Killing Keystone Won’t Reduce Oil Use

November 12th, 2011 at 8:38 am David Frum | 208 Comments |

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In my column for the National Post I explain why ending the Keystone XL pipeline won’t reduce the amount of oil people consume:

The true locus of opposition to the pipeline is not Nebraska, but California, where big liberal environmentalist donors have seized on the pipeline as a talismanic cause. These California environmentalists do not want to redirect the pipeline. They want to stop it altogether, so as to leverage an end to further Canadian oilsands development.

What will curtailing oilsands accomplish for the environment? Nothing. This is a big planet full of oil, and if the United States does not buy its oil from Canada, it will buy its oil from somebody else.

So long as demand runs high, oil will be imported and burned. And it’s not like pumping the oil from the Gulf of Mexico, or transporting oil from the Middle East in tankers, is exactly environmentally risk-free.

Getting off oil means changing the way Americans use oil. That change requires a change in incentives: A permanently higher oil price that will encourage Americans to live closer to work, to build their cities denser, to prefer more fuel-efficient vehicles, to convert their bus and truck fleets to natural gas, and so on.

Price incentives work. The oil shocks of the 1970s cut American oil use dramatically. As late as 1995, Americans were still using less oil than they did in 1978 – even as they drove many more miles.

High prices persuaded homeowners to switch to gas heat. High prices and well-timed deregulation shifted U.S. freight transportation from truck to rail. High prices jolted U.S. utilities to stop burning heavy oil to power electrical generators.

But after 1996, low prices ended this conservation era. Oil use surged for the next decade.

Yet markets continue to work. Higher prices since 2006 have again changed behavior. Americans are driving fewer miles. They are retiring more cars than they buy. They are opting again for smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. They are buying smaller homes, with a new emphasis on central city living. The recession has of course intensified all these trends.

Click here to read the full column.

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208 Comments so far ↓

  • rbottoms

    Hey hippies, nothing you do makes a difference. Crank the thermostat to 80, drive a Hummer and get a new case of bottled water every week. Nothing you do makes a difference and trying is stupid.

    • jakester

      Hey moe ron, if your values are so trashy and wasteful that you want to blow your money on such trash, go ahead and go broke!

      • baw1064

        Just wondering if your irony detector needs checking. I’m pretty sure rbottoms was being facetious.

  • Oldskool

    So if we raise the price of oil, demand will drop and we won’t need the pipeline? I think I need to read it a few more times.

  • indy

    I see Frum is an advocate of using eminent domain in the US to transfer private property to commercial interests and create Canadian jobs. This article is a bit more intellectually dishonest than I typically see from DF. No acknowledgement of the substantial issues this pipeline raises beyond them damn environmentalists. Ah, well, we all have an off day now and then I guess.

    • paul_gs

      The issues aren’t very substantive. Pipeline crisscross North American with nary a problem. The only issue is that this is tarsands oil, which isn’t even really a concern.

  • Graychin

    Did someone allege that killing the Keystone would reduce oil use? I don’t think so. As Oldskool pointed out, price increases do reduce oil use. But Keystone is for shipment of refined products to overseas customers.

    I think Mr. Frum willfully misses the point about concerns over Keystone. IF you believe that putting lots of CO2 into the air is to be avoided where possible, the Canadian tar sand oil that Keystone will carry would be a more prolific CO2 source than conventional petroleum.

    If you agree with the Inhofe wing of the Republican Party that all this global warming stuff is nonsense, then by all means use eminent domain for private interests to build their pipeline. The environmental concerns can be mostly satisfied.

    • paul_gs

      Keystone XL is for US consumption, not overseas. And if you’re happy continuing to buy oil from Venezuela and Middle Eastern dictators, continue on the present course.

      • armstp

        Paul,

        As usual you need to check your facts. The pipeline is going to the refining in the gulf coast so that it can be shipped overseas.

        Paul, don’t you ever get tired of lying all the time. You statements are never backed up by facts and you always have no idea what you are talking about.

        “Keystone XL is an export pipeline. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.”

        •Keystone XL is an export pipeline. The Port Arthur, Texas, refiners at the end of its route are focused on expanding exports to Europe, and Latin America. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.

        •Valero, the key customer for crude oil from Keystone XL, has explicitly detailed an export strategy to its investors. Because Valero’s Port Arthur refinery is in a Foreign Trade Zone, the company can carry out its strategy tax-free.

        •In a shrinking U.S. market, Keystone XL is not needed. Since the project was announced, the oil industry acknowledges that higher fuel economy standards and slow economic growth mean declining U.S. oil demand, even as domestic production is booming. Oil from Keystone XL will therefore displace American crude from new, “unconventional” domestic fields in Texas or North Dakota.

  • Kevin B

    The headline of the linked article is

    Stopping Keystone XL won’t save the planet

    And the headline of the FrumForum article is (for now):

    Killing Keystone Won’t Reduce Oil Use

    To which my answer is: Building the pipeline also won’t accomplish either of those goals. So what was the point of the article again?

    I get the part about raising oil prices to reduce demand. How will building the pipeline accomplish that goal?

    • Nanotek

      “I get the part about raising oil prices to reduce demand. How will building the pipeline accomplish that goal?”

      + 1

    • paul_gs

      Keystone XL provides security of supply from a reliable democratic neighbour. And brings jobs to America.

      • Rabiner

        paul_gs

        That’s a fine argument but not the argument being made by this article. If he wrote that the reason we need this pipeline is for a more secure oil source versus ‘if we don’t build it, we’ll still use oil so we may as well build it’ then I’d be more willing to agree with your point.

        Also, the 99% hostage you mention like clean drinking water so I doubt they’re all hostage.

      • Nanotek

        Build the refineries in Canada then.

        • paul_gs

          Oil companies have excess refinery capacity in the US.

        • Nanotek

          that is not an sound reason not to build refineries on site … rather than confiscating thousands of people’s property to build a private pipeline to pump sludge through it for thousands of miles to a private refinery so it can be sold internationally for private profits …

          kill the project

  • PracticalGirl

    Somebody help me out. What happens to the crude once refined? Is it then marked for specific markets (at a specific price), or is it destined for the world market at world market prices?

