Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Policy and solutions => Topic started by: Vaughn on February 25, 2013, 08:11:33 AM

Title: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Vaughn on February 25, 2013, 08:11:33 AM
There is posting going on on Facebook about how stopping the Kestone Pipeline is an attack on American jobs.  I hadn't seen much about it here so I am just bringing it forth, so please don't shoot the messenger.  There is a link to this letter that appears to be signed by a few members of the US Congress to President Obama supporting the project:

All 25 Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are urging the president to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. LIKE if you agree blocking Keystone is an attack on American jobs.
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/sites/republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/files/02.06.13%20-%20POTUS%2C%20Keystone%20XL%20Pipeline.pdf (http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/sites/republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/files/02.06.13%20-%20POTUS%2C%20Keystone%20XL%20Pipeline.pdf)


In response to this I posted the following rant...probably pretty useless but it does express my feelings >:( :

This has nothing to do with right wing or left wing. The keystone pipeline is suicidal. We cannot keep dumping poisons into the environment like what is happening in Canada where this oil is being mined. We cannot keep dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere without undergoing the expense of removing it. In fact, I now believe it is far cheaper to not dump any more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than to do so. As the Arctic ice disappears in summer over the next two or three years and in winter in probably 10 more years after that the rate of sea level rise alone will negate any benefits of this pipeline. Temperature increases and weather changes during this time will likely make a number of cities in the world uninhabitable during certain times of the year. Consider this: It is 125 degrees in Phoenix, AZ and the power goes out due to equipment failure and there is no hope of restoring power until the temperatures cool off. i am not going to continue but you see my point. This is a suicidal project.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Jim Hunt on February 25, 2013, 04:30:39 PM
John Kerry doesn't seem to be 100% behind the proposed pipeline?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/02/20/kerry-climate-change-warning.html (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/02/20/kerry-climate-change-warning.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: TerryM on February 25, 2013, 05:13:15 PM
Vaughn

125F in the desert is livable. The humidity index is what will kill you.

Former Desert Denizen
Terry
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Vaughn on February 26, 2013, 03:30:15 AM
Terry, I realize 125 F in the desert is livable.  However there is a lot I left out:  big city, no power, no water, fires start, people panic and try to leave.  Wrecks clog the roads; people are left to fry in their cars...you see where this is going....
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: StuartC on March 02, 2013, 04:01:10 AM
News from ClimateProgress that's not at all good:

"The State Department released an environmental impact assessment on the Keystone XL pipeline Friday afternoon, concluding that the project is environmentally sound and “is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area.” A 45-day comment period will now begin for the public to weigh in on the project. The State Department will respond to the comments, before finalizing the environmental impact statement, and “conduct a separate analysis of whether the project is in the national interest, a question on which eight other agencies will offer input over 90 days.” Obama is unlikely to make a final decision until “mid-summer at the earliest.”"

The author thinks Kerry is a climate-hawk and likely to approve the pipeline:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/01/1661221/state-department-report-keystone-xl-is-environmentally-sound/#more-1661221 (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/01/1661221/state-department-report-keystone-xl-is-environmentally-sound/#more-1661221)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Edheler on March 02, 2013, 04:14:02 AM
Let them build the pipeline. The oil is going to get here somehow regardless. Isn't the pipeline a more environmentally friendly way to move it than if they have to use trucks?
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ghoti on March 02, 2013, 05:27:56 AM
Right now without the pipeline there is a glut of tar sand oil stuck in Alberta. This makes the price for it low enough that some companies have put off investing in extracting more. The main reason for a pipeline is to increase the price so that more companies can invest more in extracting more.

It does make a difference.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: TerryM on March 02, 2013, 05:34:39 AM
Let them build the pipeline. The oil is going to get here somehow regardless. Isn't the pipeline a more environmentally friendly way to move it than if they have to use trucks?

No!

Without a cheap means of transporting the crap it wouldn't pay to dig it up. Keystone allows it to be cheaply transported off the continent and sold in foreign markets. Otherwise it just lowers fuel prices in a small American market.

Terry
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Edheler on March 02, 2013, 05:50:51 AM
No!

Without a cheap means of transporting the crap it wouldn't pay to dig it up. Keystone allows it to be cheaply transported off the continent and sold in foreign markets. Otherwise it just lowers fuel prices in a small American market.

Question:

If the price of oil rises high enough won't the oil be produced anyways if it overcomes the cost of transport? My contention is that it will be produced over a longer period of time regardless of the costs of transport. Thus, if we can transport it now in a more ecological manner it saves emissions over the long term.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Charles Longway on March 02, 2013, 06:05:22 AM
Keystone is a move to prolong the fossil fuel age by using progressively lower grade and more polluting sources for oil. I understand that Canada has 2X the oil in their tar sands as is/was in Saudi Arabia. To burn all of this fuel will destroy the earth through positive feed-backs. Perhaps we cannot stop the pipe, but we can stop the flow of oil in the pipe simply by no longer being a customer. I went solar on my house last year because of Neven’s blog. When he did a feature on Methane, it was a tipping point for me. I had to take some kind of personal action, so I delayed a year in buying a car and did solar. This year I am looking get a car, but it will be a plug-in or electric model. I expect to get a positive return on my renewable investment. So I am with you, let them build the pipe, but let’s do all in our personal power to prevent the oil from flowing to customers on the other end.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Edheler on March 02, 2013, 06:23:39 AM
Charles,

Unless the world economy collapses permanently how do you propose that we not exploit all of the Canada tar sands? If the price of oil rises high enough the oil will be extracted. I do realize this may lead to an awful situation. I just don't see any way to really stop it from happening.

I don't want the end results of AGW any more than you but wishes and rainbows aren't going to stop that oil from being produced. I personally am doing more for the environment regardless of my positions than most environmentalists I know. Most of that information is in the introduction thread I wrote.

I can think of a nearly a dozen ways to produce the power the world wants right now without sacrificing the environment. Many of them are also economical but are mostly blocked by the environmental movement for other reasons. We can't have our cake and eat it as Marie quipped. Shall we choose the more environmentally acceptable sources of energy to save what we have?
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: StuartC on March 02, 2013, 06:47:52 AM
Charles,

Unless the world economy collapses permanently how do you propose that we not exploit all of the Canada tar sands? If the price of oil rises high enough the oil will be extracted. I do realize this may lead to an awful situation. I just don't see any way to really stop it from happening

You're making the assumption that our present economic system is an inexorable and unalterable force of nature - but fortunately, it isn't! We could introduce a rational gradually increasing carbon tax as proposed by James Hansen and many others. This would allow market forces to select the most efficient alternatives and wean the economy off fossil fuels.

If we do burn all the fossil fuels we're toast, and tar sands are not the thin end of the wedge. They represent a chilling escalation in our attempts to grab every last bit of carbon in the ground irrespective of the lousy EROEI.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Edheler on March 02, 2013, 07:00:31 AM
You're making the assumption that our present economic system is an inexorable and unalterable force of nature - but fortunately, it isn't! We could introduce a rational gradually increasing carbon tax as proposed by James Hansen and many others. This would allow market forces to select the most efficient alternatives and wean the economy off fossil fuels.

What you are effectively suggesting is prohibition. It worked so well for alcohol that we decided to do it again for drugs and are now trying to propose it with guns. I hate to tell you that your strategy won't work. All you will achieve is the creation of a black market for oil products if they are more economical to produce than the alternatives.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: StuartC on March 02, 2013, 07:12:57 AM
You're making the assumption that our present economic system is an inexorable and unalterable force of nature - but fortunately, it isn't! We could introduce a rational gradually increasing carbon tax as proposed by James Hansen and many others. This would allow market forces to select the most efficient alternatives and wean the economy off fossil fuels.

What you are effectively suggesting is prohibition.

No I'm suggesting a tax. You know, one of the things that have been working so well for thousands of years that the proverb says they're as easy to avoid as as death . . .
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: dreater on March 02, 2013, 03:50:22 PM
You're making the assumption that our present economic system is an inexorable and unalterable force of nature - but fortunately, it isn't! We could introduce a rational gradually increasing carbon tax as proposed by James Hansen and many others. This would allow market forces to select the most efficient alternatives and wean the economy off fossil fuels.

What you are effectively suggesting is prohibition.

No I'm suggesting a tax. You know, one of the things that have been working so well for thousands of years that the proverb says they're as easy to avoid as as death . . .
A carbon tax would require an active role for government, and edheler has made it clear he has an aversion to such a governmental role. Thus his dilemma.

The trouble is, in the absence of an active role for government, he's right; fossil fuels will continue to be produced and consumed until changes to the environment force the process to stop.  This will occur when our ability to produce, ship and sell/trade fossil fuels falls apart - when enough people starve to death, or die of thirst, or are killed in resource wars that our technological civilization collapses.

There is at least a possibility that an activist government - even a government that suffers from some level of corruption and inefficiency - might be able to forestall such a collapse.  I find it unfathomable that some people object so strongly on "principle" to the idea of activist government that they would rather confront the death of our civilization than allow for serious governmental attempts to prevent that death.  But that seems to be what confronts us - anti-government ideologues whose fear of government is so strong that, even if they acknowledge the inevitable result of the basically unregulated path we're on, aren't willing to concede that serious governmental regulation might just be an acceptable option.

I'm nearly 60; I will die from natural causes before our addiction to fossil fuels kills me.  But I fear for my children; I fear for my grandchildren.  I cannot understand how anybody can prefer civilizational collapse to EPA regulation.  But some folks apparently do.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: dreater on March 02, 2013, 03:57:21 PM
What you are effectively suggesting is prohibition. It worked so well for alcohol that we decided to do it again for drugs and are now trying to propose it with guns. I hate to tell you that your strategy won't work. All you will achieve is the creation of a black market for oil products if they are more economical to produce than the alternatives.
edheler - I somehow don't see illegal, clandestine tar sand strip mining operations being set up in Wyoming, somehow hidden from federal enforcement.  You can ferment corn mash in a trash can in the garage, and distill it in a still in your woodlot.  You can cook up methedrine in your basement from commercially-available materials.  You can smuggle guns in suitcases and small boxes from offshore producers.  But how do you propose to smuggle and distribute significant volumes of illicit tar sands bitumen, even if some benighted foreign government (as for instance, Canada under the Harper government) insists on producing them?  Folks sneaking them over the border in five-gallon cans?   You don't really think that people are going to successfully build clandestine pipelines, or slip tankers full of bitumen into places like Port Charles or Bayonne, without the authorities noticing?
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: crandles on March 02, 2013, 04:49:36 PM
dreater,

So you do want to ban them as opposed to tax them into reduced use??? Are you saying flying should be banned until we can fly on biofuel or hydrogen or something?

Yes I wouldn't argue it as Edheler did, that prohibition doesn't work. However I strongly favour a tax solution to a prohibition solution. FF use needs to be reduced not eliminated at least for a while. Banning FF use before there are enough electric tractors and sufficient sustainable electric generation for things like food production is a recipe for a disaster far worse than GW.

A tax to build in costs of a waste disposal problem as opposed to it being an externality reduces use of the product; it does not eliminate it or make it unlawful.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Edheler on March 02, 2013, 05:26:57 PM
No I'm suggesting a tax. You know, one of the things that have been working so well for thousands of years that the proverb says they're as easy to avoid as as death . . .

