The title is of course utter BS. Most of us have noticed the diaries published during the last week about the Keystone Pipeline, the Alberta Tar Sands, the protestors getting arrested in front of the White House....
Every once in a while I see this frame creep in to the comments (see the title?).
oil by pipeline from allies is preferable to oil from people who want us dead....
And for the last week I begrudgingly accepted that opinion, even if its basically a favorite right wing point. Then Saturday night, as I was writing a comment.... something jelled for me.
There is a hypocritical element there. Adult swim, go ahead jump in....
There is considerable oil in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA), 60 miles WestSW of Prudhoe Bay, Light crude IIRC. Some of the highest quality crude ever produced in Alaska, much higher quality than what currently passes thru the Alaskan Pipeline.
These days 25-30 wells can be drilled from a 400ft sq pad supplied by a single road, significantly reducing the environmental impact (barring oil spills) to the Permafrost/Muskeg, fewer drilling pads, fewer miles of roads, etc.
NPRA contains 40% more oil than ANWR, is of higher quality, its found in 3-4 plays - or oil fields, vs 8-10 plays in ANWR. NPRA also has about 35 trillion cubic ft of recoverable nat gas.
NPRA is by no means any where as large as the Alberta Tar Sands, and maybe thats the point that is driving the oil companies. The Alberta Tar Sands are huge, and represents a tremendously large and consistent revenue stream for 50 to 90 years.
The fact is... there are other oil fields that can be tapped, the argument that says taping the Alberta Tar sands because its in an allies hands vs Mid East oil, is representative of very narrow thinking.
Because we have oil in the the US that that can be said of.
Of course in an era of transnational corporations, Mid East oil will find a customer thru Exxon, or Shell, or Valero. Just as oil shipped thru a potential Keystone pipeline from Alberta to Texas will find foreign customers.
Funny how many right wingers are only now perturbed about buying oil from people that hate us. Where were you in 1977? SO I guess its come down to is Canadian oil is better than Mid East oil, and oil from Alaska.... isn't that just a bit hypocritical?
For one to to believe this argument, one has to discount the fact that oil corporations are transnational companies and often sell product to the highest bidder. And even then The argument doesn't float because we have onshore domestic sources of oil, so far untapped, that are all of higher quality and can be removed from the ground on a barrel for barrel basis with less impact on the environment.
Of course having the US buy Mid East oil is not the reason certain people don't like us, they dont like us because we've used their countries and peoples as expendable pawns in the so called Grand Chess Game. So if we stop buying Mid East oil, they probably will still hate us, and buying oil from Alberta to replace Mid East oil guarantees large scale habitat destruction in the near term, and guarantees Co2 levels that will raise the level of oceans catastrophically in the long term, virtually guaranteeing a worse case global warming scenario.
Conventional oil fields don't require digging up the peat bog in Alberta thats called Muskeg, in order to get to the layer of bitumen, often called extra heavy oil. The destruction of the Muskeg represents a significant methane and Co2 input into the atmosphere. A significant energy input is required to steam the bitumen out of the sand. If natural gas is used for power, it is likely that western Canada's remaining 70 trillion cubic feet of nat gas, in addition to an equal amount of nat gas so far untapped in Alaska would be required to power the need for steam. The greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the destruction of the Muskeg and the burning of 140 trillion cubic feet of nat gas are not present with conventional oil production. I'm not trying to make the case to keep using oil, but there is a huge difference between conventional oil drilling and using payloaders to scoop up bitumen/sand from the tundra in Alberta and then steaming the bitumen from the sand.
And frankly digging up what amounts to tar, to make gas represents the planets last oil resources, which need to be expended to make the next generation of energy infrastructure: Renewables.....
But I'm sure you already knew that.
9:49 AM PT: Apparently some readers are not getting past the title, to actually read the dairy, hit and run commenting is not due diligence for a diary that represents a fair amount of research. SO be it.
10:54 AM PT: Its been pointed out to me I might have picked a better title. I did think about changing the title but choose not to. My thinking is thus: the initial negative comments were posted by those who did not read the dairy, or even the first 4 sentences. No tags were read. SO heres a question for commenters: what is a worse violation? Using an inflammatory title like I did.... or reading nothing past the title and not exercising due diligence? I would appreciate some feedback on this, thanks. Roger.