    I’ll admit to being behind the curve on this one, but it seems a bit Pollyannish to expect that opening the pipeline will result in lowered prices from a Canadian oil company. Environmental concerns aside, this appears to be one of the more egregious leaps of supposition that the general public is making.

    Straighten me out?

    • Houndentenor

      Price is set on a global market. The question is: would you rather buy oil from Canada or Saudi Arabia. One of those funded terrorists, the other didn’t. It’s true that this won’t make much difference in the price of oil or the consumption. We are going to use oil until we run out and then we’ll all panic and then come up with something else. Not necessarily something else. Blocking the pipeline doesn’t matter. My frustration with the left is that they choose the most inane things to protest. No wonder they’ve been irrelevant since, well since always.

      • PracticalGirl

        Agreed, but Senator Wyden did open an investigation in April regarding possible collusion of the Canadian shippers to drive up oil prices and thus violating US anti-trust laws. Again- I haven’t followed this well. Do you know where it sits?

        http://wyden.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=158ffa9a-6380-4c2a-bbec-180c16839018

        I am writing to request the Federal Trade Commission investigate whether agreements exist among Canadian oil shippers that violate U.S. antitrust laws. The agreements involve transportation of tar sands oil via the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which will span the length of the continental U.S. and allow tar sands crude to bypass existing Midwest refineries. It has been brought to my attention that documents and testimony indicate that at least seven Canadian oil shippers have agreed to incur increased near-term shipping costs on the new pipeline in order to impact market supply in the existing markets so as to drive up the overall price of their product for U.S. refiners. Because of the potential impact on US gasoline consumers and because of the long-term impacts that such arrangements and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline could have on U.S. oil supplies, markets and energy security, I am requesting the FTC investigate whether anti-competitive practices violating U.S. antitrust laws have occurred in relation to the proposed pipeline project and related shippers’ agreements.

      • Graychin

        Most of the Canadian oil won’t be purchased or used in America. It’s going overseas as refined products.

    • Graychin

      There are refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast with excess capacity which intend to process the tar sands crude into refined products for shipment overseas. I’m sure that the prices for the products will be at whatever the market will bear.

      Theoretically, this new source of lots of oil will lower the world price for crude. But at the same time, older oilfields are being depleted and becoming less productive. So don’t look for prices to drop much if/when the Keystone comes on line.

      But all we want is energy as cheap as possible, and lots of it. Right? Drill baby drill, and all that.

      • Traveler

        Yeah,

        So the refined products will still head out on tankers anyway. That argument goes down the drain. So this is all about using excess refining capacity? We have to wipe out a thousand miles of habitat for this? Somebody explain how this makes sense. Talk about transfer payments. See also PG’s link about collusion. This is starting to really smell.

        Based on the twitter feeds, I expected a far more polemical diatribe than what eventually dribbled out. I think he read our comments from yesterday. because this ain’t all like what his twitter tantrum.

        that said, I agree about his recommendations for a pricing/tax structure that is so leftist/statist.

        • PracticalGirl

          . So this is all about using excess refining capacity?

          Yep, and creating jobs at any cost. It’s a debatable issue, but the argument is being framed in such a way that the public equates the pipeline with a cheaper supply.

        • Watusie

          Specifically, using the government’s power to force the pipeline on the citizens of eight different states to preserve refinery jobs in Texas so that Texans can then turn around and lecture the rest of the nation about how their culture of rugged individualism creates jobs…

        • Nanotek

          “Watusie -Specifically, using the government’s power to force the pipeline on the citizens of eight different states to preserve refinery jobs in Texas so that Texans can then turn around and lecture the rest of the nation about how their culture of rugged individualism creates jobs…”

          Bingo. Best I’ve ever heard it reduced to it’s basic elements.

        • paul_gs

          Unlike Solyndra, which wasted $500 million of taxpayers’ money, Keystone XL would produce 20,000 high paying jobs lasting for several years along with thousands of long-term jobs afterwards. And without costing taxpayers a nickel.

        • armstp

          Paul,

          Again you need to read up on your facts. Solyndra has not cost taxpayers one cent. The company is currently going through a Chapter 11, so we do not know at all if debtors of the company will lose anything. I think you need to read up on how Chapter 11 and restructurings and bankruptcy works.

          To answer your question of who thought up Solyndra? It was the Bush adminstration who originally thought up the Energy Departments loan guarantee program and were the ones who originally signed-off or approved Solyndra getting the guarantees.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra_loan_controversy

      • Houndentenor

        Increase in demand in the developing world (China, India, Brazil) is going to drive up prices anyway. This isn’t going to make that much difference.

        Why do so many people still think all economics worked as if the entire economy were Mayberry USA?

  • CAPryde

    I agree with you, David, that a carbon tax would be a good thing. But blaming Democrats for its political failure while ignoring the grand old elephant in the room seems pretty ridiculous.

    • icarusr

      There’s an old story in the prairies (Canadian prairies). Farmer comes out, sees a funnel in the horizon. Spits and kicks some sand, and then says, “Goddamn the CN anyway.” (CN being the hated state-owned railway company that helped populate and build the prairies in the first place.)

      It is in the genetic code of Republicans these days – I just block out Frum’s asides these days – to blame anything and everything on the Left, or Obama’s “fecklessness” or incompetence. The GOP behave as dockyard bullies, Obama is at fault for enabling them; the GOP want to plunge the US and the world into another Depression because they hate the n*gger in the White House, it’s the fault of said n*gger for trying to compromise. GOP candidates for President – including the allegedly sane Romney and sober Huntsman – raise their hands saying that none, NONE, would accept a ten-to-one cuts and taxes compromise to reduce the deficit, it is the fault of the Left why we don’t have increased taxes on carbon. And so on, and so on, ad nauseum. Yeah, yeah – we get it: Obama, who actually tried to compromise with the Devil, is feckless; Romney, whom Frum expressly calls cynical (to avoid calling him stupid) is still Frum’s hero, and it is still, and always, Obama’s fault, failure, whatever.