You're entirely correct and I am sorry for that. I should have went to bed as clearly I wasn't reading very well.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Edheler on March 02, 2013, 05:39:07 PM
I somehow don't see illegal, clandestine tar sand strip mining operations being set up in Wyoming, somehow hidden from federal enforcement.  You can ferment corn mash in a trash can in the garage, and distill it in a still in your woodlot.  You can cook up methedrine in your basement from commercially-available materials.  You can smuggle guns in suitcases and small boxes from offshore producers.  But how do you propose to smuggle and distribute significant volumes of illicit tar sands bitumen, even if some benighted foreign government (as for instance, Canada under the Harper government) insists on producing them?  Folks sneaking them over the border in five-gallon cans?   You don't really think that people are going to successfully build clandestine pipelines, or slip tankers full of bitumen into places like Port Charles or Bayonne, without the authorities noticing?

The key is if you can make money doing it. If it is profitable by itself then people will do it clandestinely if the activity were outlawed. So, yes, I believe that they would use all of the methods you mention and probably some that would astonish everyone. I doubt that the tar sands themselves would be traded due to the higher weight and volume but I can imagine clandestine miniature refineries being setup. I never would have expected drug dealers to get into the business of digging tunnels to bypass border security but it happens.

By the way, you can make diesel at home. I know a few people who do it. It's about as complicated a process as making moonshine.

Just in case you didn't notice, I apologized to the person I was replying to because I misread his message.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 02, 2013, 05:55:46 PM
Edheler,
I am skeptical that there could ever be a "black market" in synthetic crude from tar sands.

One look at the scale of capital investment, logistical supports, and enabling inputs from other sectors of the economy should be enough to make anyone skeptical that it could be done in a clandestine manner.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: TerryM on March 02, 2013, 07:11:30 PM
I think that at some point the tar sands will be found to be too damaging to the environment or Alberta will start refining the goop at home. Either way Keystone will become a gigantic polluting albatross that nobody will be willing to cleanup and dismantle.

If it succeeds it will generate funds that can be used to build a local refinery which will make it obsolete. If it doesn't the mess still needs to be cleaned up.

I can't think of any scenario that works out well.

Terry
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: dreater on March 03, 2013, 03:23:57 AM
dreater,

So you do want to ban them as opposed to tax them into reduced use??? Are you saying flying should be banned until we can fly on biofuel or hydrogen or something?
That's not what I said.  I was simply pointing out that the idea that clandestine, black-market bitumen production could emerge on anything within several orders of magnitude of the Alberta operations was an absurdity.

I support a carbon tax.  But I don't believe that a carbon tax - a wedge in the marketplace - is sufficient.  We need direct policy solutions as well.  We need a responsible federal government that makes responsible choices.  These choices include regulations concerning permissible emissions, and required cleanups/sequestration of CO2, etc.  These choices include responsible judgments about whether to grant permits for things like Keystone XL, or drilling in the ANWR, or off the Arctic coast of Alaska, etc.  "Leaving it to the market" - even a market that is skewed in a better direction by a carbon tax - isn't going to be good enough.

Some folks are convinced that government cannot possibly do this effectively (or in some cases, folks believe that government cannot do anything effectively).  I could be wrong, but I think these people are mistaken.  But one thing I know; if responsible, activist governments, in the US and abroad, cannot effectively address these challenges, we are in very deep trouble - because nobody else is going to address the problems.  The market will not "take care of it"; the private sector is not suddenly going to put the national, or international, public good ahead of their own bottom lines.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ghoti on March 03, 2013, 07:07:04 PM
Meanwhile California's cap and trade continues to show signs that it is working okay. See http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/03/california-cap-trade-passes-second-test.html (http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/03/california-cap-trade-passes-second-test.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 06, 2013, 07:28:30 PM
I think that at some point the tar sands will be found to be too damaging to the environment or Alberta will start refining the goop at home. Either way Keystone will become a gigantic polluting albatross that nobody will be willing to cleanup and dismantle.


Oil from the tar sands and Arctic will be our most expensive oil.  If we cut demand those activities will be the first to go.  The economics of EROEI make that happen.

The best way, IMO, to stop tar sands and Arctic oil extraction is to get more people into electric cars (EVs and PHEVs) and onto public transportation.  The large increase in CAFE standards that President Obama arranged will help a lot to lower consumption.

We need to figure out how to shift more travel away from oil and let market forces stop the dirtiest of extractions.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 07, 2013, 12:05:31 AM
We need to figure out how to shift more travel away from oil and let market forces stop the dirtiest of extractions.
Bob,
I won't hold my breath...
While I agree that the idea of "free market" economics is powerful, I don't believe that the market is really that "free" in practice.

I think the only thing that'll keep the bitumen in the sand is if the price of oil declines to somewhere south of $70-$80/bbl.
From a climate perspective, the upside of recession is demand destruction for enegry supplies.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Mike Fliss on March 07, 2013, 04:27:54 AM
Comments worth reading in this attack on Hansen: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/opinion/nocera-a-scientists-misguided-crusade.html?ref=joenocera&_r=1& (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/opinion/nocera-a-scientists-misguided-crusade.html?ref=joenocera&_r=1&)

Joe Romm answers (Lodger comments):

   http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/05/1676951/climates-clint-eastwood-joe-nocera-mis-cites-me-twice-in-failed-effort-to-smear-james-hansen/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/05/1676951/climates-clint-eastwood-joe-nocera-mis-cites-me-twice-in-failed-effort-to-smear-james-hansen/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: werther on March 07, 2013, 11:06:39 AM
 I'm aware this Keystone project is profiling as an internal political issue in the USA.
As a European, I consider there's enough questionable happening over here to be careful in my attitude as an outsider.
Following my posts in the 'monkey wrenching'  thread, I'd like to add my point here.
As we are at the decisive moment in time to choose for renewables (and a different society), any choice to prolong FF use by investing in infrastructure to distribute it is the wrong choice.

I can imagine why anyone with a realistic knowledge of AGW would make this a symbol.

For me it's clear that any resistance should not take the form of 'terrorism'. Use any form of legal obstruction, organise a Gandhi-like,announced raid on building in process if the Administration approves the project. Much like the people of Berlin chopping, painting and ridiculising the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Whether it will be succesfull is to be doubted. But in my opinion it is not enough to make personal green choices.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 07, 2013, 04:14:10 PM
I was arguing the toss over this issue with Andrew Neil (a prominent UK political pundit) last week. According to him not only are "windmills" (as he called them) a waste of space, but also the good ol' US of A will be pumping as much oil and LNG as it possibly can, as soon as it possibly can:

http://www.v2g.co.uk/2013/03/andrew-neil-tilts-at-windmills/ (http://www.v2g.co.uk/2013/03/andrew-neil-tilts-at-windmills/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 07, 2013, 06:33:59 PM
We need to figure out how to shift more travel away from oil and let market forces stop the dirtiest of extractions.


I think the only thing that'll keep the bitumen in the sand is if the price of oil declines to somewhere south of $70-$80/bbl.


Yes, that is the point.  A massive move to electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) would lower demand for oil to the point at which the more expensive to extract/refine would be pushed out of play.

A 200 mile range EV with <20 minute rapid recharging and selling for not much more than a similar-featured ICEV would destroy the liquid fuel vehicle market.  A PHEV with a 40 mile range and selling price close to that of an ICEV would do the same.

But as long as electrics stay significantly more expensive than ICEVs we will continue to burn oil and more efficient ICEVs will make more expensive oil affordable.  And as long as we continue to burn large amounts of oil I don't think there will be the political will to halt the Keystone or Arctic drilling.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: OldLeatherneck on March 07, 2013, 07:39:51 PM
While I am a fan of increasing the use of EVs, I am concerned about what will happen with the ICE vehicles that are traded in.  My concern is that I suspect most of these vehicles will be shipped to third world nations, where they will not be properly maintained and just to continue to spew CO2 into the atmosphere.  While the developed world will be able to brag about having transitioned to emission-free transportation, they will have done little to solve the global problem if these same vehicles are spewing CO2 elsewhere.

As an example, when I finally sold my last gas-guzzling pickup truck, I sold it to a rancher in Mexico, where I'm certain it is being driven many, may more miles per year than I ever did.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: gfwellman on March 07, 2013, 08:26:48 PM
Well, look at it this way.  Every ICE engine will eventually die.  The average lifespan of a car is about 200,000 miles or so.  A massive switch in popularity to EVs and PHEVs in the nations where new cars are purchased will mean we build many fewer new ones - that should be our goal.

A Carbon Tax is what would really kill the tar sands.  To the extent the transportation market is elastic, it would immediately reduce ICE miles driven, reducing overall demand for oil right away, then by making EVs and other efficient vehicles more attractive it would reduce demand further over time.  Tar sand oil would also be taxed higher than other sources because it's more carbon intensive, but that would be a smaller effect than the overall reduction in demand I suspect.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 07, 2013, 10:25:39 PM
EVs are cheaper for everyone to drive.  And there is no reason why EVs should not become cheaper than ICEVs.  EVs do not contain lots of expensive materials nor is the manufacturing of batteries complicated or energy/labor intensive. 

If you've ever torn down and rebuilt an ICEV you will be familiar with the hundreds of carefully designed and manufactured parts that have to be assembled in exactly the precise order.  EVs have lots and lots of batteries, all alike.

Ship off your Camry or hopefully your Prius when you get an EV.  Your trade in will likely get better mileage than the car it replaces.  And your used EV will replace your last ICEV when it's time for you to get a shiny new ride.

About half of all US driving is done with cars which are five years old or newer.  Getting electrics into the hands of those higher mileage drivers will make a quick impact in the amount of oil burned.

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 07, 2013, 10:37:38 PM
Yes, that is the point.  A massive move to electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) would lower demand for oil to the point at which the more expensive to extract/refine would be pushed out of play.
Bob,
Again, I won't hold my breath.
Keystone is a commitment to American buyers, but Northern Gateway will (if it gets built) open the tar sands up to the world where there is plenty of demand from growing economies, and it'll fetch a higher price to boot.
For the Canadian government and tar sands producers, it's all about creating "demand security".

That EVs will be manufactured on a scale that will substantively affect demand for oil is in my opinion a bit of a red herring at this point.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 08, 2013, 04:11:05 PM
Lucas - were you in the market for a new car would you buy a $20k model that cost you 10 cents a mile to drive or a $20k model that cost you 3 cents a mile to drive?  All features being equal....
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 08, 2013, 07:05:15 PM
Bob,
I'm not arguing that EVs can't be cost competitive with ICEVs.

What I am arguing is that it isn't practical to assume that EVs will be manufactured on a scale large enough that it causes the price of oil to fall to the point that it puts tar sands producers out of business.

