Posting in Energy
The Obama Administration has concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the U.S. national interesting. A political showdown over the issue is probable going into the 2012 elections.
The Obama administration has denied an energy infrastructure company’s request to build a pipeline across the northern border from Canadian oil sands to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. A political battle is sure to come.
President Obama was compelled by Republicans in Congress to make a decision on TransCanada’s Keystone XL proposal by Feb. 21, potentially fast-tracking the project by several years. Oil from the pipeline would be sold on the international market.
The State Department and President beat Congress’s deadline, and concluded that the pipeline was not in the national interest; though, TransCanada will have the opportunity to re-apply.
The pipeline is a politically contentious issue, and House Republicans are planning to circumvent the President by attempting to use Congress’s Constitutional authority to regulate foreign commerce. The issue is also red meat for the GOP base, which has made Keystone's acceptance into its cause célèbre.
Arguments for and against Keystone XL are likely to carry over into the 2012 elections with Republicans seizing upon the President's decision to reinforce the narrative that his administration's policies are 'bad for job growth.'
The President's campaign is using Keystone's denial for his reelection. I just caught wind of an e-mail. Here's some of what it says:
"President Obama had made clear that a project of this magnitude -- with high stakes for public health, the environment, and our country's energy supply -- needed a thorough review. But Republicans in Congress demanded an up-or-down decision in just 60 days, cutting short a process that was already under way with an unreasonable deadline.
Our opponents have some powerful friends in the oil industry, and they're fighting back hard. Say you stand with the Obama administration's effort to protect the environment, develop our natural resources responsibly, and create jobs"
Proponents of TransCanada’s Keystone XL project say that it will create as many as 20,000 jobs, and while widely quoted, that figure is suspected of being badly inflated. Other reasons argued in favor of the pipeline are energy independence and lower gas prices.
The State Department’s estimate is a more conservative 5,000 to 6,000 jobs, and many jobs would be created outside of the United States. However, some labor unions in the United States favor the project and expressed disappointment with the administration.
Critics have taken a hard stance against the pipeline on the grounds that it would release an enormous volume of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and damage environmentally sensitive areas. NASA scientist James Hansen has said that tapping the oil sands would be “essentially game over” for achieving a stable climate.
While the pipeline's rejection is a short term win for its opponents, rail and sea transportation remain viable options for exporting the oil. The Canadian government stands firmly behind the project, and argues that oil sands crude isn't any worse than other heavy crude imports.
Jan 18, 2012
The pipeline is to feed oil to refineries on the gulf coast. It is very likely some of the distilled products will be exported. Just as a certain % of gulf oil based products are now exported. Part of why gas prices are high in the US is because gas exports to South American nations has increased over the last 2 years.
Don't build vulnerabilities. Rail is more flexible. Even though more accidents would occur, each event would be smaller, lower impact and more easily remediated
How much oil do we get from the alaska pipe ? How much oil from the gulf ? how much from the middle east, africa and canada ? Right, It doesn't matter where it's from, the oil companies own an decide. we subsidize an turn our backs for every drop we can get. How many pipelines do you think we have already ? get ready for a new one. obama's not the last pen on this.
Keep your filthy oil Canada! The US doesn't need it, nor want it. We'll get ours from the Arabs, that way we can stay at war with them, and keep our American people working.
What company is going to build it, what kind of safety record do they have. Remember what happened in the gulf and the shoddy work and the cut corners by companies like Halliburton. I would rather err on the side of safety, and why should we possibly pollute our environment so the oil can be sent to other countries?
Since Obama is much smarter than the average or even an exceptional Republican, I tend to trust his judgement, but on the other hand his ability to explain some of these decisions to his constituency is lacking. Maybe it's something all religionists have in common, but still ---- ?
The Keystone Pipeline project is essential in almost every respect. From a perspective of job creation, it will produce a significant number of high paying American jobs in an otherwise stagnant economy. While the precise number of jobs is debatable, many of them are union and will overwhelmingly aid the middle class. From an energy perspective, opening a domestic energy resource is invaluable. It provides a stable, reliable, and domestic source of oil that diminishes our dependence on foreign suppliers. The national security benefits alone are immeasurable not to mention the stabilization effect on oil prices. The only theoretical downside is the potential adverse environmental consequences. These issues have been explored in detail and have to be carefully measured against other energy delivery methods (coal, tankers, etc.). On balance, the benefits of the Keystone pipeline far outweigh the downsides and Obama's failure to approve the project demonstrates his clear inability to govern. Not only was Obama playing to the environmental base (who would vote for him anyhow) but he was paying off his "alternative energy" cronies who have donated many hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks to his campaign. Obama must go!
Obama is not in the national interest. We need an abundant, diverse energy mix to support growth in this country, not someone who is constantly trying to sabotage our growth. Without energy sources, how will all those electric cars be charged?
Obama yields to the fanatic environmentalists again....however, unions are not too happy about this. If not built, China is more than happy to step in and buy the oil.