      Yawn.

  • Nanotek

    It would be cheaper and safer to build a refinery in Detroit or Chicago than a pipeline to Houston.

    • Watusie

      Better yet, let the Canadian government subsidize the construction of one in Canada, using THEIR powers of eminent domain to force it down the throats of THEIR citizens

  • sinz54

    This whole discussion is asinine.

    Anthropogenic global warming is indeed a scientifically proven phenomenon.

    And we’re not going to do anything about it.

    The U.S. isn’t going to spend trillions and trillions of dollars in a frantic effort to head off a phenomenon that won’t directly affect Americans for years to come. NOT.GONNA.HAPPEN.

    We’re not going to turn our country upside down just to keep Bangladesh or the Maldives from being flooded out. NOT.GONNA.HAPPEN.

    The most cost-effective approach is to accept global warming as just another negative consequence of modern industrial society. And find ways to mitigate its effects. Dikes and levees can protect coastal areas. Irrigation can mitigate desertification. (Israel has done wonders with turning deserts into arable farmland.)

    And we can capitalize on the good things global warming will bring (something environmentalists don’t talk about). The opening of the Northwest Passage will boost sea trade. And who knows what fantastic natural resources we can find in Antarctica for drilling and mining, after the ice is gone.

    One more thing. If present trends continue, China will overtake the U.S. as having the world’s largest economy sometime in this decade. China is already the world’s biggest energy consumer, having surpassed the U.S. a couple of years ago.

    Yet environmentalists keep beating up on dat ol’ debbil, Uncle Sam.

    I’m sick of it.
    It’s time we told the environmentalists to go bother China for a change–and leave us alone.
    We’re sitting this one out.

    • Kevin B

      It’s time we told the environmentalists to go bother China for a change–and leave us alone

      NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

      If you want to go bother China, you go right ahead.

    • Oldskool

      Gee whiz, something is making todays rantings go in so many directions that they’re hard to follow.

      Once the tundra starts to melt, methane will be produced which is many times more powerful than co2. So we can all plan on retiring in the balmy Arctic.

      Who is “us” and what are you not sitting out already?

    • ottovbvs

      “The U.S. isn’t going to spend trillions and trillions of dollars in a frantic effort to head off a phenomenon that won’t directly affect Americans for years to come. NOT.GONNA.HAPPEN.”

      Does this include the drought that covering 90% of Texas and could last for years?

      “We’re not going to turn our country upside down just to keep Bangladesh or the Maldives from being flooded out. NOT.GONNA.HAPPEN.”

      Yeah what do a few hundred thousand brown people being drowned matter?

      “I’m sick of it.”

      Yeah lets destroy the planet for our kids and grandkids. Standby for Sinz’s next rant on how the deficit is a huge burden we’re leaving our children.

    • DeathByIrony

      Where did you get the idea that prevention is going to cost more than defensive measures? Do you know how much public works projects like that COST? And if the temperature keeps rising, they’ll be insufficient for the task within the century.

      Yes, there are a bunch of neo-malthusian hacks who want to cram their narrow view social sciences into climate science. And on a certain side of the political spectrum, that’s all you’ll hear about.
      But outside of Ralph Nader’s tent, preventing global warming is about maintaining global GDP. Prevention always costs less in the long run.
      But perhaps you’re a Keynesian?

  • Southern Populist

    This keystone dustup shows why liberty-minded people have no option but to support the GOP. Even though the GOPs positions are wrong on most issues, liberty-minded people have no choice. The only way to stop the radical anti-human environmentalist agenda is to line up behind Big Energy. These disgusting, wretched environmental whackjobs don’t understand that they don’t get to tell people what do.

    Most people don’t want their lives controlled and micromanaged by militant, unreasonable nuts with an anti-human agenda, and nuts are what they are. They don’t get that it’s a free country and everybody doesn’t want to drive a death trap and live like sardines. If you don’t like how other people use their freedoms, get a grip, or go somewhere else.

    Let them start by setting an example for the rest of us. Let them walk, ride bikes, grow their own food, turn off the heat and A/C and quit buying petroleum products. Let them line up behind immigration reduction if they’re so concerned about resource use and sustainability. They don’t practice what the preach which is another reason they deserve contempt.

    • Oldskool

      So the Republican governor of Nebraska should consider himself scolded. Who knew he was a hippie!

    • balconesfault

      This keystone dustup shows why liberty-minded people have no option but to support the GOP. Even though the GOPs positions are wrong on most issues, liberty-minded people have no choice.

      I guess you missed the memo that a lot of people object to this because big bad Government is going to use its power of eminent domain to confiscate property from private landowners who aren’t willing to sell ROW to Keystone at the price they offer.

      Where’s your liberty argument now?

      Oh – we needed our daily anti-liberal/anti-Obama rant from the guy who doesn’t like the effects of corporate money on our political system. Carry on…

    • Watusie

      Er, what about the liberty-minded folks in Nebraska who decided they didn’t want the Federal government forcing them to take on the risk of a Deepwater-Horizion-on-dry-land in their own backyards?

    • Southern Populist

      I responded based on how Frum framed the issue. Frum identified California environmrntalists as a major source of the opposition and characterized the opposition as based on environmental rather than eminent domain considerations.

      • Watusie

        Well of course he did – he isn’t going to admit that the opponents of the pipeline in Nebraska had a point, is he? But that doesn’t preclude from engaging your brain, setting aside your talk-radio-gross-oversimplification and contemplating all the available facts, does it?

        Are you man enough to retract your ridiculous “liberty-minded people have no option but to support the GOP” assertion, given that you are now on record as being aware that farmers and ranchers in Nebraska played as big a part in killing the deal as Hollywood B-List celebs? Think you maybe some liberty-minded Cornhuskers now see they do indeed have the option to support the Democrats?