No doubt some people will buy EVs, but replacing millions and millions of ICEVs is just not the same as replacing old toasters with new toasters, or black and white TVs with a colour version.
There is a very large web of "ifs" between what is now and what you suggest will happen.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: gfwellman on March 08, 2013, 07:09:55 PM
Put the right price on carbon, and the transition will happen pretty rapidly.  Not overnight, but rapidly.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 10, 2013, 07:46:18 PM
Rapidly is relative.  Once EVs/PHEVs are almost as cheap as ICEVs we should see the annual sales market flip very rapidly.  Few people are going to pay more just for the privilege of stopping at a gas pump.

People who drive the most will switch the soonest.  Why pay more for gas than what the payments for a new electric would be?  Within five years of market shift our oil usage should drop by at least 50%.

It will take time to get all the ICEVs off the road, at least 20 years after the market switches.  But if we get the majority of driving moved to grid power the lowest EROEI fuel sources will go out of business.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 10, 2013, 08:51:42 PM
Bob,
You seem quite certain about your vision of the future.
Can you adress some of the concerns I have about why we may not see EVs and PHEVs manufactured in the kind of numbers you are claiming?

- When will the grid be expanded and upgraded to accomodate millions of "plug in" vehicles?
- Will the extra demand for electricity caused by a national fleet of EVs be "clean", or will this demand growth be met by burning more fossil fuels?
- Given all the other "clean" infrastructure priorities, will we be able to afford to maintain all our existing roads and highways?
- What about the CO2 footprint of manufacturing millions of EVs or PHEVs?
- When will battery technology finally provide the required performance to compete with ICEVs?
- Are there sufficient rare earth elements available on planet earth to manufacture all the batteries and technology this would require?
- Will incomes be high enough in the future that so many people will be able to afford to finance new vehicles?
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ghoti on March 11, 2013, 07:19:13 PM
I don't know of a car manufacturer that isn't introducing hybrid and plugin hybrid models now or in the near future. VW says they are introducing 6 PHEV models starting in 2014. Subaru is showing one at Geneva. Toyota's best selling models are hybrid/PHEV. Too late for me cause my 15 year old Honda (we thought it got decent mileage) had to be replaced but the Toyota hybrid I purchased gets twice the gas mileage. I know that I'll be able to get a BEV in 15 years when this one needs replacement.

The grid doesn't need expanding to accommodate PHEVs they are generally charged during off peak hours when the naysayers complain there is "excess" wind power. They help smooth out the load. (The grid needs replacing and expansion now because of decades of neglect)

Even if renewable electricity isn't what is used for EV charging the fact remains EVs are so massively more efficient than ICE vehicles the total amount of energy required is substantially reduced. Combine this with the fact that utility energy generation is way more efficient than the most efficient ICE.

CO2 footprint for manufacture of plugin vehicles is not higher the for ICE vehicles.

Battery performance for PHEVs is already more than sufficient for 90% of drivers 90% of the time (made up numbers but you get the idea). Most people don't drive much more than the EV reange of their PHEVs each day.

There isn't really a shortage of "rare earth" metals. They were just way cheaper to buy from China than to use local sources up until now. All these metals are recyclable and are being recycled.

All vehicles have a limited life. Eventually all cars get replaced..

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 11, 2013, 09:22:58 PM
There have been multiple studies which find the US has ample capacity to charge about 80% of all our vehicles were they to magically turn into EVs overnight.  Remember, the grid is built to provide power on those few peak-peak days in the hottest part of the summer.  A very large amount of our capacity sits idle much of the time.  We have a lot of late night spare capacity when most people would want to charge.

Then, new clean capacity.  EVs and wind turbines are great friends.  US onshore wind tends to be stronger at night when demand is lower.  Put a bunch of EVs on the grid, hook them up with smart meters/chargers.  When the wind howls and other demand is low then charge the EVs.

This will create a new profit source for wind, even if they sell at moderate (nice for EV) prices.  Making more profits will bring more investment to wind.  That will build more wind farms and make more cheap, clean wind power available during peak hours.  It's an all-around win.

We can build EVs without rare earth minerals.  Toyota already does, and I think Tesla might as well.  Lithium is absolutely no problem.  And it is not expensive, there is some bad information floating around because people did some faulty math using non-bulk purchase price.

There are a lot of interesting battery developments, but nothing outstanding has yet to come to the market.  I think we'll see a much better battery in the next couple of years, but there is no way to guarantee it. 

Realistically many people could do quite well with a 100 mile range EV.  They just have to get comfortable with the idea.  And for the others, there are PHEVs.  Prices will come down as production volume increases.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 11, 2013, 09:42:57 PM
Continuing...

What destroys our highways are large trucks.  The smart thing would be to build high speed rail and get a lot of the 18 wheelers off the road.

The price of EVs should  become less than that of ICEVs.  The cost of driving is much, much lower. 

We  can have a thriving economy in the future.  There is absolutely no shortage of clean electricity.  Labor certainly won't be a problem.  We will need to switch to sustainable feed stock.  Metals will be no problem, we can extract, refine and recycle with clean energy.  We will need to move to plant-based plastics.  There's no reason that we can't keep on living "a good life" from here on as long as we make some changes in where we get our energy and some of our basic materials.

That's not to say that we aren't going to experience some hurt.  We've already given ourselves a major dose of pain with the GHG we've added to the atmosphere.  It's going to kill a lot of us.  Not billions, but perhaps a few million.

My generation (I'm almost 70) and the one before me had to deal with all sorts of deadly diseases that just don't strike us anymore.  The younger generation and those to follow will have to deal with some nasty weather problems that we've left them.  We're going to have to move some of the world's population to areas with ample water.  We're going to have to move back from the coasts and out of the flood planes.  We're going to have to toughen our buildings against stronger storms.  We're going to have to get a lot more clever about how we grow food and we're going to have to stockpile more against especially bad years.

Luckily we're seeing the likely peak of population coming before long.  If we're smart we will make education for women and access to birth control technology a priority.  With not much effort we could get the population to peak sooner and lower.  Long term we need to greatly reduce the number of people on the planet.  We're stressing our resources and we've lowered the quality of life for most.  (I'm posting this from the very crowded Medina of Fes, Morocco.  People should have more open area.) 

We're so much 'smarter' than we used to be.  We're so advanced in our knowledge and computers/internet have given us an amazing ability to share information and solutions.  It's going to be an exciting time to be alive, the next 50 or so years.  Challenges, yes, but ones we can meet.

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 12, 2013, 02:54:33 AM
ghoti,

CO2 footprint for manufacture of plugin vehicles is not higher the for ICE vehicles.
Maybe not, but that's not really my concern.
My concern here is that in order to avoid crossing any arbitrary threshold of atmospheric CO2 concentration, then our global civilization must put itself on some kind of "carbon budget".
We must set absolute limits on and ration out the amount of CO2 we are allowed to emit to the atmosphere, for all activities, that will allow us to adhere to our objective (whatever that is).
In other words, the CO2 emitted by manufacturing millions of EVs will be at the expense of some other industrial activity - like manufacturing wind turbine components; repairing, upgrading and extending electric grids; consumer items; etc.
I believe there are other, better ways to address transportation issues without having to perpetuate the "happy motoring" culture.

There isn't really a shortage of "rare earth" metals. They were just way cheaper to buy from China than to use local sources up until now.
I'm not so sure that there won't eventually be one.
China had the "low-hanging fruit".
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: idunno on March 12, 2013, 01:14:28 PM
While the Keystone pipeline may be very ecologically suspect, I think it is important to note that some of the obvious alternatives (i.e. Gulf War III) don't look that pretty either.

As I understand it, "avoiding Gulf War III" is euphemistically referred to in US political parlance as "reducing our dependence on foreign oil"; and from this point of view, Keystone, even Arctic drilling, would be a good thing.

Had Romney won the election, he would probably already have approved Keystone, and green flagged Arctic drilling. He also wanted a 25% in the US military budget.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 13, 2013, 02:08:08 PM
"I believe there are other, better ways to address transportation issues without having to perpetuate the "happy motoring" culture."

Certainly there is. 

Now, go down to your local shopping mall/wherever and see how many people you can get to sign a pledge to drive no more.

People in crowded cities with adequate public transportation can be somewhat talked out of their cars.  Most of the rest of the people, not.

We could move to a very low CO2 culture very quickly were people willing to radically change their lifestyle.  Most are not.

Our only option, IMHO, is to develop clean energy ways to supply what people want and do so in a manner that seems transparent and costs no more.  It will cost us some up front money to move off of fossil fuels for electricity but once we're past the initial costs electricity should be cheaper.  EVs cost more now (and are range limited) but that should be a short term problem.  EVs should cost less to manufacture than do ICEVs and are definitely less expensive to operate.

An efficient large screen TV can be functionally equivalent to a non-efficient model.  Same for refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.  We need to get more efficient 'things' into the hands of people who want 'things'.  I don't think the fear of higher oceans 100 years from now will change much consumer behavior.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 13, 2013, 03:57:25 PM
Bob,
Thanks for your thoughtful replies.
I meant to reply earlier, but haven't had the time.
This is a comlicated discussion, as it is almost impossible to define its boundaries (our present predicament being the result of no one single issue).

I have to say I'm not convinced of your perspective.

I agree with you that getting people to individually change their behaviour will be difficult and will probably not result in much substantive change.
But I don't agree with you that the solution then is to promote a lassez-faire transition to a more efficient and cleaner version of what has gotten us to where we are now.
So, in my opinion the only real option is to try to convince people that some radical changes to their way of life may be innevitable.
To make an analogy, we have made some very big "grown up" problems for ourselves, and we (as a species) are going to have to "grow up" in a hurry to address them, otherwise we will be stuck dealing with the "grown up" consequences.

We're so much 'smarter' than we used to be.  We're so advanced in our knowledge and computers/internet have given us an amazing ability to share information and solutions.  It's going to be an exciting time to be alive, the next 50 or so years.  Challenges, yes, but ones we can meet.

I would argue that we aren't actually any "smarter" than we've ever been, we just benefit from the accumulated knowledge of the past.
I would also argue that we aren't actually as "smart" as we think and that our "smartness" and hubris are actually root causes of the predicament we're presently in.
If anything, we're in over our heads with respect to the complexity in the world we've created.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 14, 2013, 08:13:39 PM


1) I agree with you that getting people to individually change their behaviour will be difficult and will probably not result in much substantive change.

2) But I don't agree with you that the solution then is to promote a lassez-faire transition to a more efficient and cleaner version of what has gotten us to where we are now.

3) So, in my opinion the only real option is to try to convince people that some radical changes to their way of life may be innevitable.


When you get to point three (I added numbers) you find yourself defeated by your point one.

A small percentage can be talked into doing things a better way,  IMO the majority cannot.  Unless climate change gets so bad that it's probably too late.

Far too many people have a "I've got mine, screw you" attitude.  Far too many are living from check to check  and can't afford to make significant change.  Far too many just won't get around to it.  (Look at the number who continue to smoke or overeat when they know it is likely to shorten their lives.  Look at how few start saving for retirement until the last few years of work.)

Put a big gas tax on US fuel and those politicians will be driven out of office.  Same with a large carbon tax that raises utility costs. 

The solution pretty much has to be painless.  We've made refrigerators more than 2x more efficient over the last 20 years and no one has complained.  We've moved people from CRT TVs and computer monitors which are 4x or more efficient and not one has complained.  We've even made cars more fuel efficient and no one has complained.

