or nearly all such bags must be cut from the diet, since these are among the most unhealthy of foods.

      Since we need to restrict most emissions sources, restriction on any source contributed to the total restrictions required.  Any solution requires limiting or eliminating tar sands extraction, as well as a basket of other limitations.

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:07:10 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This "talking point" will not go away (0+ / 0-)

      because it's not a talking point, it's reality.

      Big Oil wants the pipeline because it's the cheapest option to move their product to market - but to seriously suggest they'll stop developing the tarsand if they can only make $40/bbl as opposed to $60 is far-fetched.

      Consider the Bakken - a lack of a pipeline didn't slow down that particular clusterfuck one bit - why?  Because of excess rail capacity with diminished coal shipments.

      Now that the Bakken transportation needs are sated, Big Rail is turning it's attention to the Tar Sands

      You can read all about it

      here: Railroads emerge as alternative to Keystone XL pipeline for moving oil sands from Canada

      and here: Crude Oil Rides the Rails

      •  except that it isn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SanFernandoValleyMom

        Did I say "stop"?  No, I said "slow" the development.  So there's that

        Also, unlike Bakken, Alberta doesn't have excess rail capacity and isn't likely to get it immediately. Here, there is an actual bottleneck.  Even the article your cite suggests a waiting period for cars and does not suggest that rail can handle the full level of projected export from the site. In fact, the only source cited in that article suggests that currently it accounts for under 1% of the shipments.  That suggests that it would take a MASSIVE expansion, and that takes time to do, which buys time to fight that also.  

        And yes, generally less profitable enterprises are developed more slowly, so yes, making them less profitable is likely to slow the rate of exploitation and make the entire enterprise closer to being unprofitable.  Drive up costs both through limitations on the markets available and the total exports, and that puts us closer to driving the entire enterprise under water.

        Removing constraints is a terrible way to limit production though.  

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:59:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Alberta is full of railroads (google it!) (0+ / 0-)

          And the capacity of the Keystone pipeline can be met by one train every two hours.  

          I've sat by train tracks before, even in Canada, and observed trains going past quite a bit more frequently than that.

          And yes, the point of the article was that a MASSIVE expansion is right now getting started.  And will take considerable less time to get in place than a major new pipeline because much of the infrastructure already exists.

          About the shortage of railroad cars - don't worry - they're on that:

          Buffett’s Union Tank Car Co. is working at full capacity and Icahn’s American Railcar Industries Inc. (ARII) has a backlog through 2014. Trinity Industries Inc. (TRN), the biggest railcar producer, began converting wind-tower factories last year to help meet demand for train cars that can transport the petroleum product.
          just how idiotic is that?  But it's being done.

          And, another nugget in that paragraph is that it would be tremendously bad optics for Obama to nix a pipeline that would resultingly provide major economic benefits to his (perceived) benefactor, a Mr. Warren Buffet . ..

          •  if it's that easy (0+ / 0-)

            then why propose the pipeline at all, if it's a glorious Shangri La of capacity?  Yes, a MASSIVE expansion might be able to get to a quarter of Keystone's capacity after a time.  TO suggest that it will be super easy and instantaneous to swap out belies the effort that's been put into getting this pipeline.  

            so if Canada puts its entire shipping capacity to this purpose in a few years they might be able to match the Keystone XL.  What that means is that fighting this battle over the next few years will matter.  

            And of course, shipping by rail is considerably more expensive, which is also critical.  

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:28:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There already are rail cars on order (0+ / 0-)

              for 4x Keystone's capacity.

              That's something like 3.2 million bbl/day.

              With a projected delivery date of 18 to 24 months, that's like building 4 Keystones in 1/3 the time.

              •  Not sure on the rail car capacity (0+ / 0-)

                However I will say that rail is much dirtier and spill prone than pipelines. While the spills are smaller they are much more frequent. Also Canada is quite clear that if the keystone XL is blocked a pipeline either East or West to the ocean will be built.

                Blocking KXL for the U.S. is arguably a noble NIMBY cause as stated above but to slow the development of the tar sands, I find it unlikely.

                •  Yes, I might have been slightly off (0+ / 0-)

                  I was basing the turnaround on the Bakken:

                  Rail also offers flexibility and speed. Rail can carry oil from the Bakken region to the Gulf Coast in five days,
                  to be conservative, let's add 3 days to get to northern Alberta.