      • ottovbvs

        “Most people don’t want their lives controlled and micromanaged by militant, unreasonable nuts with an anti-human agenda, and nuts are what they are.”

        DSP obviously would prefer to have his life controlled by energy companies.

      • Nanotek

        SP … I grew up in the Sandhills … it sits atop the 2nd largest acquirer in the world … and oil & financial interests want to seize land from the ranchers to pipe toxic sludge from northern Canada to refineries they own in Houston?

        Remember BP in the Gulf? The whole project should be killed. Build the refineries in Canada … it isn’t capitalism or free markets to socialize the costs — seizing others’ properties and polluting them — but privatize the profits.

    • Traveler

      For a moment there I thought I was reading some biting sarcasm. DSP is sensible often enough to expect such, but not today I guess.

      Frankly, I am glad we have those militant unreasonable environmental whackjobs to keep our air and water clean. That said, I do agree with DSP that a lot of them are totally simplistic and batshit. You got PETA preaching about saving the deer and cats that ruin the ecosystem and wipe out bird populations, giving Audubon and the Nature Conservancy fits. As an environmental professional, I find those wackjobs are indeed unfortunate.

      But I’ll take them anyday over your supposed “freedom” to drive a two ton SUV without paying for its true cost. We subsidize the roads you drive on, the gas you use, the military that protect the sea lanes to get it, and the corporations that make the damn things. Once you factor in those costs, then your hallowed freedom costs what it should. For now, it is nothing but sh*tting on the rest of us that actually care. Yeah, we walk, bicycle and telecommute to reduce our footprint. Asshats driving SUVs with nobody else in them are the most arrogant selfish pigs on the road. Is that you?

      • ottovbvs

        “DSP is sensible often enough to expect such,”

        Would you like to give us a couple of examples?

        • Traveler

          Sorry, trying to be nice. He has actually posted reasonable perspectives on occasion, but I am not about to waste my time trying to dig them up.

        • ottovbvs

          “He has actually posted reasonable perspectives on occasion,”

          I can’t think of any although it could be a Gresham’s Law of blogging memory where bad drives out good.

    • Southern Populist

      David Frum writes:

      [blockquote]
      The true locus of opposition to the pipeline is not Nebraska, but California, where big liberal environmentalist donors have seized on the pipeline as a talismanic cause. These California environmentalists do not want to redirect the pipeline. They want to stop it altogether, so as to leverage an end to further Canadian oilsands development[/blockquote]

      Although I seldom agree with David Frum on anything, I have never known him to make outright false statements. If Frum says that the “locus of opposition” here is radical environmentalists from California rather than the locals, I’m inclined to believe him.

      Furthermore, knowing how environmentalists operate, the radical ones anyway, I have no trouble believing that they would get involved in a local issue 1000 miles from California and then use eminent domain arguments to mask their true agenda. This seems to be Frum’s position here. Frum says these radicals don’t want it moved; they want it stopped, and not because they care about anyone’s property rights. It’s probably true.

      Now, if there really are credible reasons for moving or stopping this pipeline due to the government abusing the eminent domain principle, I would agree the pipeline should moved or stopped based on property rights.

      @Traveller:

      But I’ll take them anyday over your supposed “freedom” to drive a two ton SUV without paying for its true cost….Asshats driving SUVs with nobody else in them are the most arrogant selfish pigs on the road. Is that you?

      First, thanks for the kind words above. Although we are 180 degrees apart on this one, I appreciate that you can disagree without disagreeable.

      But, yes, I plead guilty as charged to being an Asshat. I drive to and from work everyday alone in my Range Rover. And before I got the Range Rover, I drove a Cadillac for years. For me and for millions of other people in this country, comfort is a higher priority than fuel economy. But we don’t go around telling people who care about fuel economy that they need to drive SUVs so they can be more comfortable, much less fight to get the government to use public policy to force them into SUVs.

      No one supports real pollution or dirty water. That’s a talking point. I support necessary regulations, and I am willing to take reasonable steps to help the environment. Most people are.

      Unfortunately, there is a subset of the environmentalist movement that clearly expects people to go beyond what’s reasonable.

      There are people out there who become orgasmic at the thought of fuel prices so high that people have no choice but to change their behavior. None of these people appear to care or give any thought to what fuel prices that high would do to middle class people, much less working class and poor people. There is no reasoning with that kind of fanaticism.

      • Watusie

        “Although I seldom agree with David Frum on anything, I have never known him to make outright false makes statements. If Frum says that the “locus of opposition” here is radical environmentalists from California rather than the locals, I’m inclined to believe him. ”

        Seriously? You think that David Frum – the man whose carefully crafted propaganda led us into the fiasco in Iraq – is the gold standard for framing an issue?

        Now that you acknowledge that the “locals” exist and are, in fact, opposed to the pipeline, can you use your words to explain why they should be nonetheless airbrushed out of the picture?

        • Southern Populist

          Good point re: Frum. If this is indeed an attempt to trample the locals’ rights in order to socialize costs (Nanotek’s point), then, yes, it should be stopped.

        • ottovbvs

          DSP proves my point. Dirty hippie environmentalists ….sure we want the pipeline.
          Eminent domain seizure…..WHHHHHHAAAAAAATTTTTTTT. Honestly these folks are like Pavlov’s dogs.

        • Southern Populist

          All it shows is the ability of some people to apply principles consistency. People who take property rights seriously oppose anyone who illegally violates property rights whether it’s the dirty hippies, the government or big corporations.

        • ottovbvs

          “All it shows is the ability of some people to apply principles consistency.”

          Well you’re certainly consistent in picking dog food by what’s on the label….Woof Woof.

      • Traveler

        Glad you didn’t think I was trying to be disagreeable. But I really do hate SUVs. They have much lousier mileage and comfort than the corresponding Lexus, not mention poor handling, so that argument don’t wash. Instead they are slower, ponderous (studies show that SUVs travel through intersections considerably less effectively than cars), block the view down the road, and most SUV drivers have this arrogant attitude that they own the road. They are so wide that they have to take both lanes through town when two cars could pass easily. I challenge them and go right at them. Then they give you the finger like they’re entitled to my half of the road.

