Friday, November 11, 2011

Pipeline Decision Signals U.S. Is Not Open for Business and Obama's Not Serious About Jobs

Some commentary on postponing the Keystone XL pipeline decision until after the 2012 election:

1. "If Keystone XL dies, Americans will wake up the next morning and continue to import 10 million barrels of oil from repressive nations, without the benefit of thousands of jobs and long-term energy security."  

~CEO Russ Girling of TransCanada Corporation, the company that applied for the permit to build the pipeline.


2.  "So much for the U.S. being the bastion of free enterprise and respecting due process.

With the State Department announcing Thursday it wants to explore alternative routing for TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, after the project has been subject to 36 months of review - dutifully following a prescribed process that resulted in thousands of pages of documentation - the U.S. has signalled to the world it is not open for business.

Businesses need certainty and transparency to make investment decisions; that has been destroyed with one news release."

~Deborah Yedlin, Calgary Herald


3. "President Obama used to be fond of "shovel-ready projects." He's also demanding that Congress pass his jobs bill immediately because 9% unemployment is a crisis, and, by the way, he's for making the U.S. less reliant on energy from tyrants. So how about putting 20,000 Americans to work on a North American energy project that's as shovel-ready as they come? Sorry, Mr. Obama is voting present."

 ~WSJ editorial 

23 Comments:

At 11/11/2011 3:30 PM, Blogger The King said...

O'Bama figures he can wait until he's re-elected & then approve the pipeline. The unions are in on it. But, if North Dakota continues on it's rampage of oil production the pipeline will become an afterthought.

 
At 11/11/2011 3:56 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Oh, this is pretty. It seems we have a problem. The TransCanadians want to seize land by "eminent domain" in South Dakota!

Oh, how will this play out among the hardcore and fanatic right-wingers? One cannot build a pipeline across the country without a whole lot of eminent domain. Just take land and property from its rightful owners, backed up, ultimately, by the local sheriff and whatever hardware the sheriffs carry.

This is like George Bush Jr, taking land in Arlington TX by eminent domain--for a baseball stadium. Those Arlington landowners did not want to sell, but too bad--property rights is not for chumps who cannot hire $800-an-hour lawyers.




Texans Fight Against TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline: Don't Mess With Texas




In East Texas, where pipelines are more a fact of life than a sight for sore eyes, defenders of property rights are teaming up with environmentalists to oppose TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

"TransCanada, a Calgary-based company, is proposing 1,959 miles of pipeline destined to run from the tar sands mines of Hardisty, Alberta, by way of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and concluding its journey at Port Arthur, Texas refineries.



In growing numbers, East Texans are becoming unnerved by a foreign company showing up on their properties unannounced, dictating terms and sending out land agents with complicated easement agreements ready for the landowner to sign. (TransCanada isn’t quite so kind in South Dakota, where the company has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against property owners in an effort to condemn land under “eminent domain.”)

So, do we honor property rights in the USA?

 
At 11/11/2011 4:26 PM, Blogger Jon said...

If we could somehow release the tar sands hydrocarbons from Canada into the atmosphere very rapidly, in other words if we exploited the tar sands like we exploited Saudi Arabia and we managed to burn all that fuel, it's essentially game over for the environment. That's according to climate scientist James Hansen.

Scientists have been expressing warnings for a long time
. In this case you've gotten scientists to leave their offices and go to Washington to protest. That's unusual. At what point do we finally start to listen? We can either listen to Mark and the AEI as they funnel money from Exonn to useful people willing to muddy the waters regarding the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, or we can listen to the best informed people in the world on this subject. It looks like Obama has listened to science and put the earth before Wall St profits for once. Perry is unhappy of course. Profits are all that count. The future of our children be damned. This is a huge victory.

 
At 11/11/2011 4:29 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

Very predictable that this politically sensitive issue would get shelved until after the election.

Was curious to see how Obama would extract his tit from the ringer on this one -- so many people to piss off by making a decision, so best just delay the decision.

 
At 11/11/2011 4:55 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

No surprise. Obama is a coward who gives in to his anti-capitalist base. The Canadians are idiots. Instead of sending their oil to US refineries they should refine it in Alberta and send the finished product West to Asian buyers by a new pipeline financed by Chinese companies looking for long term supplies. The margins would be much higher if that route was taken.

