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Author Topic: XL Pipeline
Elison R. Salazar
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My opinion is that there is a distinct lack of willingness for what I'd call "Green Governance." in either Ottawa or Washington to have a non-politics, non-partisan, fact and evidence based policy and institutional willingness to insure that every policy is maximally sustainable and minimally damaging to the environment.

The Conservatives are at best uninterested in sustainability to actively malicious towards it at worst, they went out of their way to destroy several libraries worth of environmental data.

This gets worse south of the border where it seems the Republicans are just actively hostile because being ecologically mindful or actively investing in sustainability is decried by those who are pro-business-at-any-cost.

And the Democrats, who seems generally interested because their base are interested, are generally unable to protect whatever gains they make in the face of staunch, relentless, and inevitable Republican efforts to revert those protections.

And the people in charge of maintaining those pipelines Seem to be uninterested in doing their job?

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Lyrhawn
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The northern half of the pipeline is basically dead. It's a foregone conclusion.

Canadian companies have already started work on eastern and western pipelines the stay within Canadian borders,

All your problem now, from a realist standpoint. Our only problem is the fantasyland where this will be a political chew toy for two more years.

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Geraine
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It's really too bad. On one hand, the State Department found in 2011 that it was environmentally viable. Green activists then said they would pull funding for Obama and other Democrats if it were approved, and the State Department backed off.

On the other hand, I'm not sure we really NEED it. Is it a job creator? Not really. Most of the jobs to create the pipeline would be temporary, and I've seen studies that show that the price of gas would actually INCREASE should it be completed. Republicans try to spin it that the pipeline would somehow magically lower the price of gas, and it won't. But hey, everyone likes the promise of lower gas prices right?

My opinion of the pipeline is, has, and will likely remain, "Meh"

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theamazeeaz
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The people living near it won't be too thrilled if it spilled either.
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Elison R. Salazar
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"Environmentally viable" I'm pretty sure only referred to its green house/co2 emissions and not to you know, the environmental catastrophe awaiting the water tables of the states in which it runs for when the inevitable corporate dereliction in maintaining it results in spillages.

The only reason for the pipeline to exist is to lower costs for the corporations, because most of their costs come from transportation.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
"Environmentally viable" I'm pretty sure only referred to its green house/co2 emissions and not to you know, the environmental catastrophe awaiting the water tables of the states in which it runs for when the inevitable corporate dereliction in maintaining it results in spillages.

The only reason for the pipeline to exist is to lower costs for the corporations, because most of their costs come from transportation.

That may be, but I haven't read the official report. Honestly it would surprise me if it were just Co2 emissions, as the government seems to be a stickler on all types of environmental viability these days. If it were the Bush administration in power I would likely question it more, but the Obama administration really had nothing to lose if the study showed it was not sustainable.
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Elison R. Salazar
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That really doesn't make much sense and relies on a lot of assumptions that don't really hold up to close scrutiny.

For example, the assumption that the Obama administration has "nothing to lose" on an issue that is political football with a large number of interests that are invested within it; also the issue that the Obama administration has made the commitment to reduce their reliance on imported oil.

I dunno, it sounds like you have an exaggerated view of the Obama administration when it comes to sustainability and conservation.

Plus the fact you didn't read the report or apparently have done much independent research on the issue; talk everywhere I've been to is focused on the issue of spillages, not C02 emissions. You're trying to come to a conclusion on some "I know what you know that I know" premise on what you perceive the Obama administration of supporting/not supporting instead of the actual facts.

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kmbboots
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The "state of the art" Keystone I pipeline spills pretty frequently (fourteen times since it opened in 2010) and has had a huge negative impact on the area around it. What makes anyone think that another pipeline by that company would not spill?
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Elison R. Salazar
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It's pretty much a given, corporations just keep refusing to actually take responsibility for environment governance.
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Lyrhawn
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All the Nebraskans I know who are against this are entirely focused on the spills issue. Given the track record of oil companies, clean ups, and public costs associated with it, I honestly don't blame the NIMBY folks on this one.

Cleanups take forever, happen more frequently than they say, are rarely paid for entirely by the company that spilled, and almost always leave large amounts of oil behind, as well as permanant damage. And this is the most difficult oil of them all to cleanup. Right through the heartland to save Canadians the trouble of building it in their back yard? Not a good enough reason for me.