We've done those things successively because they didn't change the function or drastically increase the initial cost.

We've decreased the amount of coal we're burning (in the US) by 40% and added significant amounts of renewables without complaint because the grid continues to function and prices have jumped.

That's our best hope.  Transition over to renewables and electric vehicles without people taking notice.  We'll have to spend government money "behind the scenes" but that's easier to get away with than taking money directly out of people's pockets or asking them to sit in the dark at night.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 14, 2013, 08:19:14 PM


I would argue that we aren't actually any "smarter" than we've ever been, we just benefit from the accumulated knowledge of the past.
I would also argue that we aren't actually as "smart" as we think and that our "smartness" and hubris are actually root causes of the predicament we're presently in.
If anything, we're in over our heads with respect to the complexity in the world we've created.

I put smart in quotes because, as a society, we are smarter.  Our scientific knowledge is more extensive, our ability to communicate (the web) is immensely improved.  We can share information and problem-solve in real time, not snail mail time.

We've done a lot of the intellectual/technical work that we need to do.  We've created solar panels that are cheap enough and efficient enough.  We've created wind turbines that are cheap and efficient.  We've made significant progress with electrified transportation, energy storage, and efficiency.  We've done the basic brain work, what we need to do now is implement.

And, of course, improve as we implement.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 16, 2013, 03:31:50 PM
1) I agree with you that getting people to individually change their behaviour will be difficult and will probably not result in much substantive change.
2) But I don't agree with you that the solution then is to promote a lassez-faire transition to a more efficient and cleaner version of what has gotten us to where we are now.
3) So, in my opinion the only real option is to try to convince people that some radical changes to their way of life may be innevitable.
When you get to point three (I added numbers) you find yourself defeated by your point one.
Bob,
Defeated in what way?
The idea is to try to create awareness of the precariousness of our situation.
Some people will listen, but most people will probably not - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try...
A change in perspective doesn't cost any money so anyone can do it.

That's our best hope.  Transition over to renewables and electric vehicles without people taking notice.  We'll have to spend government money "behind the scenes" but that's easier to get away with than taking money directly out of people's pockets or asking them to sit in the dark at night.
I remain unconvinced.
There are simply too many loose ends to this theory for me to get excited about it.
Climate change is possibly the most overarching issue of our times, yet we also appear to be approaching many other significant limits as well - all of which will have an impact on whatever plans we might have.
Frankly, I don't see how it's possible to predict the likelyhood of any future scenario, which is why I like to focus on awareness and resilience.

I put smart in quotes because, as a society, we are smarter.  Our scientific knowledge is more extensive, our ability to communicate (the web) is immensely improved.  We can share information and problem-solve in real time, not snail mail time.
I disagree.

The architecture of our brains is essentially the same now as it was when our ancient ancestors used it to hunt mammoth on the steppe.
I think you're overestimating our ability to "know what is actually going on" in this hyper-complex world, and underestimating our perceptual limitations.
What may seem like "real-time problem solving" is still just reacting to events after the fact - ie, after the damage is already done.

If we are as "smart" as you are making us out to be, we would not have had a near "global financial meltdown" in 2008.
The reactors at Fukushima would never have been built as they were.
The Iraq war would have actually been "mission accomplished" in 2003 and would not have carried on until 2011.
The field of medicine would not have had to develop the terms "iatrogenic effect" or "iatrogenesis".
And the transition to a renewables based economy would have started a long time ago.
Title: 350.org CO2 graph
Post by: conrad on March 16, 2013, 04:32:37 PM
somewhat off topic:
I'm impressed with McKibbon and his Keystone stance, so I just checked out 350.org. Prominently displayed on their home page is a graph showing CO2 rising to 392 ppm (historical) and falling, starting now, at a much faster rate, to below 350 ppm. Everyone understands that this is politically impossible, but isn't this also physically impossible, even with geo-engineering? If CO2 emissions were stopped now how long would it take to get to 350 ppm without geo-engineering?
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 19, 2013, 04:33:41 PM
Lucas, I do not believe that there is any possibility getting people to change their behavior significantly enough to adequately reduce our CO2 levels unless we make it easy and cheap for them to do so.  We have to invent our way to more efficient "stuff" and better clean energy technology.

We're just about there.  If we had 40, 50 years to get our CO2 levels under control I think we would have no problems. 

We're reaching the point at which new renewable electricity is cheaper than new fossil fuel and nuclear energy.  If nothing else, as coal and nuclear plants wear out they would naturally be replaced by renewables because the electricity would be cheaper.

We've learned how to make safe, comfortable, responsive vehicles which use far less fuel than did those in the past.  All things being equal, people will be the more efficient car or truck.  EVs should soon be as usable as ICEVs and since they cost far less per mile to operate, the market will almost certainly switch.

Fossil fuels are going away simply because they will be priced out of the market.  The energy needed to bring them to market and the inefficiency at which they are converted to movement makes them too expensive.

The big problem, IMO, is that market forces aren't likely to operate fast enough to avoid very problematic climate change.  We will need government's thumb on the scale to swing us over to renewables faster than would otherwise occur.

I think people will tolerate and support that thumb as long as they don't perceive it as costing them too much.  This is where, I think, outreach to the greater public works best.  People need to understand the danger and understand the things we can do to minimize the danger.  That will make them more responsive to government action which is needed for the heavy lifting.

Now, you don't like the idea that we have become smarter.  I'm not talking about the individual, but society as a whole.  The human ant colony.

We are operating off a much advanced knowledge base.  We are moving ideas and information much, much faster and more reliably than has ever been dreamed about.  We, as the body human, are a greatly advanced organism than the societies which proceeded ours.

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 19, 2013, 07:23:48 PM
Bob,
Seems like we may have to agree to disagree...
I just don't see the transition as you are describing it happening - it's a theory that I just don't think will pan out (unfortunately).
I would offer you a bet, but I'm already "putting my money where my mouth is" by making changes in my own life ;-)

On the issue of human "smartness"...
It's not that I don't "like" the idea that we have become smarter, it's that I don't think we have despite all the accumulated knowledge we have access to.
Yes, we are obviously capable of doing much more and understanding much more than ever before, but that doesn't necessarily equate to being "smarter".
Looking at the human race collectively, our "smartness" can really only be judged by what can be observed about our actions (good intentions don't count).

An individual example:
A PhD who studies her e-reader while walking and is subsequently hit by a bus is not "smart".

Some collective examples:
The bankers who set the banking system up for disaster in 07/08 had access to all the latest economic theory, risk evaluation models, technology, and they themselves would have been considered very "smart" people - so how is it that the stupidity of what they were doing escaped them and most everyone else until the damage became obvious in hindsight?
Not "smart".

The engineers that designed the reactor facilities at Fukushima and the managers that signed off on those designs made the assumption that the reactor facilities would never be exposed to a tsunami of greater magnitude than the highest ever recorded (at that time) at Fukushima.
Not "smart".

Edit to add:
http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/iraq_lesson_20130319/ (http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/iraq_lesson_20130319/)

As a species, humans are perceptually blind to hidden risk within complex systems.
We therefore make decisions and take on huge risks naively, which is something technology and knowledge can't help us with.
Unknown unknowns - it's just part of the human experience.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 20, 2013, 10:50:47 PM
Lucas, where your low esteem for the human race isn't convincing is when one looks at our successes as opposed to our very low failure rate.

We have flown.  We have sent humans into space and onto the Moon and brought them home safe again.  We have defeated smallpox and a large number of other diseases.  We have invented computers, the internet and zillions of other technological wonders.  Look back to the world of 1913, only 100 years ago.  Look at how much advancement we have made.

We have largely invented the technology we need right now that is needed to get us largely off fossil fuel.  We could have a fossil fuel free grid in 20 years were we to make a very strong effort.  We could cut our personal transportation use of fossil fuels to less than 20% of what it now is in 20 years if we decided to.

We could move half our air travel to electrified high speed rail.  We could produce a lot of the fuel we need for the remaining air travel from renewable sources.

We just need to decide that we are going to do it and get on with the job.  As we install the technology we have today we will almost certainly invent even better technology and make the total job easier than it seems today.

Will we start in time and work fast enough?  That I can't say....
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 21, 2013, 02:13:31 AM
Bob,
I think you may be misunderstanding me somewhat.

First of all, I'm not saying your vision of some kind of "techno-eutopia" (if I may call it that) is impossible, but I am skeptical that it is achievable - or that it won't result in some other harmful unintended consequences - or that it won't set us up for failure in some other unforseen way in the future.
 
Secondly, to acknowledge that we have (individually and collectively) certain inate limitations to how much of "reality" we are able to perceive is not being negative or pessimistic - it is being realistic.
What makes us not very "smart", in general, is that we largely fail to acknowledge that these limitations exist at all (I daresay that even suggesting the human mind has limitations is enough to ruffle many people's feathers).

Do you not see the paradox of our "progress"?
What has enabled us to achieve these successes is also at the root of some of our most dire problems and uncertainties.
The energy and industrial apparatus that enables the creation of our technology poisons our world.
The antibiotics we use to save lives have contributed to overpopulation and the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Genetic modification helps feed an overpopulated world but at the risk of making our food supply more fragile and we know not what else.
Etc.

Who anticipated the consequences of these developments?
Some few individuals sure, but why were their warnings not heeded?
Does this not say something about the "smartness" of the "human anthill"?

That we tend to not see this paradox, but focus on the "successes" is dangerous to us all - we must use more wisdom.
My view in this regard isn't a "low esteem" of the human race, it is just that I realize how faliable we are and that, ultimately, there is no "safety net" to catch us when we fall.

Ugo Bardi made an interesting post a while back in a similar vein:
http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-unknown-unknowns-of-monoculture.html (http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-unknown-unknowns-of-monoculture.html)

Nassim Taleb's books "The Black Swan" (http://books.google.ca/books?id=7wMuF4A4XF8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+black+swan&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v1xKUcuyDIfFyAHC3YCgCw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=the%20black%20swan&f=false) and "Antifragile" (http://books.google.ca/books?id=5fqbz_qGi0AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=antifragile&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NV1KUaiFDoi9ywGc5YHIDg&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=antifragile&f=false) are also very interesting reads.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 21, 2013, 10:16:45 PM
You seem to focus on our very small number of missteps and I on our very large number of productive steps.

I suppose we won't sort that out....
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 22, 2013, 12:03:36 AM
Quote
You seem to focus on our very small number of missteps and I on our very large number of productive steps.
If you say so.

Agree to disagree it is then.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: AndrewP on March 22, 2013, 03:35:37 AM
Bob,

Yes humans have done great things. We've also done terrible things. Even now, millions die from war, starvation, and curable disease. I don't think we in the developed world are immune from this. Capitalism has worked out well for our material wealth. But we have many dire social problems in the developed world that go unaddressed. Gun violence, drugs, mental health issues and pollution issues. We've been unable to solve them even though they are universally recognized as major issues (except perhaps pollution). We solve issues when it is profitable to do so. Those which are not profitable to solve (or in some cases are more profitable not to solve), don't get solved.

The fear is AGW will fall into that latter category until it is too late. Humans are adaptable, so no doubt we will survive in some form or another. But we are not immune from great economic and social damage.