        The only reason everyone has them is status, and so they can wipe out the other car in an accident. I damn near puked when I heard my sister say that’s why she bought hers. Ef em, and the attitude of their drivers. No direct offense, mind you.

        BTW, glad you think most people are supportive of reasonable regulations. I guess you don’t vote POGer.

  • kccd

    No mention of the fact that this pipeline would cross the Ogallala aquifer, which serves 1.5 million people, not just for home use but also for agriculture. The water table here is shallow and has porous sand that make it particularly susceptible to contamination.

    Seems to me that the oil industry does not have a good safety record. One accident would have far-reaching consequences. Is it worth risking our water supply for this?

    • Traveler

      Actually, this is pretty much a straw man issue. Hydrocarbons float, so well nigh impossible to contaminate water below it. (Unlike fracking.) Plus farmers are depleting the aquifer already. It is now over a thousand feet down in many places. Plus, there are are tons of pipelines already crossing it, virtually all of which have far less review and construction oversight.

      There are a lot of better reasons why Keystone XL don’t pass the smell test. See yesterday’s thread for more on this.

      • ottovbvs

        It is a strawman. It isn’t much of an an environmental issue but it’s an eminent domain issue as I think Indy mentioned above.

        • Traveler

          I disagree on the environmental side. The route goes through some of the last pristine habitat in the midwest. Landscape ecology may be below the radar for many, but trashing a thousand miles of such habitat is not a good thing. Sorry, I like my bugs and bunnies.

          Anyone know why they cannot use the existing right of way? That punts the eminent domain issue.

        • ottovbvs

          The bunnies recover fairly quickly. I was actually addressing the claims of oil spills, contaminating aquifers, etc. of which much has been made and which in fact is a fairly low risk as you yourself pointed out. I actually have a lot more sympathy with environmental arguments against the means by which the product flowing through the pipeline is originally extracted. It’s not pretty and I say that as someone who worked in the industry for a long time and who certainly doesn’t subscribe to overly simplistic demonisation of oil companies.

        • Traveler

          Fragmented landscapes don’t really recover. All sorts of exotic species enter and create a zone of influence that extends far beyond the original insult. But yes, I will agree that the extraction process has some major issues, particularly wrt to water resources. The current underground steam extraction technology has much less surface impact than that used even recently. But both technologies consume a lot of carbon to get the hydrocarbons.

        • ottovbvs

          “Fragmented landscapes don’t really recover.”

          That’s a rather large generalisation. Oil pipelines going through the middle of nowhere aren’t physically that damaging. On the other hand oil extraction from tar sands very much is. Quite apart from the vast amount of energy expended extracting the stuff the environmental damage can never really be repaired. It would take centuries.

        • indy

          Setting aside the environmental impact, it was TransCanada’s heavy handed tactics that were its own undoing in this case. Nebraska was mere days from passing laws that would have added another degree of difficulty to the project and probably broke its back.

          Framing this as primarily an environmental fight by lefties (although that is also involved) is just incorrect and misleading. People in Nebraska didn’t take kindly to being pushed around with threats of having their land seized. Even people in Texas were offended by their tactics.

        • ottovbvs

          “Framing this as primarily an environmental fight by lefties (although that is also involved) is just incorrect and misleading.”

          Of course it is which was rather my original point but that’s what conservative activists like Frum do. Frame it as a dirty hippie environmental issue and all the conservatives with one voice say YEAH RIGHT but tell the truth about eminent domain seizures which conservatives hate and conservatives are going to HEH WAIT A MINUTE!! After all folks like DSP are easily conned.

        • Traveler

          Sorry to beat a dead horse Ottovon, but landscape fragmentation is a very real issue. As erudite as you are, you need a little learnin’ here. Pipelines and transmission lines are kept bare of native vegetation, introducing all sorts of edge species. This not only disrupts the territory of native species, many of the exotic species actually displace/predate native species. So there is a real problem of which few seem to be aware. And these scars on the landscape are permanent, at least as long as they are maintained. Ever flown over northern NM? Absolutely beautiful terrain, sliced into shreds by gas pads.

          While not due to pipelines per se, we are about to lose our entire forest cover in the east due to deer herbivory. We have wonderful forests now that grew up before suburbia fragmented the landscape. Now deer supported by landscaping have wiped out all the native understory, including young trees. So as the trees start to fall, there is nothing but vines and deer resistant shrubs left. I have a 7 acre woodlot on the family farm where i have watched this going on since the 70s. Stay tuned for more articles on this.

          Now you know why I despise PETA and radical environmentalists that care only about their pet issue. Assholes don’t even know what the environment is. DSP is right in that sensible regulations matter. The radical fringe help no one, not even themselves. Sorry for the rant, but intelligent folks here should know.

        • ottovbvs

          “As erudite as you are, you need a little learnin’ here.”

          You’re probably right it’s not my field and as I mentioned I spent 25 years in the oil business which probably de-sensitized me. However, in the scheme of things oil or electric lines rank fairly low on the scale of atrocities against the environment which man perpetrates. As to the destruction of forests in the NE I live in CT and would it surprise you know that we actually have a lot more forests than we did 80 years ago? I suspect the same is also true of Vermont.

        • Traveler

          Glad you are receptive to this issue. It is entirely true that the forests have come back big time from their wholesale elimination in the late 18th and 19th century. Still wiped out into the 30s, as farmers tried to get something off the land. You ought to see aerials of our farm here in Chester County. Looks like Nebraska. But then farmers let a lot of lands go fallow, and the forests took off. I know, as I planted hundreds of trees here, and many of them are now over 50 feet tall.