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Elison R. Salazar
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The Koch Brothers as well.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
It's really too bad. On one hand, the State Department found in 2011 that it was environmentally viable. Green activists then said they would pull funding for Obama and other Democrats if it were approved, and the State Department backed off.

On the other hand, I'm not sure we really NEED it. Is it a job creator? Not really. Most of the jobs to create the pipeline would be temporary, and I've seen studies that show that the price of gas would actually INCREASE should it be completed. Republicans try to spin it that the pipeline would somehow magically lower the price of gas, and it won't. But hey, everyone likes the promise of lower gas prices right?

My opinion of the pipeline is, has, and will likely remain, "Meh"

To be completely fair, and I realize this represents a reversal of positions, the political capital that projects like this give the US in dealing with OPEC is probably more important to the price of gas than the actual supply of gas. Part of the US's energy strategy has been to use its domestic production as a wedge against a coalition in OPEC. That has been working on the Saudis, who have rolled back oil prices to a) stem the tide of cheap Russian gas (and please their American allies) and B) slow down enthusiasm for further American oil exploration and European green energy initiatives.

The Saudis know that if oil goes too high for too long, the economic advantages of green energy compound. They want to sell all their oil- that's better for them than selling now at the highest prices.

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Lyrhawn
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How does Keystone XL give the United States any political leverage over Saudi Arabia?

Canadian tar sands oil is already being brought to market, and if Keystone fails to be built, will still be brought to market via an all-Canadian pipeline that will be built instead.. Regardless, I'm not sure how it would help America, we're just providing the land.

Frankly we don't need this to hold our leverage in place. If we really wanted leverage, we'd put a floor on the price of a barrel of oil, and funnel some of the proceeds to shale producers. It would virtually guarantee stable production and a stable price for the foreseeable future, because profits for the shale producers would be more or less guaranteed, and increased production would keep the global price from ever going too high.

Regardless, shale ensures that the price will probably not hit the triple digits for awhile, and if it does, it will never stay there for long before shale production ramps back up and collapses the price again.

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Samprimary
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we learned a lot after the last saudi-engineered implosion and i guess a lot of the systems and equipment for shale oil production are now essentially immediately mothballable and nobody bothers to put up, like, livable communities or anything. just pipe in workers and have them live in load shacks and eat out of a canteen for a tour of duty and if the price implodes you just dump everyone and ship out
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Eisenoxyde
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I'm currently working in North Dakota in the oil field. From what I understand, a lot of companies are planning to drill the wellbore but not complete the well (frac, etc) and shut them in until the price of oil goes back up.
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Samprimary
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perfect.
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Mucus
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From my understanding, it is probably simplistic to frame the question in terms of how will this help Canada as a whole or the United States as a whole. Instead, you need to break that down below the country level.

First, Keystone is more of a symbol than anything. It is my understanding that they've already built/started construction on a series of other pipelines that would eventually bring a lot of the Canadian tar sands oil to the US gulf region by pipeline anyway.

Second, who are the winners in this equation if the Keystone pipeline is built? Canadian producers will have a cheaper way of shipping more oil to the largely American refiners in the US gulf, the savings get split between them depending on bargaining power, and maybe a little bit trickles down to consumer, the consumer being the global customer. Local environmentalists would lose since they bear the risk of local spills. Global environmentalists gain a bit since less carbon emissions would get into the atmosphere due to emissions from trains carrying oil but this would be offset by Canadian producers being able to produce and sell oil when prices are lower.

Of course, whether Canadian oil or American oil, refiners have no real preference who they sell to as long as they can pay. So American drivers will really see only marginal savings here.

Third, Northern Gateway is not an either/or with Keystone (or the US gulf in general). Rather, whether by building Canadian refineries in BC (probably not) or by selling to Chinese refineries, the oil sand producers will gain some bargaining power by having two possible consumers to sell to rather than just one.

In the end, you're really talking about pretty focused gains for some companies, some of which are American and some of which are Canadian, but all of which are going to be pretty good at evading taxes anyway [Wink] The rest is really pretty minor.

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Samprimary
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The most important issue of the keystone pipeline to me individually was that it represented a grave risk to the sanctity of a series of native american reservations; there was going to be some legal bully-work done to essentially force multiple native communities to have the pipe cut straight through their lands, as a final indignity to an already fantastically undercut people who are simultaneously fighting issues involving water and mineral rights having been sold out from under them over decades and being owed billions of dollars they will never get over BLM abuses.