Also, I think you underestimate the cost of the technologies that we can use to mitigate and/or adapt to AGW. Converting the grid to low/no emissions would be unimaginably expensive just to build the infrastructure, which we are running out of time to do. You're talking about replacing infrastructure that was built over the course of 50+ years and intended to last 50+ years. Nevermind the fact that most renewables still cost more per Kwh than coal or gas. Wind doesn't, but wind can only form a certain % of the grid before major issues arise.

And for transportation, all the alternatives are much more expensive.

These costs imply a substantial reduction in the standard of living. Not only might this cause major macroeconomic issues, but I very much doubt it will ever be politically feasible.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: AndrewP on March 22, 2013, 03:37:49 AM
Bob,

Yes humans have done great things. We've also done terrible things. Even now, millions die from war, starvation, and curable disease. I don't think we in the developed world are immune from this. Capitalism has worked out well for our material wealth. But we have many dire social problems in the developed world that go unaddressed. Gun violence, drugs, mental health issues and pollution issues. We've been unable to solve them even though they are universally recognized as major issues (except perhaps pollution). We solve issues when it is profitable to do so. Those which are not profitable to solve (or in some cases are more profitable not to solve), don't get solved.

The fear is AGW will fall into that latter category until it is too late. Humans are adaptable, so no doubt we will survive in some form or another. But we are not immune from great economic and social damage. Economic and social chaos occurs widely today especially in the undeveloped world, but also in the developed world.

Also, I think you underestimate the cost of the technologies that we can use to mitigate and/or adapt to AGW. Converting the grid to low/no emissions would be unimaginably expensive just to build the infrastructure, which we are running out of time to do. You're talking about replacing infrastructure that was built over the course of 50+ years and intended to last 50+ years. Nevermind the fact that most renewables still cost more per Kwh than coal or gas. Wind doesn't, but wind can only form a certain % of the grid before major issues arise.

And for transportation, all the alternatives are much more expensive.

These costs imply a substantial reduction in the standard of living. Not only might this cause major macroeconomic issues, but I very much doubt it will ever be politically feasible.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 22, 2013, 11:25:07 PM
Andrew, I will not argue that it is definitely not too late.  It might be.  But I will strongly suggest that it is important that we act as if it definitely is not so. 

We must move forward in an attempt to reduce our greenhouse gas inputs.  Throwing up our hands in defeat insures our defeat.

Now, as to your cost claims....

The true cost of burning coal for electricity is somewhere higher than $0.15/kWh due to the health costs created by coal pollution.  We don't pay those costs at the meter, we pay them with our tax dollars and health insurance premiums.  But we do pay them.

Add in the cost of climate change and the cost of burning coal is very much higher that that.

The cost of electricity from gas peaker plants is quite expensive.  And because we typically use merit order pricing that makes the price of peak hour power quite high. 

The price of natural gas is, luckily for us, low right now.  NG plants are cheap to build and NG is highly dispatchable.  That means that we have an affordable fill-in generation technology for when the Sun isn't shining and the wind not blowing.  As the price of NG rises we will replace it with storage.

Wind is currently producing electricity at $0.06/kWh.  That's the median, non-subsidized price.

Solar is currently selling contracts at $0.10/kWh.  That does include subsidies.  Were we installing solar at Germany's cost ($2/watt) then solar would run from $0.08/kWh to $0.10/kWh (sunny Southwest to less sunny Northeast).

Geothermal's median non-subsidized cost is $0.09/kWh.

Renewables are already cheaper than coal and their costs continue to fall.

EVs and PHEVs have higher up front/purchase prices but their operating costs are so low compared to liquid fuel vehicles that they pay for themselves well before the useful life of the vehicle is ended.  And their cost will continue to fall.

High speed rail will come with some significant up front costs but once in place will be significantly cheaper to operate than the moderate length air travel it will replace.  It will be an investment which we will recover via both with fuel costs and lowered CO2 emissions,

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 22, 2013, 11:37:02 PM
Now the "millions die from war, starvation, and curable disease" part.

Perhaps I'm older than you and have a longer term view of human progress.  I was born during WWII when major European countries were at war with each other, in fact, most of the world was at war. 


When I was young people still died of smallpox.  When I was young we greatly feared polio.  When I was young people routinely went to the hospital for "exploratory surgery, were opened up, found to be "eaten up" with cancer, sewn back together and sent home to die.  Children my age frequently died of contagious diseases like measles, mumps, scarlet fever.

I've been traveling to less developed countries for over 30 years.  I can see how even in some of the most remote, underdeveloped places people's lives have improved.  My first trip to India showed me thousands of people sleeping on the streets in Calcutta and hoards of very hungry people meeting each bus on the hopes that someone might give them a bit of money with which to buy food.

I've worked in mental hospitals where the mentally ill and incompetent were simply locked away and kept under control with brute force.  Where there were no drugs to control violent behavior, but straight jackets and attendants who used their fists to "keep people in line".

I know the job is not finished.  But at the same time I marvel at how much progress we have made.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Lucas Durand on March 22, 2013, 11:44:19 PM
Throwing up our hands in defeat insures our defeat.
Bob,
I don't read Andrew's comment like that at all.
I hope you aren't implying that anyone who doesn't agree with your dream is arguing that we throw our hands up in defeat.
Binary thinking will almost certainly not solve anything.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 22, 2013, 11:52:08 PM
No, I don't read Andrew's comment as one of "we are defeated".

I'm simply trying to make the point that we must act as if we are not.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: AndrewP on March 23, 2013, 06:14:28 AM
Bob,

First, I think looking solely at human progress misses my point. Most human progress has been driven by market forces. The problem is market forces are not and probably won't be for quite some time directed at mitigating AGW. Market forces will help us adapt to AGW, but the consequences may be catastrophic by that point. It was economical to solve polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, scarlet fever because you can sell vaccines and antibiotics. It was economical to cure cancer because you can sell chemo and surgery. It was economical to utilize the cheap labor force of the undeveloped world and lift them out of severe poverty. It is not economical to reduce CO2 emissions. Now we can direct market forces towards solving the problem with a carbon tax, but this seems politically unlikely. I vote for it, and I'll continue to vote for it, and everybody else could and should start voting for it, but I don't think enough people will vote for it any time soon.


Second, I think you're a bit optimistic on converting the grid.

Wind is cheap. On that we agree. However, I think you are underestimating the cost of unsubsidized solar. The DOE projects that the total levelized cost of solar in 2017 will still be 50% more than wind or traditional energy sources. Wind can only form about 25% of grid capacity before major problems occur. That still leaves us with 75% fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro.

After that, you either have to start paying the 50% premium for solar and/or installing major storage capacity. Or the 30-40% premium for CCS coal. Doable, it's just expensive, especially the faster you try to do it.


I definitely don't think we are defeated. I would say the right time for beginning to aggressively pursue an alternative energy policy was 20+ years ago. We've guaranteed ourselves major adaptation costs that would have been cheaper in terms of $$ and human life to mitigate years ago.

But I am far from an end of the world type. I'll outline three scenarios, "ideal" "realistic best case" "realistic worst case."

1. Ideally we started seriously mitigating 20+ years ago, or even today, which would be expensive and would require slower GDP growth and moderately lower standards of living. Efforts are made to assist the developing world where there is less capability for adaptation.

2. Realistically the best case scenario is, for political and economic reasons, we don't start serious mitigation for another 15-30 years. Climate sensitivity and the associated consequences lie on the middle or lower side of the current consensus. The mitigation and adaptation costs at this point are far more severe and require somewhat harsh standard of living reductions, which will be especially severe for the developing world.

3. The worst case scenario, which I do not view outside of the realm of possibility: mitigation is put off too long, and climate sensitivity and associated consequences lie on the middle or higher side of the consensus. The adaptation and mitigation costs at this point are catastrophic. Western civilization is seriously jeopardized by widespread chaos. Humans survive, but the modern civilization we are accustomed to is altered.



Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 24, 2013, 09:17:03 AM
@Bob - Remember me telling you that I'm "a born optimist but a political pessimist"?

Will Renewable Energy "Solve Global Warming"? (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,16.0.html)

@Andrew - Only last week I was endeavouring to explain to a nice lady from the Office for Renewable Energy Deployment at the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change that "the sh1t will hit the fan" on the UK's grid in the not too distant future. She admitted that this wasn't her area of expertise, and read a brief statement prepared by somebody else.

She hasn't yet answered my subsequent voicemail either.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: werther on July 11, 2013, 10:58:34 AM
Fatal details in the rising energy-climate stress economy…

Big disasters increasingly underline the stress. If not in extraction (the Deep Horizon Spill), then in distribution (Lac-Mégantique). While it is ever harder to pick the fruits for the fossil-fuel-industry, risks that are accepted rise and pressure to get the products into the market grows.

And thus,  little community in Quebec is now against the will of its inhabitants in the centre of this struggle. The dilemma is clear. The unfolding climate cliff urges us to leave the bloody stuff in the ground. So any investment in means to improve distribution of fossil fuel is opposed. Because that infrastructure will certainly mean the profit is litterally spewed into our atmosphere with comparable efficiency.

But because the products are pushed into the market anyhow, any means to do it is tried. I am very sorry for the inhabitants of that tiny Quebec village. My thoughts and prayers  are with them. And I can only hope that events like this will finally trigger an honest debate. And responsability taken by governments.

PS Maybe I didn’t inform myself a 100% well, but that train was heading for the Searsport Oil Terminal in Maine, and it may damn well have carried Bakken and Tar-sand oil products.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ghoti on July 11, 2013, 05:29:08 PM
It was oil being shipped from North Dakota from the Bakken.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: deep octopus on January 31, 2014, 11:14:02 PM
Well here's a cynical perspective from the United States State Department.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/politics/report-may-ease-way-to-approval-of-keystone-pipeline.html?hp (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/politics/report-may-ease-way-to-approval-of-keystone-pipeline.html?hp)

Quote
The State Department released a report on Friday that could pave the way toward President Obama’s approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The long-awaited environmental impact statement on the project concludes that approval or denial of the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, is unlikely to prompt oil companies to change the rate of their extraction of carbon-heavy tar sands oil, a State Department official said. Either way, the tar sands oil, which produces significantly more planet-warming carbon pollution than standard methods of drilling, is coming out of the ground, the report says.

In other words, the State Department is resigned to a preconceived conclusion that the tar sands are getting extracted no matter what, pipeline or rail, so, sure, what the hell difference does it really matter punching a pipeline through American prairie land? As if restricting transportation options would have no effect on the pace of production, profits, and so forth. And yeah, it is certain to increase carbon pollution, but since we've concluded the tar sands are coming out either way, the pipeline really has no bearing on that outcome, so... what say we approve that baby?

Bad enough was learning news of Australia's permission for the Great Barrier Reef to be a dumping ground for coal dredging. The State Department's review of the pipeline also seems to have only the interests of the short-term economy in mind. I'm sorry to say that this has been totally predictable from the get go. There will be another review regarding the project's "national [American] interests", which I'm sure will be even less critical than the environmental review. Then Kerry delivers a recommendation to Obama, and it will fall on Obama to make a final decision. Sometime this spring I presume.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: GeoffBeacon on February 01, 2014, 11:11:59 AM
Try reading Hansen's latest without crying...
www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140131_Sophie1.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140131_Sophie1.pdf)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on February 01, 2014, 04:12:29 PM
Geoff

Very moving, but I think Hansen needs to read this.  His approach is not working and does not have much prospect of working in time. 

