Friday, January 24, 2014

Keystone XL lets it flow

It was declared dead, it came back to life.  Let's call it Zombie Pipeline.

The Keystone XL Pipeline runs under Julia Trigg Crawford’s North Texas farm. It’s been carrying crude for over a month. But (this past Wednesday) business is scheduled to open in earnest on the controversial pipeline, with oil flowing from Cushing, Oklahoma to refineries in Texas. That’s why she’s worried about an “unusual flurry of activity” she noticed over the weekend.

“Track hoes, skids, water trucks, electrical trucks and construction crews showed up,” Crawford tells StateImpact Texas. “They unearthed the pipeline, attached wires and sensors, wrapped it in something and then covered it up.”

She says TransCanada  — the company that owns the pipeline — later told her it was installing heat sensors. (Representatives from TransCanada did not respond to an interview request by deadline). ...


At peak capacity, the pipeline will deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day to Gulf Coast refineries. Supporters of the project argue that pipelines are the safest means of transporting oil, and say it will provide a boost to the economy. Opponents have fought it over concerns for the environment and land rights issues among other things.

Now, as the Obama administration continues to consider whether to allow the northern leg of the project, which crosses an international border and is subject to presidential approval, the perception of how the southern pipeline operates may be of even greater importance. Crawford hopes the president is now looking at “data” on the pipeline and saying, “‘Wait a minute, there aren’t as many jobs that are being generated, this is an export pipeline, there are threats to our waterways,’” Crawford says. “You know, we need to see what significant impacts to our environment it has.”

Despite the stalling by he Obama administration, the filthy dirty tars sands oil has been coming anyway to the Texas refineries, the only ones that can process it into marketable petroleum products.  It's been coming by rail from Canada -- along with highly volatile Bakken shale oil from North Dakota -- then offloaded at Cushing's vast storage facilities, and now it's moving into the pipeline, oozing its way south and then out of it in Houston and Port Arthur.

The dangers associated with the rail shipments, which have made a lot of headlines recently, is ironically brightening KXL's future.  If you're inclined to believe a bought-and-paid-for US Senator, that is.

A government warning about the dangers of increased use of trains to transport crude oil is giving a boost to supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

U.S. and Canadian accident investigators urged their governments Thursday to impose new safety rules on so-called oil trains, warning that a "major loss of life" could result from an accident involving the increasing use of trains to transport large amounts of crude oil.

Pipeline supporters said the unusual joint warning by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada highlights the need for Keystone XL, which would carry oil derived from tar sands in western Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Oil started flowing Wednesday through a southern leg of the pipeline from Oklahoma to the Houston region.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the yearslong review of Keystone has forced oil companies to look for alternatives to transport oil from the booming Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana to refineries in the U.S. and Canada. A planned spur connecting Keystone to the Bakken region would carry as much as 100,000 barrels of oil a day.

"Clearly because this project has been held up, that is creating more (oil) traffic by rail," Hoeven said Thursday. "Those companies are being forced to deliver their product by rail because they don't have the pipelines."

Clearly not, Senator.

"It's disingenuous for supporters of Keystone XL to suggest that if we (open) Keystone, we won't have safety risks posed by crude-by-rail, and if we don't built the pipeline we will" have those risks, said Anthony Swift, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council who has studied the Canadian tar sands.

Shipment of oil by train is likely to continue, whether or not Keystone XL is approved, Swift and others said, as companies seek to capitalize on an oil boom that has pushed North Dakota to become the second-largest oil producing state after Texas.

So there you have it. "Fuck you America, we got money to make selling gasoline to China, so we're jamming this pipeline through, and your kids can just get leukemia and die.  Oh, and fuck Al Gore and his climate change, too."

"We don't care about your protests, we don't care about no laws, and we damn sure don't care about no stinking environment.  We got quarterly projections to meet and bonuses to make and stockholders to be accountable to, and besides the price of politicians is going up.  So there's all that.  Now GTF out of our way; we're the oil bidness.  Nobody jacks with us.  Nobody."

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Obama's going to approve the rest of the whole Keystone schmeer about 11 months from now, right after midterms.