 
At 11/11/2011 5:39 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Trans Canada is a "foreign" company??? It's a multinational listed on NYSE (TRP). Would it make a difference if Exxon was claiming "eminent domain"? Exxon is also in the oil sands and wants to move it's product.

The oil sands probably has the largest concentration of the largest haul trucks ever built (Cat 797s)...built by a "foreign" company called Caterpillar...LOL

Canadians are idiots??? ALL the major oil companies in the world have a piece of the oil sands... they all idiots too?

"U.S. is not open for business"?? It never was. Oh, it constantly preaches about free entreprise and open markets etc when it's operating overseas....but the door slams shut real fast when trade/business wants to flow in the opposite direction. No surprise there...it's called American doublespeak and eveybody's used to it. No sweat.

 
At 11/11/2011 6:45 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"That's according to climate scientist James Hansen"...

I guess you're talking about this lying fraud, right jon?

"We can either listen to Mark and the AEI as they funnel money from Exonn to useful people willing to muddy the waters regarding the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, or we can listen to the best informed people in the world on this subject"...

Sure we can listen to people who are proven liars leeching off the taxpayers or we can listen to to scientists who don't buy into the consesus crapola?

 
At 11/11/2011 8:44 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Canadians are idiots??? ALL the major oil companies in the world have a piece of the oil sands... they all idiots too?

Sure they are. Why sell your oil cheaply to the US when you can make a much higher return by upgrading and refining it at home and selling the end products to the Asians who are desperate for it and will take the risk of financing the pipelines to the BC ports? Here is someone else who has a similar argument. And there are many others who agree.

 
At 11/11/2011 9:18 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon would've been a member of the Inquisition, and view non-believers as heretics.

Heretic: A person who holds controversial opinions (like humans don't cause global warming), especially one who publicly dissents (causing removal from the scientific community and/or loss of funding) from the officially accepted dogma of the Roman Catholic Church (or powerful pro-government forces).

 
At 11/11/2011 9:45 PM, Blogger Mkelley said...

That would be this James Hansen:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/03/hansen-rakes-it-in/#more-48588

 
At 11/11/2011 11:05 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Vange, funny you should bring up Lougheed...thirty,or is it forty, years ago he also championed the idea that Alberta should get into the petrochemical industry as a perfect fit with all the oil it had right there underground....the governmnet invested heavily in the "great idea" and it went BUST.

Refine it in Alberta?? to create more jobs???? LOL...you can't find enough people to fill the jobs that are there right now...what's the point?

When you're onto something good you should "stick to your knitting" and make the best of that and let other people, better suited than you maybe, add value to you product...heck, they might even become bigger customers!!! It's called "spreading the weatth around"....LOL...in the good way.

A truck driver in the oil sands with a "hint" of experience is making more than a hundred grand a year right now...a new refinery in NA has not been built for 25 years...they are even closing some due to tech advances and other factors....and you want any new refinery business plan to include the fact this new refinery is going to have to pay three times as much for a worker compared to what they pay in Port Arthur????

Get real Vange...refining in Alberta is "pie in the sky" stuff...plus we don't want to make ALL the money...just some of it...and we don't mind "sharing";)

 
At 11/12/2011 12:19 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Juandos, your first link is about a claim that Hansen was supposedly paid as an expert witness, yet the income is not listed in his tax documents. But the full facts aren't in. So he's a lying fraud? It seems we don't know everything we would need to know to make a judgment like that.

The next is that Judith Curry, co-author of the paper from Mueller, apparently realized after signing her name on the paper that she didn't like the conclusions. Then why did she author it? She's a long time climate science denier. Mueller was the darling of the science denial community, talking about the urban heat island effect and all that. Climate science denialists, like Anthony Watts, threw their weight behind his results before they were published. This is a study funded by one of the Koch brothers. But they weren't paying close enough attention. While Mueller was the hero of science denial he was constructing a team that included real and serious scientists. This should have thrown up red flags for Watts and Curry. The results re-affirmed what has already been known based on over a dozen peer reviewed published reconstructions. Curry sees the gnashing of teeth going on because this once again affirms what science has long told us, so now she switches teams. That's not surprising. Your link acts like this is some sort of astonishing story. A totally unexpected flip flop that seriously undermines what we've already known for a long time. No, this is a disappointed science denialist that's backtracking on the paper SHE AUTHORED. Give us a break.

