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View Diary: Canadian Oil Chief says US State Dept. EIS Wrong: Tar Sands XL Pipeline Will Increase Emissions (52 comments)

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  •  Lake Superior pipeline means boats on Great Lakes. (5+ / 0-)

    Just think of tar sands oil on the Chicago beachfront or the docks at Mackinac Island or in the sands of the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

    •  It makes more sense to move the bitumen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, Odysseus

      by rail - which is the default position w/o pipeline expansions - in that it is transported in solid form and thus alleviates much of the "spill" problem.

      Politically, however, this option poses a problem for rejecting Keystone in that Buffet's railroad will benefit greatly (i.e., that's bad optics for the Obama administration to look like it's playing favorites for a perceived liberal icon).

      •  you neglect the information in diary and other (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, aliasalias

        information that rail can not handle the volume needed.

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:28:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not true at all (0+ / 0-)

          you are relying on the statements of a minor player - the head of a small oil company - that does not have the where withal to get into rail big time (so, is basically a captive of pipeline capacity).

          The Bakken went from zero to hundreds of thousands of barrels of transport capacity a day by rail in only 2 or 3 years.

          There are currently enough rail cars on order (about a 2 year backlog) to transport about 1.8 millions of barrel of crude oil a day, which is completely adequate to meet tar sands expansion plans into the foreseeable future (e.g., until the year 2020 or so).

          If you look at the amount of ethanol transported by rail (which can't be transported by pipeline because it is too hygroscopic) a similar expansion in capacity took place, really quickly.

          Bottom line, it's already happening.  Big Time.

          •  yes you ignore facts... (0+ / 0-)

            Macca's Meatless Monday

            by VL Baker on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:45:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe you should stop listening to political (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus, LakeSuperior, RosyFinch

              blowhards and start paying attention to what's happening in the business world.

              For example, a recently granted patent for dual use diluent bitumen rail cars (to a Texas company, btw, that late last year converted a factory previously used to make wind turbines to now make rail cars for crude oil transport).

              Here's some context on the bitumen vs dilbit transport issues

              And a bit more perspective http://www.theglobeandmail.com/...

              And here's a link to one of the minor companies that is already moving dilbit by rail (there are a couple of others, most of the big players are waiting to see if the pipelines are built).

              In a way, the uncertainty around whether Keystone will be built is the best - really the only - thing holding the Tarsands back.   So Kudos for the Obama Administration for dragging this out for like, for ever.  Because once a decision is made one way or another, the investment $$s will dwindle into the rail side of things if the pipeline is approved, or will explode if it is blocked when the big players get on board.  

              •  This line of reasoning is a dead end one. (3+ / 0-)

                We must stop going down our fossil foolish path or as Hansen says "It will be game over."  We're fighting that expansion on many fronts (fracking, deep-water coal shipment facilities along the west coast,  expanded drilling in Arctic and the wasteful super-consumption consumers exhibit).  We must reduce our consumption of fossil fuel period.  Any and all means must be utilized to encourage the transition to non-polluting renewable energy.  Every step we take in the wrong direction will make this transition harder. I wrote about this yesterday in The Key(stone) to Long-term goals.

                If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

                by John Crapper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:43:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My point is that sticking our heads up our (0+ / 0-)

                  asses and denying reality doesn't really benefit anyone.

                  It just makes us look foolish.

                  For example, over the past 3 or 4 years the Bakken oil field has expanded more than the Tar Sands, with barely a peep at this site.  Why? maybe because it provides domestic jobs, who knows.  But the bottom line is that the fracking involved is pretty much as destructive as the tarsands oil extraction and there is no substantial difference between the two endeavors.  Yet one is winked at while the other is endlessly villified (and rightly so, my point is that it seems like all the sound and fury directed at the tarsands is just a huge smokescreen to divert attention from orders of magnitude worse happenings elsewhere).

                  For example, this diarist (and others, not meaning to pick on her at all!) posted a rosy diary about how China promised to get off coal.  I'm skeptical about that (as evidenced by Australia, for example, continuing to heavily invest in their coal exporting apparatus for the China market) but let's say that China IS serious about doing so over the next 5 years or so.  How are they going to do this?

                  Well, this article that slipped by my attention until recently provides some clues: Obama to Help Thriving 'Fracking' Industry Set Up Shop in China  - the idiocy involved is enough to make one's head spin completely off.  Really, the Obama Administration is both giving US tax dollars to the fracking industry PLUS is doing so to destroy one of the country's big economic advantages of this point in time (cheap NG) AND in the process is ensuring a huge new source of fossil fuels is exploited?

                  crazy, crazy stuff.  But it's happening - let's not pretend that it's not.