          But the original woodlot with 150 year old oaks as wide as I am high are falling down, and nothing to replace them. I see herds of up to 22 deer passing by my house on the way there. It is depressing. You know all about it living in CT. Add Lyme disease and accidents, and I cannot fathom the Bambi lovers that protest hunts. Valley Forge park has 250 deer per square mile. That’s one per 2.5 acres. Took nearly 20 years before effective management began recently. They are down to one per 6.4 now.

          http://www.nps.gov/vafo/parkmgmt/white-tailed-deer.htm

        • ottovbvs

          I have a white oak with probably about 130 ft spread covering the back of my house which was built in the late 18th century. I see the occasional deer but they aren’t really the problem at the shore they are inland. Funny thing about killing animals. I used to shoot for years both in Europe and in the US, never really thought about it. Then about 15 years ago someone invited me to a dove hunt in Alabama and a load of doves were shot and at end of the day all these gentle birds are laid for people to count and my total was miserable because I deliberately missed a bunch of them. An epiphany. Came home and got rid of my two very nice O/U Berettas and have never shot a thing since. And I don’t think I could shoot Bambi’s mother even if she was eating my azaleas.

        • Traveler

          I respect that decision. I didn’t shoot much and never had a gun. There are plenty of hunters to go around, so I get my venison filets. Delicious grilled over hardwood charcoal. Cheers!

  • Frumplestiltskin

    good lord why is Frum so obsessed with this pipeline? there is already sufficient pipeline capacity, use what we got. And why rush to use up all of the tar sands oil anyhow? If no pipeline means less oil, that tar sand will still be there anyhow, it ain’t going anywhere, better use it slower than quicker as a form of stategic reserves.

    By the way, I had the millenium pipeline cross my property (until I sold it) it is a pain in the ass and yeah, I sure as hell worried about a break and the potential hazards. It is always easy to tell other people to run a pipeline through their property, which is what DSP is doing, but I don’t see him volunteering to have it run through his own.

    Look, I get the NIMBY concerns but there is a huge difference between a pipeline cutting your property in half and building a windmill out to sea spoiling your vista.

    • Traveler

      Exactly. It ain’t going anywhere. Lets vacuum up Venezuela’s reserves first and drain lake Titicaca. The way I look at it, the longer we suck up the rest of the planet’s reserves, the more valuable our remaining reserves will be, and the better the technology to access them will be. After all, we are the ones that pay to keep the sea lanes open for everyone else, including China.

      But that doesn’t mean we have any business supporting artificially low prices for petroleum products.

      As to pipelines, they sure can be chore. Especially if gas. Then the owners can be quite intrusive, for good reason. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19821105&id=BD1WAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nekDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4164,1262571

      But that is not the case here. This stuff is viscous goo that is much less likely to go off.

  • indy

    I sometimes think DF, when it comes right down to it, has the following priorities:

    1. Israel
    2. Canada
    3. That other country

    • nuser

      After trying to have FF accept a post by Corcoran in National Post, stating President Obama is president of 1% , I gave up.The bashing Obama has taken over the years by The National Post
      is unreal and un-warrented. In most cases Israel is the foundation of their wrath. Obama does not support Israel enough and therefore……

    • Nanotek

      FF seems determined to get everyone to equate disagreement with conservative Israeli politicians or being pro-American with being anti-Israel. Sad because it stymies productive conversations.

  • nuser

    BTW.. does anyone find it ironic that Keystone and Hanford’s nuclear waste is in the same edition?

  • paul_gs

    Good post David. This is a case of the 1% (rich Hollywood liberals + environmental zealots) holding the best interests of the 99% hostage.

    • TerryF98

      As you are part of the 0%, those who are not American and do not live in the USA you have 0% say in anything.

      • baw1064

        I’m happy to let him regurgitate right-wing talking points to his heart’s content provided he starts paying for his own healthcare out of pocket.

      • paul_gs

        It’s 100% an American but its obvious that it is the 1% trampling the 99% of Americans. Robert Redford may not need a job but lots of people do.

        • TerryF98

          You are not American. Nothing to do with you.

        • paul_gs

          It has lots to do with us Terry as it affects our longer term relationship with the US. Our energy industries have been interdependent and have relationships built on trust for over 50 years.

          But you are correct, the decision does rest with the US.

    • Watusie

      Rich Hollywood liberals turn out to oppose the pipeline:

    • Watusie

      Environmental zealots stage a stunt to attract the media’s attention.

      • Traveler

        Watusie,

        Good one! But remember that isn’t the Oglalla. Groundwater is everywhere, and it is a resource to be protected. While on the thread, I would like to pose something to the drill baby drill crowd. We are getting hammered here in PA with the fracking, which all involved say will never contaminate our wells many thousands of feet higher. This is due to that wonderful job of cementing the casing that drillers do.

        Oops!! Remember Macondo? Meanwhile our roads are completely trashed, the landscape is totally fragmented with pads and pipelines, while we get zero taxes from the industry for the privilege of raping our resources. Get that? ZERO. Welcome to POGer land.

      • paul_gs

        Another conservative redneck. Looks like someone who would have supported Sarah Palin if she had decided to run for president.

        • Watusie

          OK, paul, I see a glimmer of hope for you yet. Please think about this very hard: this man looks like the sort of guy that would vote for Sarah Palin. This guy opposes the pipeline. Are you still so really very sure that this project is designed to improve our energy Independence? Sarah Palin voter-types don’t torpedo such things, do they? Can you see that you’ve been spouting BS proffered by Big Oil PR? Can you feel your brain cells starting to fire up for a bit of independent thinking?

  • LauraNo

    Did you write this headline, Mr. Frum? I don’t think there is anyone on earth who thought that stopping the pipeline would somehow (!) magically cause us to use less energy. You know what might, though? Having such a low supply that the cost is prohibitive and people will then naturally reduce their use of it. At least, they would quit wasting it.

  • Dazedandconfused

    I can understand why the Canadians do not want it to go to the Midwest. This makes the US their sole customer, and subject to God knows what mischief somewhere down the line. They want it to go to Houston so they can ship it overseas as well. They do not want to try to get it through BC, because of the relatively pristine waters of that coast.

    I would propose a bargain. They reverse their law that bans the transporting of Canadian water to the US, and open talks on some mutually agreeable water-rights framework in exchange for this.