 
At 11/12/2011 4:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon:

It's really an indication of your extreme bias to see you defend Hansen so vigorously on the one hand, against charges he was paid for his testimony by a Canadian firm, Ackroyd LLP ,which represents the Oil Sand Environmental Coalition (OSEC), a group fighting to stop oil sands development, while condemning AEI for offering to fund research - "...to sponsor a paper...that thoughtfully explores the limitations of climate model [forecasting] outputs as they pertain to the development of climate policy..." - in other words, to criticise the IPPC.

There is nothing sinister about paying people for their work, in fact no one I'm aware of works for free. People expect to be paid for scholarly research or expert testimony.

The problem, in Hansen's case, is that he failed to disclose that he was paid for testimony and for travel expenses in January 2009, in either his 2009 or 2010 financial disclosure statement.

This information has come to our attention as a result of a FOI request for NASA documents, and it's just laughable that you can say "Whoa! Hold on! Let's wait 'til we have all the facts."

How much longer should we wait, and what facts do you think might come to light that would explain this intentional ommission, not oversight, on Hansens part? did you even read the reference you were given on the subject? Or, did you presume to know already, what the article would say?

On the other hand, you make ridiculous, inaccurate statements like "Don't feel too bad for the fossil fuel industry. They pay scientists $10,000 for every letter they can get published that serves to undermine the IPCC consensus on global warming..."

You might might want to consider the actual message, rather than rushing to judgement based on the messenger.

 
At 11/12/2011 4:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon

"The next is that Judith Curry, co-author of the paper from Mueller, apparently realized after signing her name on the paper that she didn't like the conclusions. Then why did she author it? She's a long time climate science denier. Mueller was the darling of the science denial community, talking about the urban heat island effect and all that. Climate science denialists, like Anthony Watts, threw their weight behind his results before they were published. This is a study funded by one of the Koch brothers. But they weren't paying close enough attention. While Mueller was the hero of science denial he was constructing a team that included real and serious scientists. This should have thrown up red flags for Watts and Curry. The results re-affirmed what has already been known based on over a dozen peer reviewed published reconstructions. Curry sees the gnashing of teeth going on because this once again affirms what science has long told us, so now she switches teams. That's not surprising. Your link acts like this is some sort of astonishing story. A totally unexpected flip flop that seriously undermines what we've already known for a long time. No, this is a disappointed science denialist that's backtracking on the paper SHE AUTHORED. Give us a break."

Your continued mis-characterization of the people you mention in this comment, and your insistence on misrepresenting the issues surrounding the BEST report, shows your disinterest in the truth, and your preference, instead, for maintaining a particular view no matter what is presented to you that questions that view.

The fact that your comments are almost identical to the ones you have made since your first post here, indicate that you haven't reconsidered anything, based on what others have written, and that to respond to you is a waste of time and effort.

You may have noticed that you're getting fewer responses, and at some point in time, may find you are talking to yourself.

 
At 11/12/2011 4:41 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I think the issue is that if people respond but I don't regard that response as adequate, I regard the point as unrefuted, so I repeat the same point until it finally is refuted. The fact that you have mouthed an inadequate response does not necessarily mean you've refuted the point. So I keep making it. Maybe someone will come along and offer a reasonable refutation. If that happens I'll stop making the claim.

 
At 11/12/2011 4:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

" It seems we don't know everything we would need to know to make a judgment like that"...

Well jon you're wrong again but you're used to that...

We know that NASA had this clown on their books, we also know that this clown took money from some Canadian ambulance chasers, and we also know this clown is pushing discredited science so what else do we need to know?

"Mueller was the darling of the science denial community..."...

I've already debunked this spurious claim twice yet you think if you tell often enough it will somehow morph into a fact...

Regarding Curry, ask her...

"Climate science denialists, like Anthony Watts, threw their weight behind his results before they were published"...

LMAO! Something else I already debunked...