                  •  SOURCE your remarks especially when you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aliasalias

                    put words in my mouth.  Link to diary where I said China promised to get off coal.

                    Macca's Meatless Monday

                    by VL Baker on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:17:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Then don't criticize - promote. You (4+ / 0-)

                    have invested a great deal of time investigating all of this and you have a lot of knowledge.  I've said this before to you.  Write a diary and promote your ideas.  I've found in my diary writing that it is the "where do I start" problem that always confronts me when I try and bring understanding to the climate change issue.  This problem is pervasive and multi-faceted.  There is a reason Bill McKibben called his tour "Connect the Dots".  

                    When a diarist focuses on one specific aspect of the problem it doesn't mean that others areas are being agreed to or promoted.  It's just time constraints, resource constraints and area of focus constraints.  

                    I encourage you to find your area of focus and promote it.  As only John Crapper can say.  We are in one hell of a shit creek here and we need all the paddlers we can get to help row us out!

                    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

                    by John Crapper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:31:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You have a a choice, come into a group dairy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    S F Hippie

                    and repeatedly make the same points in multiple dairies. OR write your own dairy.

                    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                    by Roger Fox on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:51:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  his ideas don't have enough substance for a diary (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Roger Fox, aliasalias

                      only for comments...you won't see a diary from him..never written one in 8 years

                      Macca's Meatless Monday

                      by VL Baker on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:01:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  If people repeatedly misleading information (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LakeSuperior

                      it is now forbidden to comment about that?

                      Especially when it is so puzzling as this diary - basically, elevating the comments of a two bit flunky to god like status.

                      I really don't get why.   I guess I should just let it go and let all this nonsense take its natural course.

                      But still, I've been here a while and the "reality based" meme has gotten under my skin and it's difficult to just shrug it off.

                      •  Advocacy and Policy Formation by Conflation (0+ / 0-)

                        rather than by proving the case is an endemic problem here at Daily Kos on matters of energy and environment.

                        Advocacy and policy formation by conflation is NOT the practice of conservation science and stewardship.  Rather, such conflations are a form of scientific misconduct.   In a community that is 'reality-based' there needs to be an understanding of what scientific misconduct is and what it means.

                      •  Are you familiar with Kos guest rule? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        beach babe in fl
                        That level of courtesy must be even higher in group diaries.
                        http://www.dailykos.com/...

                        Rodbedguy, look you've made your point, fine. But its not your job to police other diaries for facts.

                        Those rail cars can ship 1.8mbpd, you made that point, current production is about 1.7mbpd, DO the math, pipeline capacity plus rail capacity, what is the number? 2.1mbpd?

                        Tar sands production is nearly capped, because of the lack of shipping capacity.
                        http://www.ceri.ca/...
                        http://e360.yale.edu/...

                        Yes, CN can build tons of new rail cars, but at a certain point the tracks become the limiting factor. I guarantee you that railcar shipping has its limits. Rail infrastructure to move an additional 3-4-5 million bpd will never be built.

                        And as part of the bigger picture, rail cars are being thrown into the breech,  is that because the Northern Gateway pipeline is DOA. Keystone is under pressure, Trailbreaker and Energy East are being revived, because the tar sands partners have no choice.

                        Bruce March, an Exxon vice president

                         But asked if rail transit can support the long-term growth of oil sands production, March said, "I don't know that for sure."

                        Read more: http://thehill.com/...
                        Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

                        On new pipeline capacity..
                        “Some of them have to happen or the growth will slow down,” ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance told reporters.

                        Read more: http://thehill.com/...
                        Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

                        SO thats 2 oil execs saying that the lack of pipeline capacity is a real issue, that shipping by rail wont be able to solve capacity issues in the long term. But for the new future they think rail cars are fine.

                        I'm sure thats exactly their job, tell the shareholders everythings cool.

                        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                        by Roger Fox on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:36:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  How would YOU propose that we stop... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    beach babe in fl, 6412093

                    ...the drilling in the Bakken fields? Perhaps the reason why not much has been said here about those is because not much can be done to stop them under the law? They're on private, not overly leased public, land. And pipelines from there won't require a presidential permit.

                    Please show me an advocate here for blocking Keystone XL who is "winking' at Bakken.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:42:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I demur (0+ / 0-)

                      The North Dakota BLM has jurisdiction over nine million acres of public lands, has apporval authority over the  right of ways for the pending BakkenLink and Hess Hawkeye oil pipelines, and has issued over 2000 oil and gas leases, with another 600 under review.