                  And bring in this information:

                  The State Department report on the Keystone XL proposal said there are 48,000 rail cars on backorder in North America.
                  The State Department said that Lloydminster offers access to the two biggest Canadian railroads, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National, and a terminal could load about 13 100-car unit trains a day, more than the capacity of the Keystone XL. Each rail car carries 500 to 700 barrels of crude, with heavy crude at the low end of that range, and the length of a full train is about 1.25 miles.
                  Let's say one car can carry 600 bbls (the average of 500 to 700 and it takes 16 days (8 days going, 8 days coming back) to take tarsands oil to the Gulf (again, this is conservative because some will be going to closer locations, like Seattle refineries that will need feedstock as Alaska oil dwindles).

                  So, let's divide 600 bbls per 16 days by 16 to get a figure on how many barrels are transported by car per day - that number is 37.5

                  Now let's multiple that by the 48,000 rail cars on order (to be delivered within 18 to 24 months) - the number is 1,800,000 bbl/day - or basically the entire current output of the tarsands operation.

                  Bottom line - rail can easily scale up to meet any projected production increases.

                  Heck, the infrastructure to do so IS ON ORDER - this isn't some pie in the sky scheme - it's something currently underway.

                •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                  It isn't going west for sure.  Far too much resistance to that. And if you check out the sources cited by RBG less than 1% is going by rail now.  Yes if Canada devoted its entire infrastructure to this one project to the exclusion of the entire rest of its economy it could pull it off

                  Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

                  by Mindful Nature on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 01:29:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  if you are willing to believe that aspect (0+ / 0-)

                    of my sources, why do you deny the rest of the information is true?  

                    Seriously, it is not difficult to ramp up rail transport at all.

                    The cars are being built in Texas, and the scale we are talking about to equal the KXL pipeline involves running about one train every two hours.  

                    You really have to check it out - CANADA DOES HAVE RAILROADS!  ALREADY!! in fact the country was built on them 150 years ago or whenever.

                    But what might have been confusing you is that they sometimes call them railways instead of railroads.  Actually the same thing, however - same gauge and everything that we use.

                    •  It isn't the rail roads (0+ / 0-)

                      It is the cars and the capacity.  Even your source says that there is some ramp up time here and is clear that it drives up costs, which is critical.

                      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescindibles.

                      by Mindful Nature on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 10:02:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  So your argument is (0+ / 0-)

        we shouldn't try to stop pollution because pollution is inevitable?

        I'm glad you weren't around in the 60s.  

        While we're at it, perhaps you could provide us with a complete list of the other problems that we face that cannot possibly be dealth with?  

        Cancer perhaps?  Slavery?  Child abuse?  

        You don't meet many bizarro activists.  

      •  just a side note (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy
        to seriously suggest they'll stop developing the tarsand if they can only make $40/bbl as opposed to $60 is far-fetched.
        And the same holds true for taxes and regulation. The GOP/Fox/MSM talking point is that we can't raise taxes on gazillionaires or increase regulations because if they have to pay more -- or face "uncertainty" -- they will simply stop blessing us with the glorious largesse of their godlike job creation and we will all suffer for all eternity.

        But the reality is that business is uncertainty. The whole idea of "risk taking" for profit means that there is no "certainty" in business. The idea that business should not ever be uncertain is ludicrous, but that it what we have been told: Only when profits are "certain" will jobs return, will business investment return.

        Tax the rich 30% instead of 12% or less and they will still be making more in a minute than most of us make in a year. Why would they stop? Tax the rich 30% and make it stick and all of our problems are solved.

        The "uncertainty" line is just another stupid GOP talking point that the MSM and the Democrats have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

        •  Yes, another way to look at this is that (0+ / 0-)

          demand for oil remains (or is actually increasing, on a global basis).

          Companies will seek to fill this demand, that is certain!

          And the lowest cost new sources cost somewheres between $85 and $120/bbl - or more than the tarsands even with the increased cost of rail factored in.  So the tarsands are essentially a bargain compared to the everything else and thus will continue to be developed as fast as possible.  With "possible" largely due to labor constraints in Northern Alberta.

          But anyways, the only uncertainty in tarsands development is whether oil will drop below $75 /bbl or so.  And quite frankly, reading trade websites, no one expects that.

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