    • Traveler

      Do we really need Canadian water? I didn’t know that.

      • Dazedandconfused

        Water has always been the limiting factor in development in the western states. You might not believe this, but in some, putting out a rain barrel to capture the water from ones own roof is illegal.

        Just to bake your noodle, check out the old NAWAPA concept.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORRUJyt7AIo

        Water rights are really tricky things, and the Canadians know it. They know that anything developed that depends on Canadian water creates a legal situation in which shutting it off is a big deal in international law. Therefor, despite having tremendous reserves, they passed a law that banned anyone from selling water to the US.

        • Traveler

          DaC (I cannot use D&C!):

          I know a fair amount about water rights and rain barrels. That is part of my business. BTW, it looks like the powers that be are realizing that rain barrel water don’t subtract from rights. Evapotranspiration gets all that water in any event. Us hydrologist engineers are starting to make sense.

          I agree the the old NAWPA project is unlikely, at least at the moment. Come global warming big time, I might well change this tune. Anyway, you answered my question that there are fairly small intergovernmental “transfers” dominated by the Columbia and Missouri headwaters. I assume those are adjudicated already. So when push comes to shove, no doubt Canada will have retained a bit of leverage. Interesting strategic implications.

  • ottovbvs

    “As you are part of the 0%, those who are not American and do not live in the USA you have 0% say in anything.”

    Not only is Paulie a canuck but as usual he doesn’t even understand what the issues are. He thinks it’s about Hollywood liberals. What a plonker as the Brits would say.

    • Traveler

      Every now and then I find his posts half sensible. But back true to form. Sigh.

      • ottovbvs

        Traveller you’ll have learn the virtues of asperity.

        • Traveler

          Well, that’s where you and I differ. Asperity is best warranted for totally counterfactual bs. I figure it’s worth it to encourage the rare attempts for discourse from some of the boneheaded twitchers in the peanut gallery here. Even if we still disagree on most perspectives. None of us are unidimensional, although some sure act that way.

          OTOH, You must see some benefit in getting under peoples skin, even those that share your perspectives most of the time. I realize its just your way (perhaps you were a thwarted English teacher?), but it is uniquely thorny. :)

        • ottovbvs

          “but it is uniquely thorny”

          Not in my experience I must say and my experience hasn’t been with English teachers.

  • jakester

    Here’s a shocker, why not make sure the pipeline is built to the strictest standards of safety and environmental? Spend the extra money to get it right?

    • Traveler

      I am pretty confident of strictest standards. My question is, why build it in the first place?

    • paul_gs

      Keystone XL standards were the highest ever to be proposed for a pipeline. Double-walled through the lower port of the aquifier it runs through. But Robert Redford said that’s not good enough and then got on his private jet to take a vacation at his private island estate.

  • blowtorch_bob

    As a resident of the Banana Republic of Alberta I believe I can offer an up close and personal perspective.

    Reactions up here range from how could you-we have oil, you need oil-this was a win-win for us all- to the hell with you, we’ll sell our oil to China. In short, people are surprised if not stunned.

    The biggest misconception here is confusion about this tar sands stuff was for U.S. domestic consumption. It was not. Valero Energy, the prime mover and shaker in this scheme, was planning to refine it into diesel fuel for export to Europe and South America.

    In this light, you could see why Obama put off this decision until after 2012.

    • TerryF98

      Thank you.

      This oil is just in transit across the USA to the gulf where it will be refined and shipped overseas, it will not effect the price of oil in the USA in the slightest, it will not increase the supply to the USA in the slightest.

      We will open ourselves to the possibly of pollution for no gain. If the Canadians want to ship this overseas then let them build refining capacity in BC.

      • paul_gs

        Not true. The oil is for US domestic use.

        • armstp

          Again, Paul provide some proof. There are investor presentations from both Keystone and Valero that say the oil will be exported.

        • TerryF98

          The Refinery and terminal where this oil will end up are EXPORTING operations. Not hard to understand is it.

    • Nanotek

      Blowtorch_Bob,

      Thanks for that heads up.

      “The company owns and operates 15 refineries throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 2.9 million barrels (460,000 m3) per day.” (wikipedia)

      what’s their angle for piping it all the way to Texas, if they have refineries in Canada?

      Sounds like the Nebraska ranchers may want to occupy Valero.

      • blowtorch_bob

        Nanotek

        Why are they piping it to Texas?

        Believe me there are lots of complaints here in Alberta about why are we shipping (dirt cheap) tar sands to Texas when we could be refining it here and creating the long-term jobs. (the real profits in the oil business are in the refining process)

        The answer always is this is private sector decision and we don’t have have capacity in Alberta. But I believe there is some upgrading capacity here to make the stuff flow better.

  • armstp

    The whole discussion on the pipeline is rather irrelevant, as many believe that even if the project was approved Nebraska was going to stop/delay it in its tracks in the courtroom. Nebraska has already set-up a special state legislative committee that was looking into how to stop the project.

  • paul_gs

    While Keystone XL has been delayed, at most it is a symbolic victory for Hollywood progressives (part of the “1%” also) and strident environmentalists.

    I will give credit to them though, they were able to manufacture an avalanche of misinformation and hysteria about a project with great benefits.

    The greatest fabrication peddled is that the oil shipped for the pipeline is not for US domestic use. A lie, shouted loud enough and repeated often enough still remains a lie. This oil is for US consumption.

    With an election coming next year in the US, it is obvious that this decision is about optics. Politically, delaying the pipeline makes sense for Democrats, though it does sacrifice at least 20,000 high paying construction jobs.

    The decision, of course, always remains one for Americans to make, and this delay will give time for the true benefits and advantages this energy pipeline provides to become wider known, countering the deliberatel obfuscation of the benefits of this project.

    My belief is that come early 2013, with Obama likely back in power, that Keystone XL will then be approved, with only slight modifications, and that if it is approved, will enjoy widespread public support.

    • armstp

      Paul,

      There is no proof that the refined oil was only for domestic use. There have been investor presentations by both Keystone and Valero that said the oil was going to be exported.