                      So there is "something" that could be done to stop the Bakken expansions, by contesting these leases and pipeline right of ways, if folks were motivated.

                      However I can't point to anyone at DKOS who is winking at Bakken, most folks are consistently anti-fossil fuels.

                      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

                      by 6412093 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:03:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Are you familiar over domestic pipeline review... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        6412093

                        ...regulations? There is nothing close to what's being done with Keystone XL that could stop these. The leases, it's true, could be blocked. But unless there was a wholesale end to public lands leasing for oil and gas drilling it would be remarkably hard to say no to all the Bakken leases.

                        And while there is some drilling on federal land, most of the Bakken is on private land because drilling on private and state lands is exempt from federal regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act.

                        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                        by Meteor Blades on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:29:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I am painfully aware (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Meteor Blades

                          of the domestic pipeline (lack of siting) regs and the NEPA statutes that also affect (especially oil) pipelines.  I spent too many hours fruitlessly opposing similiar projects.

                          I've also contested (similar to oil/gas) ) Wyoming coal leases, years ago under NEPA, mainly on air quality and lost habitat issues, with little results. It wasn't fun, and I wouldn't advise it for anyone except true believers. But I wouldn't have advised contesting a presidential permit either.

                          That doesn't mean fighting pipelines is impossible, the tree-huggers just won a NEPA case against the Ruby Pipeline.

                          You are correct that most of the Bakken is state lands. However the Bakken play includes two million subsurface acres of mineral estate on federal and tribal lands.  The North Dakota BLM says they are so busy leasing Bakken lands that they've drafted the Montana BLM to help them with the 600 pending leases.

                          http://www.blm.gov/...

                          http://www.blm.gov/...

                          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

                          by 6412093 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:05:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  The "winking" comment was not directed (0+ / 0-)

                      at any particular person, but the mindset of this site.

                      For example in the past two years there have been 1934 diaries about the Keystone pipeline (that's from just searching "Keystone" - I'm sure there are more if terms like "KXL" or "game over" were used . ..  but I'll be conservative here).

                      By contrast, there have been 66 Bakken diaries  - three of them by you, so kudo's on that!

                      The point being is that this quick accounting shows that the Tarsands have received ~30x more attention than Bakken (although my search numbers are far from rigorous, that ratio rings true with my observations).

                      Based on stats from this pdf the Bakken oil production increased from about 285K bbls/day to 700K  - which was about the 2005 tarsands output.  So, we're less than a decade behind them, and currently ramping up production at about the same rate.

                      But yet we (as a community) focus 30x the venom on a foreign project (which for sure deserves it) compared to something equally nefarious in our own backyard.   I'm just puzzled by this disparity - it couldn't be yet another manifestation of American Exceptionalism, could it?

                      •  btw, one explanation for this might be (0+ / 0-)

                        that the Bakken exemplifies my longstanding point that pipelines are irrelevant for large scale development of these resources - heck, if pipelines aren't available, the product can be moved by rail no problem.

                        People claim that's not possible for the tarsands; thus acknowledging the Bakken production would instantly nullify that claim - so it's better to stay blissfully ignorant I suppose.

                        Which simple math does in any event - e.g., about 5 or 6x more coal is moved by rail than the entire tar sands crude production.  Or, another way to look at this is the tar sands production was entirely transported by rail, it would constitute about 7 or 8% of North American rail traffic.  IOW, not really staggeringly impossible numbers!

              •  of course they are going to be preparing routes (0+ / 0-)

                other than the XL...but they want Xl because other routes will not hold the volume and cost more.  It's worth defeating them for this alone.

                Macca's Meatless Monday

                by VL Baker on Tue May 07, 2013 at 03:07:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  As usual (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga, S F Hippie, Eyesbright

            Our favorite Keystone booster arrives. As has been demonstrated, there need to also be rail lines and shipping by rail is massively expensive and takes time.  All of which increase the odds that more of this crap stays in the ground.  Taking action to make it easier and cheaper to mine doesn't help keep it in the ground.  

            Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

            by Mindful Nature on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:00:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Roadbed guy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LakeSuperior

              is your favorite Keystone booster?  Hey, what about me? (snark)

              IMO neither RB Guy or I are Keystone boosters, although I can only speak for myself.

              i've haven't diaried on KXL myself because it gets so much diarying anyway, although I have written on energy issues. I have commented, too many times on KXL, when I thought I saw exaggerations, for instance that KXL was receiving direct gov't financing.