"This should have thrown up red flags for Watts and Curry. The results re-affirmed what has already been known based on over a dozen peer reviewed published reconstructions..."...

Again this too was debunked by Curry in a Daily Mail article...

 
At 11/12/2011 9:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think the issue is that if people respond but I don't regard that response as adequate, I regard the point as unrefuted, so I repeat the same point until it finally is refuted. The fact that you have mouthed an inadequate response does not necessarily mean you've refuted the point. So I keep making it. Maybe someone will come along and offer a reasonable refutation. If that happens I'll stop making the claim."

That won't happen, Jon, there is no reasonable refutation in your world. You have your mind made up, you have your dogma to repeat endlessly, and as you ignore anything outside your little worldview, and won't engage in a reasonable discussion, you are stuck with the views you now hold, forever. It's really sad, Jon.

Do you see nothing bizarre about condemning AEI , or any other organization you don't like, that pays for research, and labeling those that do that work as oil company stooges, while defending Hansen for doing the same thing?

Hansen is required to file a financial statement each year, explaining any income he receives, outside what he is payed by NASA. He failed to do so. How can you defend it?

 
At 11/12/2011 10:18 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Vange, funny you should bring up Lougheed...thirty,or is it forty, years ago he also championed the idea that Alberta should get into the petrochemical industry as a perfect fit with all the oil it had right there underground....the governmnet invested heavily in the "great idea" and it went BUST.

I have not said that the 'government' should invest anything. I have argued that the government should let companies invest in refining as they have wanted to and to build the pipelines to the West Coast as they have proposed to. There is plenty of private money willing to take the risks. It should be allowed to.

Refine it in Alberta?? to create more jobs???? LOL...you can't find enough people to fill the jobs that are there right now...what's the point?

The point is profit. The price of oil in the US is too low when compared to world prices. Why sell for less and let the US refiners make all the money when you can get more and attract investment into the higher value added processes? If the investors go bust the assets will still be useful to those that come later and the producers wills still do better than relying on a single customer.

When you're onto something good you should "stick to your knitting" and make the best of that and let other people, better suited than you maybe, add value to you product...heck, they might even become bigger customers!!! It's called "spreading the weatth around"....LOL...in the good way.

The Canadian producers should not be in the charity business. They don't need to 'spread the wealth around' by being ripped off and being held hostage by the US government. If the US government does not want its refiners to buy the oil at a good price the producers should find someone who will take it.

A truck driver in the oil sands with a "hint" of experience is making more than a hundred grand a year right now...a new refinery in NA has not been built for 25 years...they are even closing some due to tech advances and other factors....and you want any new refinery business plan to include the fact this new refinery is going to have to pay three times as much for a worker compared to what they pay in Port Arthur????

Not at all. The refinery does not have to be in Wood Buffalo. It can be near Calgary or even on the other side of the BC border. Frankly, it does not matter where it is or even if it is built. What matters is where the oil is sold and that means looking at more than one option or depending on one unreliable government.

Get real Vange...refining in Alberta is "pie in the sky" stuff...plus we don't want to make ALL the money...just some of it...and we don't mind "sharing";)

The tongue-in-cheek approach does not work too well here because what I may consider irony is actually meant to be taken seriously by the people who post it.

 
At 11/13/2011 10:54 AM, Blogger mtl_econ said...

Just to clear the air a bit regarding alberta/refining... There is excess capacity in the refining space and the texas gulf coast refineries are some of the largest and most efficient in the world... they literally fight over crude to refine which actually one of the reasons why there is a price differential between edmonton sour and WTI unaccounted for by grade. The cost of transportation has to be taken into account when selling crude, so given the cost of transportion to china by tanker versus the cost of exporting to the US gulfcoast by pipeline makes the oil sands more profitable for the later options... unfortunately when pipeline capacity is reached canadian profits will go down for extractors but up for distributors and refining unchanged if not marginally lower...
Now regarding the North dakota comment.... The bakken oil fields are set to increase their output dramatically putting pressure on the US pipeline grid. Keystone was also suppose to move ND crude to the efficient refineries of the gulf coast instead of passing it to inefficient refineries in the rust belt or sending it indirectly to the gulf (btw increasing environmental risks in the process!)
All this to say that obama's decision was the wrong one no matter your rational... US jobs, energy security, north american overal productivity, US environmental concerns (pipeline grid overextension risks of leaks which Keystone was suppose to alleviate), or international environmental concerns (increased GHG's emmissions from supertanker transportation of oil to china / or risk of exxon valdez 2.0 in the pacifique ocean)

 
At 11/13/2011 2:11 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I genuinely don't understand why you regard some of what you write as a refutation of what I've said.