The below rings true to me more than anything I have read along the lines of Hansen's letter (maybe because it is a familiar approach that I used myself, but it works).

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/learning-how-to-die-in-the-anthropocene/?_r=1& (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/learning-how-to-die-in-the-anthropocene/?_r=1&)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 01, 2014, 04:58:58 PM
JimD........Thanks, a great read and accurate. The next stage of human evolution is philosophical.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2014, 04:36:06 PM
Update: Nebraska raises a barrier.
Nebraska rules that Keystone pipeline eminent domain was taken illegally.
Two views:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/19/3309791/nebraska-keystone-pipeline-ruling/# (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/19/3309791/nebraska-keystone-pipeline-ruling/#)

http://gazette.com/keystone-pipeline-faces-new-obstacle-in-nebraska/article/feed/91991 (http://gazette.com/keystone-pipeline-faces-new-obstacle-in-nebraska/article/feed/91991)

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JackTaylor on February 20, 2014, 04:58:24 PM
Sigmetnow,

Thanks for the heads up on
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/19/3309791/nebraska-keystone-pipeline-ruling/# (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/19/3309791/nebraska-keystone-pipeline-ruling/#)

Now it's waiting out appeals.

Regards
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 20, 2014, 08:18:16 PM
If the pipeline is effectively blocked, Canadian National will ship it by rail. They already are shipping the bulk of it.

https://www.cn.ca/en/your-industry/petroleum-chemicals (https://www.cn.ca/en/your-industry/petroleum-chemicals)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on February 28, 2014, 04:16:22 PM
Not truly on topic but I think related.  If the Obama administration is moving towards allowing drilling off the Eastern seaboard it would seem that they will also approve the Keystone.  If our next President is a Republican both of these approvals are pretty certain.

Obama Administration May Open Up Atlantic to Seismic Testing

Quote
A report expected to be released on February 27 or 28 could allow the early stages of oil exploration to move forward on the U.S. Atlantic seaboard, which has long been off limits for oil and gas drilling. The Department of Interior will publish its final environmental analysis, which will clear a major hurdle on the way towards allowing the seismic testing off the East Coast in decades. The report is expected to be greeted with strong pushback from environmentalists.

At issue is whether or not Interior’s environmental analysis adequately takes into account the effect of seismic testing on whales, dolphins, and other marine animals. Seismic testing involves blasting sound waves to the seabed, which give engineers detailed 3-D maps that can inform where the best places to drill might be

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/obama-administration-may-open-atlantic-seismic-testing.html (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/obama-administration-may-open-atlantic-seismic-testing.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on March 04, 2014, 09:03:18 PM
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Endorses Keystone XL Pipeline

Quote
Nixon previously hadn't directly weighed in on the Keystone project, but did previously support the expansion of another oil pipeline in Missouri. Last year, He praised a Canadian company's announcement to build a new 600-mile pipeline from Illinois to Oklahoma along an existing pipeline route running diagonally from northeast to west-central Missouri.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/Themes/smf-curve1/images/bbc/quote.gif (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/Themes/smf-curve1/images/bbc/quote.gif)
Missouri's two U.S. senators — Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt — have also endorsed construction of the Keystone pipeline.

Cover as well as pressure.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/jay-nixon-keystone-pipeline_n_4896394.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/jay-nixon-keystone-pipeline_n_4896394.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on March 08, 2014, 02:34:19 AM
Quote
A significant majority of Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a ABC/Washington Post poll released Friday.

Despite relatively widespread concerns about its potential effects on the environment, 65 percent of Americans said the government should approve construction of the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas. That is an increase over a June 2012 poll that found 59 percent supported its construction.

For many, economic factors outweigh the environmental hazards: 85 percent said they think the pipeline will create a significant number of jobs. Although 47 percent said they believe the pipeline would pose a significant risk to the environment, those who said it's a risk are still split almost evenly on whether it should be approved.

The jobs item above indicates how well the pro pipeline marketing has gone.  It is a big lie.  the pipeline will only create a couple of hundred jobs after construction.  And it will not take long to build.  My bet is it is going to be built too as the politics demands it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/07/keystone-xl-poll_n_4919025.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/07/keystone-xl-poll_n_4919025.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on March 09, 2014, 08:06:09 PM
More tar sand oil pipelines being planned

Quote
Two massive pipeline projects with a combined value of $19 billion passed key hurdles this week — a striking reminder that the fight over Keystone XL is just the beginning of what promises to be a long debate over the future of the Canadian tar sands oil reserves.

The first giant west-to-east pipeline is from TransCanada, the same company that lays claim to Keystone XL. The company’s $12 billion Energy East pipeline would be the largest oil sands pipeline in North America, and on Tuesday filed its project description with Canada’s National Energy Board. Energy East would pump 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta’s tar sands to terminals in Montreal, Quebec City, and St. John, as well as for export across the Atlantic.
 
The second pipeline is from Enbridge Inc., which on Thursday got final approval for its Line 9 expansion project to bring tar sands to Montreal. But Line 9 isn’t their biggest approval this week. On Monday, the company announced it has received financial backing for its $7 billion Line 3 Replacement project. That project would replace an existing 46-year-old pipeline between Alberta and Wisconsin, and double oil flow from 390,000 barrels of oil per day to 760,000.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/07/3377161/two-more-pipelines/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/07/3377161/two-more-pipelines/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2014, 02:53:18 AM
Decision on the pipeline being delayed, probably until after the US mid-term elections in November.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/18/3428625/keystone-delay-midterms/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/18/3428625/keystone-delay-midterms/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2014, 03:02:55 AM
Another article attacking the KXL pipeline.

"Recently, the US State Department released yet another report on the environmental impacts of building the Keystone pipeline. The report is shocking in its ironic juxtaposition of real greenhouse gas emissions and the potential impact on the Earth's climate. It is also shocking because the State Department tells us the pipeline will be made to withstand climate change, but won't be responsible for those changes. The report reflects an incompetence of the authors of the report and a divorce of the report from common sense. It isn't just me who feels this way, other groups concur the State Department report is faulty."

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/apr/16/keystone-xl-cops-incompetent (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/apr/16/keystone-xl-cops-incompetent)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 19, 2014, 06:00:17 PM
It really does not matter what "other people" feel. The State Department report is exactly what you would expect from an organization which is "all in" with the efforts to preserve modern industrial capitalism.

We should expect to encounter an ever larger number of reports and statements that involve a level of cognitive dissonance that you would think would cause the heads of those making them actually explode.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 21, 2014, 02:42:31 AM
Tom Steyer is vowing to throw his political weight and money behind any lawmaker in Congress who comes under attack for opposing the Keystone XL pipeline.

http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/218879375 (http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/218879375)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on May 06, 2014, 04:30:54 PM
So 3 of 4 sections of the pipeline are up and running.  Obama approved the southern half section in 2012.  The company says it is near the point of being able to bridge the gap waiting approval via a rail network and terminal setup.

I still think Obama will approve when the timing gets him the most political capital.  But that oil is coming one way or another.

Quote

For First Time, TransCanada Says Tar Sands Flowing to Gulf in Keystone XL South

TransCanada admitted for the first time that tar sands oil is now flowing through Keystone XL‘s southern leg, now rebranded the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project. The company confirmed the pipeline activity in its 2014 quarter one earnings call....

The Keystone Pipeline System — of which Keystone XL’s northern leg is phase four of four phases — is and always has been slated to carry Alberta’s tar sands to targeted markets. So the announcement is far from a shocker.

More perplexing is why it took so long for the company to tell the public that tar sands oil now flows through the half of the pipeline approved via a March 2012 Executive Order by President Barack Obama....

The prospect of moving tar sands oil by rail to Cushing was also discussed on the call.



“Our customers have asked us to look at a rail bridge between Alberta and U.S.points,” Bill Taylor, TransCanada’s Executive Vice-President and President of Energy, said on the call. “I’d say that since the delays, the intensity of those calls has gone up quite substantially.”

Girling echoed Taylor in discussing his company’s tar sands oil-by-rail chess move.

“It is something … that we can move on relatively quickly,” Girling stated. “We’ve done a pretty substantial amount of work at the terminal end and mostly at the receipt and delivery points and that’s really what our key role in here would be.


http://my.firedoglake.com/stevehorn1022/2014/05/05/for-first-time-transcanada-says-tar-sands-flowing-to-gulf-in-keystone-xl-south/ (http://my.firedoglake.com/stevehorn1022/2014/05/05/for-first-time-transcanada-says-tar-sands-flowing-to-gulf-in-keystone-xl-south/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: werther on May 06, 2014, 05:12:04 PM
JimD,
I had a same sort of sick feeling last week as the first Arctic oil from Prirazlomnoye in the Pechora Sea arrived in Rotterdam...
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on October 12, 2014, 04:14:14 PM
Try not to cry.  You know we need a song about BAU...I would lean towards the blues but gangsta rap might also be a good choice.

Quote
In this period of national gloom comes an idea -- a crazy-sounding notion, or maybe, actually, an epiphany. How about an all-Canadian route to liberate that oil sands crude from Alberta’s isolation and America’s fickleness? Canada’s own environmental and aboriginal politics are holding up a shorter and cheaper pipeline to the Pacific that would supply a shipping portal to oil-thirsty Asia.

Instead, go east, all the way to the Atlantic.

  Thus was born Energy East, an improbable pipeline that its backers say has a high probability of being built. It will cost C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude. ............

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-08/keystone-be-darned-canada-finds-oil-route-around-obama.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-08/keystone-be-darned-canada-finds-oil-route-around-obama.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 12, 2014, 07:27:36 PM
We won't stop pipelines and oil extraction until we cut our oil use to the point at which it makes no economic sense to extract, ship and refine oil.

Buy an EV.

If an EV won't work for you then buy a PHEV.

At least drive the most fuel efficient vehicle you can afford.

And do what is reasonable to reduce your amount of driving.

Then check from time to time to see if things have changed so that you can buy and use an EV.

Both Tesla and GM should have a 200 mile EV on the market for about $30k within the next two years.  The average new car cost in the US is $32,046. 

Nissan is expected to increase the range of their Leaf while holding price steady.

There are low mileage used Nissan Leafs for sale starting around $12k.

Starve the beast.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 12, 2014, 08:03:41 PM
Try not to cry.  You know we need a song about BAU...I would lean towards the blues but gangsta rap might also be a good choice.

Something percussion based with very tiny violins might be appropriate.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: icefest on October 13, 2014, 10:20:11 AM
That was my logic Bob. I'm driving a (for Australian standards) tiny car that produces less than 100g c02/km. Which is better than an EV here running or electricity.

I wish I could go fully solar + EV, but being both a student and a renter, (and moving around a lot) makes that too hard.