              I hope we can all learn from each other on these crucial issues, I know I have.

              Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

              by 6412093 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:49:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Currently producing about 1.7mbpd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright

            Only a portion of that is moved by pipeline currently.

            .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:47:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It makes no sense to move it at all. We (5+ / 0-)

        have to work towards keeping as much of it in the ground as possible.  The spills potential, the safer route, the least risky way of shipment are all off the mark of the #NOKXL movement.  The point is to stop going further down the fossil foolish road.  

        If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

        by John Crapper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:31:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very true -but the only way for that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          John Crapper, LakeSuperior

          to happen is if global demand disintegrates.

          Unfortunately, all indications are that trends are going in exactly the opposite direction.

          •  Then start putting all your efforts into making (4+ / 0-)

            that happen.  350.org's fossil free divestment movement is an excellent place to start.  I personally don't waste my time investigating things that shouldn't happen.  It's a waste of time and I don't have enough time to do the things that will help make a difference.  

            If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

            by John Crapper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:48:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's time to start putting all of our efforts (0+ / 0-)

              into mitigating and preparing for the coming effects of global climate change.

              What has already been set in motion cannot be undone, it is hopelessly counterproductive to pretend that it can.

              The best bet is to impose a healthy carbon tax and use that to do things like move people out of harm's way (e.g., it could be used to create a fund that after storms like Katrina & or Sandy, don't return people to where they were, but help them move to where they'll be at least 120 meters about sea level . .. ).

              •  At current pace (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                S F Hippie

                The coming climate change cannot be mitigated for.  

                Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                by Mindful Nature on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:01:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I can list 100 things off the top of my head (5+ / 0-)

                that need to be done but helping each of us accept that our ego is part of this problem is at the top.  I've looked closely at the problem and the problem lies within each of us.  We think our shit doesn't stink at we are important in the grand scheme of things.  Like we can actually "Save the Planet!" Reducing the use of fossil fuel while at the same time reducing consumption would probably be next.  If I had my way I would launch this country on a WWII type effort to make the transition.  We already have a lot of built-in climate change crap coming our way but we have the ability to mitigate.  

                Last I read most people are choosing to move back into vulnerable flooding areas after Sandy in spite of incentives to do otherwise.  Each individual making individual decision taking us further in the wrong direction.  Again, The Key(stone) to Long-term goals problem.

                If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

                by John Crapper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:16:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  it's a very difficult time. i agree that most are (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  John Crapper, aliasalias

                  disconnected from their role in cc.  it makes it almost impossible to have them participate and we need everyone on board.  i'm just trying to focus on the short lived climate pollutants and their necessary role in mitigation. so i continue with the meatless series in hopes.
                  sign

                  your enthusiasm is so important..hope you don't burn out. I've been fighting cc for about 20 years and sometimes it does seem futile but i don't think i have the luxury of stopping

                  Macca's Meatless Monday

                  by VL Baker on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:49:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Can't say I'll never burn out and I'm really not (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    beach babe in fl

                    the most optimistic guy around for sure but I try to maintain a sense of reality and bring some humor to the table when talking about this issue.  My Church of the Holy Shitters religion is my attempt at all this.  It is my attempt to change our perception and accept our role and collusion in causing the problem.  Reducing consumption will follow the acceptance of "my shit actually does stink" thinking.  It's the first step in dealing with the addiction.  You've convinced me to drastically reduce my meat consumption.  That's impact!  

                    Rest assured that nature will keep hitting us with it's 2x4 awareness board in ever increasing intensity and frequency.  Just keep focusing on solutions and hope.   More will listen as the "shit keeps hitting the fan!"  

                    "I've been down so god damn long that it feels like up to me"

                    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

                    by John Crapper on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:50:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  If your 'fossil free divestment' movement is (0+ / 0-)

              trying to keep investors from investing in emission controls and environmental projects at existing coal fired power plants that utilities will keep on operating, then such a movement is counterproductive.....as all of the environmental requirements binding on coal fired power plants are artifacts of past environmental movement gains.  

               

        •  There isn't any statutory basis for a 'keep it in (0+ / 0-)

          the ground' movement.   And any such movement, if it existed and was effective in planning out operations, would not focus on keeping petroleum hydrocarbons in the ground......as it would be far more concerned with keeping coal in the ground for reasons of greenhouse gas emission control priority.

          If all of the heat and energy put into fighting pipelines instead went to fighting federal coal leasing of public lands, it would be time and energy far more productively spent in abating carbon dioxide emissions from burning all of the coal to be mined.

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