What I said is that Anthony Watts threw his weight behind the Mueller study before we had the results. That is, back in March of this year Watts said regarding the BEST reconstruction "I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise."

That's bogus, says Juandos. That's been debunked. Juandos gives us a link. So I read it. What does it say? Watts wonders why BEST didn't wait for peer review and talks about how he refrained from commenting prior to a media blitz because of confidentiality agreements.

So here's my question. What does one have to do with the other? My points stands. Prior to the knowledge of the results Watts backed the study because he believed Mueller would properly address UHI and other effects. Nothing in the link changes that fact. If you want to say the results are not yet published, that's fine. It still doesn't change the fact that Watts back in March threw his weight behind the study. If you're going to call Mueller a sham now that the results don't look promising just admit that the tune has changed since March.

So let's go to the next so called refutation of what I said. A link was provided saying Judith Curry, co-author of the Mueller paper, now is distancing herself from Mueller. I made some comments about how this is not surprising. Juandos offers refutation. What is the refutation? The same article that I originally replied to.

Look, I'm trying to be honest with the arguments here. It's possible I failed to read all the links provided to me or it's possible I overlooked something. But I'm not seeing a refutation.

Let's move on to Hansen. My statement about a rush to judgment was based on the link that was provided to me. Maybe others have better evidence against him. I don't know. If he's done something wrong, fine. It's no skin off my nose. But the evidence provided to me in the original link left us with no conclusion but that we don't know all the facts to this point.

What about paying Hansen as an expert witness vs AEI paying people to write global warming debunking articles. These are entirely different things. Lawyers pay expert witnesses and they know what they are going to say before they get on the stand. Expert witnesses are paid because they have invested the time required to acquire expertise. When that expertise is finally needed in a trial it makes sense to pay them. They invested in an education and experience that qualified them to inform a jury or judge or whatever.

The expert witness though is no good if he's merely making a claim because he's being paid. In other words if I go up to Anthony Watts and say "I'll give you $10,000 if you flip positions and pretend the earth is warming" nobody will care what he has to say. You don't encourage an expert witness to take a position you favor because if you do he's no longer regarded as credible. You can do it on the stand, but the lawyer on the other side will let the jury know and the so called expert will be ignored.

This is what AEI does. A think tank is presumably about thinking things through. You don't pay people to come to a preferred conclusion. You pay people to look at the evidence and draw conclusions, with no financial incentive to come to a preferred conclusion. That's the opposite of scholarship. Scholarship is about probing and following the evidence where it leads. AEI is the opposite. There's a corporate preferred conclusion. That's the one people are monetarily encouraged to arrive at. And so they do. That's why AEI is a sham.

 
At 11/13/2011 2:52 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Now regarding the North dakota comment.... The bakken oil fields are set to increase their output dramatically putting pressure on the US pipeline grid.

How do you project a dramatic increase in output when the producers are chewing through capital and cannot make a profit if the actual depreciation is accounted for properly? How long do you think that producers can continue to drill $5 million wells that have an IP rate of 3,000 bpd but lose 90% of that production in the first year?

 
At 11/22/2011 8:35 PM, Blogger mtl_econ said...

I'll let MP answer that... with the numerous articles hes already posted to the effect that Bakken is producing ever greater quantities of oil... so much so that now they have to freight the stuff to get it to market the grid seems to be already at capacity... i cant think of less efficient or more environmentally unfriendly way of moving oil!

 
At 11/22/2011 8:38 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I'll let MP answer that... with the numerous articles hes already posted to the effect that Bakken is producing ever greater quantities of oil... so much so that now they have to freight the stuff to get it to market the grid seems to be already at capacity... i cant think of less efficient or more environmentally unfriendly way of moving oil!

MP needs to answer how it is possible to keep increasing production by destroying capital and selling at a loss.

 

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