Not having a pipeline shunted through their remaining tribal land is a small comfort, but a vital enough gesture in and of itself to work for.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
It's really too bad. On one hand, the State Department found in 2011 that it was environmentally viable. Green activists then said they would pull funding for Obama and other Democrats if it were approved, and the State Department backed off.

On the other hand, I'm not sure we really NEED it. Is it a job creator? Not really. Most of the jobs to create the pipeline would be temporary, and I've seen studies that show that the price of gas would actually INCREASE should it be completed. Republicans try to spin it that the pipeline would somehow magically lower the price of gas, and it won't. But hey, everyone likes the promise of lower gas prices right?

My opinion of the pipeline is, has, and will likely remain, "Meh"

To be completely fair, and I realize this represents a reversal of positions, the political capital that projects like this give the US in dealing with OPEC is probably more important to the price of gas than the actual supply of gas. Part of the US's energy strategy has been to use its domestic production as a wedge against a coalition in OPEC. That has been working on the Saudis, who have rolled back oil prices to a) stem the tide of cheap Russian gas (and please their American allies) and B) slow down enthusiasm for further American oil exploration and European green energy initiatives.

The Saudis know that if oil goes too high for too long, the economic advantages of green energy compound. They want to sell all their oil- that's better for them than selling now at the highest prices.

I hadn't thought about that, and it makes sense.

In other news, the Senate just passed the pipeline with 62 votes. Now to see if they can come up with more to overcome a veto threat. Prediction: They won't.

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Elison R. Salazar
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Do you want them to?
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Geraine
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Honestly? No. Any short term gains would quickly evaporate once the pipeline is finished, and it isn't worth the environmental risk.

I know it is considered "environmentally viable" but I don't buy it. Offshore oil rigs are considered viable as well, until they aren't.

I think there are better ways to produce and get the energy we need and this isn't it, especially since it won't really benefit the US as a nation at all.

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GaalDornick
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How kind
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Eisenoxyde:
I'm currently working in North Dakota in the oil field. From what I understand, a lot of companies are planning to drill the wellbore but not complete the well (frac, etc) and shut them in until the price of oil goes back up.

I find this interesting. Once a wellbore is drilled, how long does it take to get production up and running on site? I'm wondering if this is their way of keeping the engine idling, so to speak, rather than turning it off, so when the price goes back up they can very quickly get back into it without a long lead time.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
How kind

That a foreign corporation using eminent domain to seize land in the U.S. from U.S. citizens for private gain can possibly be legal blows my mind.
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GaalDornick
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Apparrently it's not legal enough that a judge halted it. But yeah, why it was even allowed in the first place also blows my mind. Especially when the land seizing is for a harmful cause.
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Lyrhawn
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To be honest, I'm a little surprised you guys are surprised.

Corporate use of eminent domain to screw people for sketchy builds has a long and storied past.

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Dogbreath
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Oh I don't disbelieve you and probably shouldn't be surprised. But I had always thought eminent domain was used strictly for public works type stuff where it's either publicly owned or used: highways, airports, or maybe at worst "city centers" and so on that, while having private shops, are public areas. The idea that a foreign corporation can come in and force landowners off their property so that they can make money off of it seems completely outrageous and unconstitutional.
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Elison R. Salazar
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The Pipeline was veto'd! Hopefully it goes through the proper regulatory approval process.

Here's the main reason why its awful:

quote:

Deems the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement regarding the pipeline issued by the Secretary of State in January 2014 to fully satisfy the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and any law that requires federal agency consultation or review, including the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

It's immune from all federal oversight.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Oh I don't disbelieve you and probably shouldn't be surprised. But I had always thought eminent domain was used strictly for public works type stuff where it's either publicly owned or used: highways, airports, or maybe at worst "city centers" and so on that, while having private shops, are public areas. The idea that a foreign corporation can come in and force landowners off their property so that they can make money off of it seems completely outrageous and unconstitutional.

Eminent domain is for anything a lawyer can convince a judge constitutes a "public good."

So if they can make a case that the Pipeline helps the people at large, they get the land for "fair value."

Currently there's a case before the Nebraska Supreme Court over that very issue. The local landowners are contending that the Pipeline is NOT a public good. Good luck to them.

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