That's pretty funny. Gas prices have more to do with the price of petroleum on the world market and some manipulation by speculators than they have to do with US refineries exporting distilled products. As Chris Nelder has pointed out we are very close if not past the point where demand outstrips supply. Don't expect gas prices to go down until we've switched enough of the demand over to renewable energy sources that the demand drops below supply.
Apparently TransCanada doesn't have a great track record in that regard. From pipeline inspector Mike Klink: [i]What did I see? Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as not too bad, shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands. I shared these concerns with my bosses, who communicated them to the bigwigs at TransCanada, but nothing changed. TransCanada didnt appear to care. That is why I was not surprised to hear about the big spill in Ludden, N.D., where a 60-foot plume of crude spewed tens of thousands of gallons of toxic tar sands oil and fouled neighboring fields. TransCanada says that the performance has been OK. Fourteen spills is not so bad. And that the pump stations dont really count. That is all bunk. This thing shouldnt be leaking like a sieve in its first year what do you think happens decades from now after moving billions of barrels of the most corrosive oil on the planet? Lets be clear I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn't build pipelines. We just should not build this one.[/i]
I thought the very reason he was elected was that he was the "great communicator". And yet now the biggest fault his supporters can find is his inability to explain things?
...unless you refuse to see them. He believes that safety is of paramount importance and isn't willing to sell out our children's safety for a couple thousand of us to make a few bucks. The oil WILL NOT stay in the US. It is destined for the world market. Therefore, it won't help stabilize oil prices here or reduce our dependence on foreign oil (although isn't oil that comes from a foreign country - namely, Canada - foreign oil???). The only clear inability here is your inability to ignore Fox News and do some research to find the truth behind what this pipeline will and won't provide to the US. If it were to provide oil to the US, were to give us a clear path to lessen our dependence, and were to actually stabilize prices here, many of us wouldn't fight it so hard. Until that happens (which it won't), we'll continue to battle against it with everything we have and continue to cheer Obama for a decision that was well-grounded (regardless of how horrible other decisions of his have been).
Under the Obama administration domestic oil production and employment have reached levels not seen since the 1980's.
The reason to build the Keystone XL pipeline is so they can ship the oil to China from the gulf coast. It has nothing to do with supplying oil to the US. There is already another Keystone pipeline that supplies the upper Midwest.
I specificly said - - Part of - -. The bigger picture is there for the world to see. My point was what the owners of the gulf coast refineries are looking at. Processing more oil to sell finished products to a growing South American market. Their support of Keystone is all about profits to be made from meeting the demands of a growing market. The fact that gas sales to South America slightly bids up the price of US gas is a bonus for them. They loose those profits if the raw crude is pumped into tankers and sent to China instead of to them.
I've seen reports showing oil production slumping early in the decade and increasing at the end of the decade. This is a good point that keeps getting drowned out by the back and forth current in politics today. I read an article on smart planet (I think by Chris Nelder?) who said that in the scheme of things, pro and con, that the Keystone project was another pipeline in a thick group of pipelines in the northern plains and the predicted output of oil was not enough to make a difference in oil prices. His opinion was that either way the project was not as good or bad as depicted by either side. I think the risks in fracking is a greater problem than Keystone and I don't think the number of jobs would be as many as publicized. We should be more cautious with the environment because what remains after all the oil is gone is what our decendents will have to live on.
That is most certainly NOT the point of the pipeline. Why would China buy the oil from us, who bought it from the Canadians when they could eliminate the middleman (us) and get it directly from the Canadians at a cheaper price? And look at a map. It's a lot cheaper to ship crude to China directly from the Pacific coast of Canada than it is from the Gulf of Mexico, even after the widened Panama Canal opens. The point of the pipeline is to get the crude to refineries in Houston. These are among the few refineries in the world which can refine this heavy oil with a minimum of pollution (the Gulf refineries are among the few now which can refine the sour Venezuelan crude). While some of the refined products will be exported, they will also be available for domestic use, especially if we face shortages elsewhere. If China takes Canadian crude, you can bet they won't care about minimizing pollution during refining.
...understand the concept behind this. Unfortunately, the wholesale spread of misinformation by the pro-Keystone groups is growing daily. I don't know how many times I've read that the oil is coming to the US for our use to give us "stabilized oil prices" and "reduce our dependence on foreign oil" and other BS statements. Thank you for trying to combat the ignorance.
The crude oil at the end of the Keystone XL pipeline and the distilled products from the local refineries are part of a world market in a fungible product. They will be sold to the highest bidder regardless of where it's going. The local refineries may have an advantage in transportation costs but they will still have to outbid others to get the oil. It doesn't affect the price of gasoline or diesel in the US other than as a part of the world market.
I believe the Canadians will still own the oil at the end of the pipeline and are still free to sell it to whomever they please on the world market. We just get a cut for transporting it.