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 16, 2014, 05:39:26 PM
@insideclimate: RT @eschor: Keystone XL bonus: Republicans can take the Senate and still stay short of 60 votes on the pipe.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 18, 2014, 03:23:26 AM
American Indian Tribe Calls Keystone XL Vote An 'Act Of War'
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/17/3592947/sioux-keystone-act-of-war/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/17/3592947/sioux-keystone-act-of-war/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 18, 2014, 05:52:52 AM
Quote
short of 60 votes on the pipe

Short of 60 votes to pass it over a filibuster.  But the Republican Senate could do away with the filibuster.

That would still leave them short one vote in the White House.

And a lot of votes short of being able to override a veto.

That said, PBO might trade away the Keystone for something that would drive renewables and EVs forward faster.  The Keystone is just a sideways move in terms of carbon burning.  That oil, or some oil from another supplier is going to get burned as long as we continue to burn oil.

I'd readily trade the Keystone for a program that made EVs affordable for working people and greatly increased EV sales/manufacturing.  What we most need is higher sales levels to drive economies of scale.

To borrow a phrase, we didn't stop the stone age because we ran out of stones.  We moved on past stones because we found superior alternatives.

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: icefest on November 18, 2014, 09:52:17 PM
The difference is that keystone, once built, will keep making that heavy oil cheaper; as it will be a sunk cost. There is also the issue that if we are going to burn oil, it's sure as hell better to stick with oil that needs less reprocessing as that amounts to a large percentage of the co2 cost.
Making EVs more affordable is an ongoing cost, and one that can be reversed easily after the next presidential elections.

Supporting the building of projects sch as the gigafactory might help, but they'd have to be ones that wouldn't otherwise be built.

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 19, 2014, 01:18:01 AM
The price of EVs (really the price of batteries) is largely out of the hands of governments.  Private money, big corporations, are now driving the wagon.  Government subsidies gave the wagon a push to get it started.

Big money has smelled big profits and all sorts of projects are underway for both vehicle and grid storage.  There's an enormous fortune to be made as we (probably) see these industries mature.

I don't see how the fossil fuel industry could convince enough governments to put up roadblocks.  Multinational corporations will do their work where there are the least barriers.  And that knowledge would make it very difficult for a government to support fossil fuels at the likely cost of future jobs and tax revenue.

Keystone will bring oil from already developed projects to refineries.  The price of oil would have to be adequate to bring new projects on line.  The controller here is demand.  I truly think we are short years from 200 mile, <$30k EVs and only a few more years from being able to purchase those cars for <$25k.

At that point, likely less than ten years from now, we should see worldwide demand for oil start to drop.  In another ten years it is likely that many oil fields will be shut down with only the cheapest production sites in operation.

If we pay too much attention to the near future, when it comes to oil use, we are likely to be discouraged.  Instead closely watch the development of EVs and their batteries.  We have to fully develop the alternative before we will see meaningful oil demand decay.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 19, 2014, 08:34:57 PM
So, the Senate vote was one vote short on KXL (now being called the "Keystone Export Pipeline").
Explainer:
http://m.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/11/whats-happening-keystone-xl-week-explained (http://m.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/11/whats-happening-keystone-xl-week-explained)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 05, 2014, 12:55:15 AM
Humor from The Onion: US Republicans building Keystone XL pipeline themselves.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/desperate-gop-spotted-in-south-dakota-trying-to-bu,37499/ (http://www.theonion.com/articles/desperate-gop-spotted-in-south-dakota-trying-to-bu,37499/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 20, 2014, 05:26:51 PM
Keystone 'not even nominal benefit' to US consumers, President Obama says

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/227721-obama-keystone-not-even-nominal-benefit-to-us-consumers (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/227721-obama-keystone-not-even-nominal-benefit-to-us-consumers)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 02, 2015, 08:39:53 PM
"@CoralMDavenport: No #KXL [pipeline] verdict out of Nebraska today. Without a verdict, @BarackObama has ready-made excuse to veto forthcoming Senate Keystone bill."

Article: the personal side of Nebraska/Keystone.
http://www.npr.org/2014/12/16/371216129/on-nebraskas-prairies-keystone-xl-pipeline-debate-is-personal (http://www.npr.org/2014/12/16/371216129/on-nebraskas-prairies-keystone-xl-pipeline-debate-is-personal)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2015, 02:06:28 AM
Quote
The White House said on Tuesday that President Obama would veto legislation that approves construction of the Keystone XL pipeline if it passes Congress. "If this bill passes this Congress the president wouldn't sign it either," White House press secretary Josh Earnest vowed Tuesday of the pending Keystone legislation.
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/228610-white-house-threatens-to-veto-keystone-bill (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/228610-white-house-threatens-to-veto-keystone-bill)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2015, 09:48:07 PM
Quote
Why the Fight Over the Keystone Pipeline is Completely Divorced From Reality

Minor environmental benefits from a veto. Few gains for American business with approval. This is what all the fuss was about?
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-01-07/why-the-fight-over-the-keystone-pipeline-is-completely-divorced-from-reality (http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-01-07/why-the-fight-over-the-keystone-pipeline-is-completely-divorced-from-reality)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Laurent on January 13, 2015, 09:27:53 AM
Senate to Debate Keystone XL, Setting Stage for More Energy Battles
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/us/senate-votes-to-start-debate-on-keystone-bill.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/13/us/senate-votes-to-start-debate-on-keystone-bill.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Laurent on January 13, 2015, 09:56:55 PM
Ground Zero for the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rocky-kistner/ground-zero-for-the-keyst_b_6465404.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rocky-kistner/ground-zero-for-the-keyst_b_6465404.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Laurent on January 14, 2015, 10:13:22 AM
Senate Expected To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is Real, As Part Of Keystone Bill
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/13/climate-change-keystone-bill_n_6466380.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/13/climate-change-keystone-bill_n_6466380.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Laurent on January 16, 2015, 09:34:32 AM
Tribes In Three States Ask Obama Administration To Reject Keystone XL
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/tribes-obama-keystone-xl-_n_6482302.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/tribes-obama-keystone-xl-_n_6482302.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 19, 2015, 02:58:20 PM
Snarky 2-minute video on Canadian tar sands pipeline, in the style of David Attenborough.  Ouch. :-[
http://grist.org/list/watch-this-nature-doc-on-the-majestic-tar-sands-pipeline/ (http://grist.org/list/watch-this-nature-doc-on-the-majestic-tar-sands-pipeline/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Laurent on January 22, 2015, 09:57:31 PM
Bribery Is a Bargain for Big Oil
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-kretzmann/bribery-is-a-bargain-for-_b_6516236.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-kretzmann/bribery-is-a-bargain-for-_b_6516236.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 04, 2015, 10:49:09 PM
New EPA review:  Tar sands would result in "a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions".

Bill McKibben: "the #kxl endgame now underway, and EPA has just given the [White House] everything it needs to say No".

http://m.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2393504/epa-warns-of-climate-impact-from-keystone-xl (http://m.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2393504/epa-warns-of-climate-impact-from-keystone-xl)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2015, 12:34:21 AM
Quote
A Nebraska district judge has halted TransCanada’s attempts to use eminent domain to force landowners to turn over their land for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, an act that anti-Keystone activists are calling a major win.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/13/3622816/keystone-xl-injunction/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/13/3622816/keystone-xl-injunction/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 24, 2015, 08:44:50 PM
The humor may not translate well, outside the U.S., but I think this is one of Climate Reality's better posters.

@ClimateReality: Two-thirds of fossil fuels need to stay in the ground to limit temp increases to 2°C. RT for a renewable tomorrow.   http://t.co/6xoUd4PhV4 (http://t.co/6xoUd4PhV4)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 24, 2015, 10:37:20 PM
Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/us/politics/as-expected-obama-vetoes-keystone-xl-pipeline-bill.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/us/politics/as-expected-obama-vetoes-keystone-xl-pipeline-bill.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 25, 2015, 02:38:41 PM
Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of NYC, suggests Obama should use Keystone as leverage to get Canada to make a climate deal.
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-25/mike-bloomberg-keystone-xl-solution-runs-through-canada (http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-25/mike-bloomberg-keystone-xl-solution-runs-through-canada)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on March 06, 2015, 04:46:11 PM
There has been a lot of self congratulatory praise for getting Obama to veto the Keystone pipeline.  But while this process was taking place many do not know that the oil industry was not asleep and was working around the issue as fast as it could.  To wit..

NOTE below post is from the blog Peakoil.com from one of their most knowledgeable posters (Rockman) whom I have been reading for many years.  He has been running large scale drilling programs for 30+ years. 

The Keystone issue is largely irrelevant as you will see.

Quote
by ROCKMAN » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 15:59:34

Perhaps TPTB might want to consider changing the title of this thread to "The Flanagan South Pipeline" since 3 months ago the FSP essentially achieved the stated goal of the KXL Pipeline by delivering oil sands production to Cushing. From there the expanded pipelines to Texas refiners have eliminated that restriction to oil sands development.

Given all the ridiculous attention given the rather irrelevant KXL permit folks might not know much about the FS Pipeline. It’s bringing heavy crude from collection terminals in Illinois to an Oklahoma storage hub. Flanagan South made its initial delivery the first week of December, 2014, to Cushing, OK. Built at a cost of $2.6 billion, the Flanagan South line has the capacity to transport nearly 600,000 barrels of oil per day. The diluted bitumen is eventually destined for refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast via an expanded Seaway Pipeline system. Flanagan South’s product begins arriving at a time when crude stocks at the Cushing storage hub reportedly had fallen to nearly a minimum-operating capacity. Along its 600-mile path, Flanagan South crosses four states and 31 U.S. counties — including eight in Illinois, 11 in Missouri, seven in Kansas and four in Oklahoma.

Interesting we’ve heard almost no protests and MSM reports about a pipeline crossing so many jurisdictions that has the same capacity as the “horrifying” northern leg of KXL, eh? But the Rockman has presented this end run for more then 2 years as well as end run by the Keystone Pipeline connecting to the southern leg of KXL, with another 600,000 bopd capacity moving across the border. It’s been moving oil directly from Alberta to Texas for more then a year. This is the reason for storage volumes at Cushing falling so low.

So boys, are we going to bury this dying KXL permit non-issue and focus of the relevant dynamics of oil sands imports to the US? Maybe it could be moved to a politics section since that's the only really noteworthy aspect IMHO.
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Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 26, 2015, 09:31:26 PM
This week, the South Dakota utilities commission again takes up the Keystone XL pipeline permit. Things are different this time.
Quote
PIERRE — Starting Monday morning, the state Public Utilities Commission plans to spend seven days during the next weeks deciding whether TransCanada can still meet the permit conditions set five years ago for its proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
http://www.bhpioneer.com/local_news/article_d9e09056-3254-11e5-a023-1fab83e6fa2b.html (http://www.bhpioneer.com/local_news/article_d9e09056-3254-11e5-a023-1fab83e6fa2b.html)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: 12Patrick on July 27, 2015, 03:35:19 AM
Green energy keeps the pipeline in the ground forever just as it is driving the price of oil down now......
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 29, 2015, 12:08:46 AM
Quote
@gdebenedetti: Clinton gets a yes/no question on Keystone XL: "This is President Obama's decision and I am not going to second guess him."

