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Environmental Report Raises Pressure On Obama To Approve Keystone Pipeline 301

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that pressure on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline increased on Friday after a State Department report played down the impact it would have on climate change, irking environmentalists and delighting proponents of the project. The long-awaited environmental impact statement concludes that the Keystone XL pipeline would not substantially worsen carbon pollution, leaving an opening for Obama to approve the politically divisive project as it appears to indicate that the project could pass the criteria Obama set forth in a speech last summer when he said he would approve the 1,700-mile pipeline if it would not 'significantly exacerbate' the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. The oil industry applauded the review. 'After five years and five environmental reviews, time and time again the Department of State analysis has shown that the pipeline is safe for the environment,' says Cindy Schild, the senior manager of refining and oil sands programs at the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for the oil industry. Environmentalists say they are dismayed at some of the report's conclusions and disputed its objectivity, and add that the report also offers Obama reasons to reject the pipeline. The report concludes that the process used for producing the oil — by extracting what are called tar sands or oil sands from the Alberta forest — creates about 17 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than traditional oil (PDF). But the report concludes that this heavily polluting oil will still be brought to market. Energy companies are already moving the oil out of Canada by rail. 'At the end of the day, there's a consensus among most energy experts that the oil will get shipped to market no matter what,' says Robert McNally. 'It's less important than I think it was perceived to be a year ago, both politically and on oil markets.'"
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Environmental Report Raises Pressure On Obama To Approve Keystone Pipeline

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  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @03:01PM (#46135085)

    Anything is a pollutant when large quantities are somewhere they shouldn't be. Having lots of carbon in the atmosphere is bad. You can deny the science until you're blue in the face, but you're no different from the creationists.

    Mind you, I don't really care one way or the other about the pipeline.

  • I am agaisn't this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @03:13PM (#46135163) Journal

    Not because of environmental liabilities or because I hate greedy oil companies.

    But because it is a ploy to export our oil to where they can get 300% more profits than in the US.

    Oddly, this gem of unregulating oil exports is also hotly contested [] political item which is mysteriously being debated at the exact same time as this. Now why is that?

    Easy the pipleline is a way to triple our gas prices or at least move them closer to $7.00 a gallon as petro companies can sell it to China for $9.00 a gallon instead of selling it to Canadians and Americans for $3.50 a gallon. Right now we just do not have the capacity to move oil in one big central location to the scale that the oil pipeline does.

    With the pipleline and the oil company's lobbyists for unregulated crude exporting we are screwed. Add to that the fact that most westerns live on the east or west coast while our food is produced in the middle in Mexico, USA, and Canada and we now have hyperinflation overnight as the price of milk, eggs, and even your starbucks coffee doubles!

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @04:44PM (#46135637)

    Refineries are closing in the US despite a shortage of refining capacity. Why is that? Because its about 100 times harder to get a refinery built then to build a stupid pipe line. So tell you what, you pre-approve a refinery near the Canadian border and we'll stop pushing for the entirely sensible pipeline.

    Short of that, you're playing an obvious shell game.

  • by Zenin ( 266666 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @05:49PM (#46135949) Homepage

    Except, any single truck load of oil spilled can be contained relatively easily. The max potential is limited to the one truck and chances are it'll happen on a road, making it easy/fast both to identify (who's not going to notice a turned semi on an interstate) and to send emergency crews. At worst any single incident will disrupt traffic for a few hours.

    Not so much when a 36" pipe busts the middle of no where... Unlimited potential damage, difficult to spot (sensors don't catch everything), difficult to get crews to the site. It's incredibly likely damage from such a leak will do massive damage that can't ever be cleaned up.

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Sunday February 02, 2014 @06:45PM (#46136215) Homepage

    Considering that there's already hundreds of pipelines already running through those "several states" I'd say no. But the people who are opposed to this seem to keep forgetting that.

  • Except Except (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @07:06PM (#46136317)

    Except, any single truck load of oil spilled can be contained relatively easily.

    What? It could go anywhere. You may have no idea where a stray barrel went, and it could go in some very bad places...

    With a pipeline, you have fixed regions that can possibly be affected. The very ground under the pipelined can be lined to prevent any impact from spills at all. The pipeline can, and will be monitored because it is of course a valuable resource and they don't want oil to be lost any more than any environmentalist.

    What you are saying makes zero sense, pipelines are a dramatically safer and more efficient way to transport oil.

  • It is true (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @07:16PM (#46136359)

    Refineries are not closing. In fact refineries are increasing capacity as we speak.

    Now THAT ladies and gentlemen, is the mark of the expert liar! They place a bald-faced lie quickly followed by a true statement to deflect attention.

    In fact it is very TRUE that a number of refineries have been closed. You go find the number of U.S. refineries in 2010 and compare it to 2013...

    Now it is also TRUE that refineries are increasing capacity, which is kind of a DUH point since closing refineries shift more load onto the open ones to meet demand. But the maximum potential has been reduced, because refineries have been closing.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"