Quote
@gdebenedetti: Hillary finishes her non-answer on what she'd do with Keystone: "If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question."

https://twitter.com/gdebenedetti/status/626049089550086144
https://twitter.com/gdebenedetti/status/626049677016875008
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 29, 2015, 01:53:03 AM
Keystone XL Backer Hoeven Says Obama Will Reject Pipeline
Quote
A leading congressional supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline predicted President Barack Obama will reject the $8 billion project when Congress is out of town in August.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-28/keystone-backer-hoeven-says-obama-will-reject-pipeline-in-august (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-28/keystone-backer-hoeven-says-obama-will-reject-pipeline-in-august)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 23, 2015, 06:17:11 PM
Hillary Clinton: I Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline
Quote
After months of declining to take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she opposes the construction of the project.

"I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone XL pipeline as what I believe it is: A distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change, and, unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward and deal with other issues," she said during a campaign event in Iowa Tuesday.

"Therefore, I oppose it. I oppose it because I don't think it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change."

Clinton had long cited her former job as secretary of state as a reason to delay weighing in on the deal until the administration formalized its opinion on the project. In July, she said she did not want to "prejudge" President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on the result of an administration review of the pipeline's environmental impact.

But last week, she promised that her decision would be coming "soon" and suggested that she has been growing impatient with the White House for delaying its final verdict on the matter.

"I have been waiting for the administration to make a decision," she said last week in Concord, NH. "I thought I owed them that. I worked in the administration. I started the process that is supposed to lead to a decision. I can't wait too much longer. And I am putting the White House on notice. I'm gonna tell you what I think soon because I can't wait. I thought they would have it decided way, you know, way by now and they haven't."
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/hillary-clinton-n431781 (http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/hillary-clinton-n431781)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 30, 2015, 01:35:26 AM
TransCanada Hands Major Victory to Nebraska Landowners
Quote
O’Neill, NE — This afternoon, TransCanada announced that the company will pull out of the lawsuit filed by over 100 Nebraska landowners challenging their right to use eminent domain to seize land for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Facing mounting legal expenses and a likely loss in court, the company will instead go through the Public Service Commission (PSC) review process it had originally hoped to avoid.

The PSC process will take at least a year, and cannot move forward if and when President Obama rejects the federal permit for the pipeline.
http://boldnebraska.org/tc-lawsuit/ (http://boldnebraska.org/tc-lawsuit/)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 06, 2015, 06:09:14 PM
President Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Proposal

Quote
@WhiteHouse: "The @StateDept has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States." —@POTUS #ActOnClimate

https://twitter.com/whitehouse/status/662675629914107905

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 06, 2015, 07:06:40 PM
Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline
Quote
The massive project has been a seven-year political football during presidential and congressional elections that has pitted oil companies and Republicans against environmentalists and liberal activists. The State Department has been reviewing the project for much of Obama's time in the White House.

The move comes as the White House continues to promote its environmental agenda and efforts to fight climate change. Next month, Obama will attend the Paris climate talks, he announced Friday. The White House is hoping to broker an international agreement committing every country to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enact other policies to curb global warming.

Obama said he spoke with new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding the decision.
http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/06/politics/keystone-xl-pipeline-decision-rejection-kerry/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/06/politics/keystone-xl-pipeline-decision-rejection-kerry/index.html)

As noted in the article, the Republican reaction was as backwards you would expect.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 07, 2015, 10:00:17 PM
Quote
@PriceofOil: For those who think #CrudeByRail will pick up the slack for #KeystoneXL, we have a graph to show you. #NoKXL https://t.co/Ysa19m0RG7

https://twitter.com/priceofoil/status/662699561664708609
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 08, 2015, 03:32:34 AM
They said it couldn't be stopped.  They were wrong. 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153695447417708&id=12185972707&_rdr
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 08, 2015, 04:01:53 PM
The Keystone XL pipeline defeat is one goal in the game, and we're way behind.
By Bill McKibben
Quote
In the first two weeks of the Keystone fight, we couldn’t get any press to pay attention to our work to defeat the environmental disaster we knew it would be if it were approved – none at all. Because back then in the summer of 2011 everyone knew that we couldn’t win. No one ever beats big oil.

Now I’m sitting here fielding dozens and dozens of phone calls and emails from reporters, because we did: Barack Obama announced on Friday that he had denied TransCanada’s proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/06/keystone-xl-pipeline-defeat-bill-mckibben-climate-change (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/06/keystone-xl-pipeline-defeat-bill-mckibben-climate-change)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 08, 2015, 04:07:19 PM
Canadians 'disappointed' by Keystone XL pipeline decision but not surprised.
Prime minister looks forward but some have accused the US of ‘hypocrisy’, as shale oil production sent US production soaring by four million barrels per day.
Quote
The Obama administration’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline met with disappointment and derision – though little surprise – in Calgary, the boomtown-turned-bust capital of Canada’s oil industry. It also induced some provincial angst as Alberta attempts to open new markets for a product that floats rough 50% of its economy.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/07/keystone-xl-pipeline-reaction-canada-justin-trudeau (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/07/keystone-xl-pipeline-reaction-canada-justin-trudeau)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 09, 2015, 06:33:12 PM
Eight minute video of Obama's announcement of (and reasons behind) his Keystone XL pipeline rejection.

Quote
@WhiteHouse: "If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change before it’s too late, the time to act is now." —@POTUS https://t.co/yyUhBOVTc8

https://twitter.com/whitehouse/status/662679812717338624
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 09, 2015, 07:30:05 PM
With Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada is now focused on exporting this oil via the Energy East pipeline to Quebec.  Also, if a Republican President is elected in 2016, then it could re-apply for a new permit for the Keystone XL pipeline:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/1108/Keystone-pipeline-rejected-Is-TransCanada-out-of-options (http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/1108/Keystone-pipeline-rejected-Is-TransCanada-out-of-options)

Extract: "Many analysts now say the company already has turned toward domestic production, such as bolstering its own Energy East pipeline project, set to send 1.1 million barrels each day to Canada’s east coast, Reuters said."

Edit: See attached image of three different proposed Canadian pipelines for Tar Sand oil
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ghoti on November 10, 2015, 01:33:42 AM
Northern Gateway is not going to happen. They demonstrated a really bad attitude (not unusual) and there's no way the first nations along the path will approve it. Plus it requires large tankers to meander through narrow and ecologically very sensitive inside passage. The new federal government will not approve the tanker traffic.

Energy East has a better chance but I wouldn't bet on it. They had originally planned to end it at a tanker port at the mouth of the Saguenay River but were not able to meet the environmental conditions for a tanker port there and gave up. There will likely continue to be public pressure to stop it from the environmentally conscious Quebec population.

Very important to note that none of these pipelines provide any oil to Canadians - they are only for export and for driving up the price of tar sands bitumen which is heavily discounted now to get it to sell into the US refinery network (around $17 discount on WTI prices)

The resistance to Kinder Morgan expansion is the threat of increased tanker traffic through the port of Vancouver.
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: ghoti on November 13, 2015, 10:10:25 PM
As I suggested earlier the news today includes the Canadian government moving to prevent tanker traffic that would be required for the Northern Gateway pipeline.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/crude-oil-tanker-traffic-moratorium-bc-north-coast-1.3318086 (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/crude-oil-tanker-traffic-moratorium-bc-north-coast-1.3318086)

Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 19, 2015, 02:19:17 PM
As Upton Sinclair wrote: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

TransCanada Says It Remains Committed to Completing Keystone Pipeline
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/transcanada-says-it-remains-committed-completing-keystone-pipeline-n465882 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/transcanada-says-it-remains-committed-completing-keystone-pipeline-n465882)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 06, 2016, 11:49:08 PM
We will soon see what the courts think about Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-transcanada-keystone-idUSKBN0UK2JG20160106 (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-transcanada-keystone-idUSKBN0UK2JG20160106)

Extract: "TransCanada Corp sued the U.S government in U.S. federal court on Wednesday, alleging President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline exceeded his power under the U.S. Constitution.
Obama rejected the cross-border crude oil pipeline late last year, seven years after it was first proposed. TransCanada also filed legal action under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying the pipeline permit denial was "arbitrary and unjustified."
As part of the NAFTA claim, the company was seeking $15 billion."
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: JimD on January 07, 2016, 04:36:12 PM
One of the prime purposes of free trade agreements is to remove sovereignty form the equation in order to allow corporations unimpeded access to all markets.  Needless to say this is not done because it has any benefits to the regular citizens.

TransCanada will be suing under NAFTA.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA) which the Obama administration have been pushing will allow corporations to even sue local towns and counties over zoning issues which might effect a foreign corporations ability do whatever they want on land they have purchased.

And the court decisions would not be made by US courts.

Quote
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would grant foreign corporations extraordinary new powers to attack the laws we rely on for a clean environment, essential services, and healthy communities. Foreign corporations would be empowered to bypass domestic courts and directly "sue" the U.S. government before a tribunal of private lawyers that sits outside of any domestic legal system. These lawyers would be authorized to order the U.S. government to hand millions of our tax dollars to the corporations for laws that they find inconvenient.

How could foreign corporations attack domestic health, environmental and financial protections that local companies have to follow? The TPP would give foreign firms special privileges, including the ability to challenge new policies – from Wall Street regulations to climate change protections – because they frustrated the corporations' "expectations."

The TPP would also grant these privileges to U.S. firms that offshore American jobs. The deal's special protections for foreign corporations would eliminate many of the usual risks that make firms think twice about moving to low-wage countries, incentivizing a new wave of offshoring....

http://www.citizen.org/tppinvestment (http://www.citizen.org/tppinvestment)
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 08, 2016, 11:37:31 PM
The linked article indicates the White House is confident that the US acted lawfully in rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and notes that the US has never lost a NAFTA investor lawsuit:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-transcanada-keystone-lawsuit-whitehou-idUSKBN0UL2C920160107 (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-transcanada-keystone-lawsuit-whitehou-idUSKBN0UL2C920160107)

Extract: "The White House said on Thursday that it is confident that President Barack Obama and his administration acted lawfully when rejecting TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada.

TransCanada launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government on Wednesday and said it plans to seek $15 billion in damages from a tribunal under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was limited in what he could say about the pending litigation, but the decision was consistent with U.S. obligations to NAFTA. He noted the United States has never lost a NAFTA investor lawsuit."
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: crandles on November 09, 2018, 02:18:42 PM
Thread has gone rather quiet and out of date, but seems I may as well resurrect it:

Quote
A United States judge has blocked the construction of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to the US.

The judge in the state of Montana said the Trump administration had "discarded" facts when it approved the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2017.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46150577
Title: Re: The Keystone Pipeline
Post by: Sebastian Jones on November 09, 2018, 10:08:03 PM
And this story from Canada:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/keystone-xl-us-court-montana-district-ruling-transcanada-calgary-1.4899359 (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/keystone-xl-us-court-montana-district-ruling-transcanada-calgary-1.4899359)

Of course the U.S. President is freaking out. Interestingly, Trans Canada is rather resigned to the situation. Pipelines from the Alberta bitumen mines have signally failed to get approval over the past decade.