      “Keystone XL is an export pipeline. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.”

      •Keystone XL is an export pipeline. The Port Arthur, Texas, refiners at the end of its route are focused on expanding exports to Europe, and Latin America. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.

      •Valero, the key customer for crude oil from Keystone XL, has explicitly detailed an export strategy to its investors. Because Valero’s Port Arthur refinery is in a Foreign Trade Zone, the company can carry out its strategy tax-free.

      •In a shrinking U.S. market, Keystone XL is not needed. Since the project was announced, the oil industry acknowledges that higher fuel economy standards and slow economic growth mean declining U.S. oil demand, even as domestic production is booming. Oil from Keystone XL will therefore displace American crude from new, “unconventional” domestic fields in Texas or North Dakota.

      There was also a very good chance the pipeline was going to be delayed and tied up in the courts by lawsuits that were going to be filed by Nebraska anyway. Delaying this to get it right by Obama makes 100% sense.

      Potentially 20,000 temporary jobs. Company management has already said at most it would create a couple of hundred permanent jobs. 20,000 temporary jobs is a drop in the bucket.

      What exactly are the benefits to the U.S. of this pipeline?

      • Nanotek

        “What exactly are the benefits to the U.S. of this pipeline?”

        + 1

        What is the worst case scenario when the pipeline breaks open at some point?

      • paul_gs

        No armstp, both Valero and TransCanada have publicly stated that the oil is for US domestic use. You’ve believe the Big Lie told by the green zealots, that’s all.

        In fact, you’ve simply copy and pasted their green agitprop from one of their websites.

        • armstp

          Paul,

          The facts are not on your side. I have outlined a number of them above, including the fact that in both companies previous investor presentations they talked about exporting the oil and also the fact that the refineries where the oil will be refined is primarily focused on export markets.

          Only once the protested started did anyone start talking about the oil from the pipeline being for domestic use.

          If you have any proof please present it.

    • ottovbvs

      “The greatest fabrication peddled is that the oil shipped for the pipeline is not for US domestic use. A lie, shouted loud enough and repeated often enough still remains a lie. This oil is for US consumption.”

      Paulie instead of blathering about Hollywood progressives and fabrications when are you going to provide the proof to back up your assertions about the ultimate destination for this product? Since you claim it’s a lie surely it should be easy for you to disprove. As it happens I think the decision to delay is political but that doesn’t mean the claims about much of the product ultimately being exported are incorrect.

      • paul_gs

        The oil is for domestic US use. Both TransCanada and Valero have publicly stated that.

        Valero exports about 11% of their product (aren’t exports good for an economy?) and has stated that percentage won’t increase with Keystone XL.
        As Keystone is reviewed, maybe it could be made legally binding that the oil only be for US domestic use.

        • ottovbvs

          “Not true. The oil is for US domestic use.”

          Then it should be easy for you to provide us some links to where they have said all this product is going to be consumed in the US. Shouldn’t it?

        • paul_gs

          You can find it with a simple Google search otto, or on the website of each company.

          The claims of the green zealots though, are simply made up.

        • ottovbvs

          Don’t put the onus on me. You made the claim so provide the links if it’s that easy. Put up or shut up.

        • Nanotek

          he’s got nothing, ottovbvs

  • paul_gs

    Not capable of your own response nano?

    The lies originate from the environmental zealots. They made the claim up out of thin air.
    But sorry otto, you’re a big boy, you can do 5 minutes of research yourself.

    • Watusie

      Why does the pipeline go to Port Arthur, TX? Because it is in a “foreign trade zone”, which means that the product will be exempt for customs duties. Why go all the way to there, bypassing other refineries on the way, if the plan is not to export the end product?

    • ottovbvs

      paul_gs // Nov 13, 2011 at 12:44 am
      “But sorry otto, you’re a big boy, you can do 5 minutes of research yourself.”

      Ok Paulie… so you were lying as usual.

      • armstp

        That guy Paul_gs is one of the biggest and most consistent liars on this blog. The guy continually makes all kinds of claims, but never provides a shred of evidence to back them up.

        “…the Valero Corporation which has contracts for at least l00,000 barrels daily from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, has a “… publically disclosed business model is focused on exporting crude oil…”. The Valero Port Arthur Texas Refinery is located in a Foreign Trade Zone, where it joins corporate neighbors. Motiva (a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and the Saudi government), and Total of France, at the Gulf Coast refineries. Indeed, testimony at Canadian hearings had oil companies arguing that there is a present and pending glut in the American oil market, which requires the tar sands producers to ship outside the continent.”

  • joseelar

    Major point in all of this….. We must go to other markets and are in the process of doing so. Both Flagherty and Harper have reiterated yesterday that we will now focus on Asia for trade re energy products.

    The US is not our friend. Neighbour yes – but not friend.

    • Watusie

      No, seriously, we are your friend. However, friends don’t let their dogs poop in their friends’ back yards.

      The landowners in Nebraska did not want this potential Deepwater-Horizon-on-dry-land on their property, in their communities, over their one and only water supply. Why should our government force them to accept it in order to create jobs in Alberta?

      Let me put it another way: I’m actually perfectly OK with the project, with these two caveats: First, no use of eminent domain south of the border – the pipeline owners have to secure the VOLUNTARY consent of each land owner on the route. Second, the terminus of the pipeline has to be at least 250 miles from a deepwater port.

    • Southern Populist

      Why don’t send your pipeline across Canada to the coasts of British Columbia and to Nova Scotia?

      If the project will produce such immense benefits, you should be able to get Canadians to consent to it.

    • paul_gs

      joeseelar, the US has always been our friend. But even friends have bumps in their relationship now and then.

      There is no chance of a Deepwater Horizon type of event for anybody with even an elementary grasp of pipeline technology, but because most of us don’t need to know about pipelines, green zealots have successfully deceived the public into thinking such a type of accident is possible. It will take more time to counteract these falsehoods.

      The issue of eminent domain is much more of a real issue. The use of eminent domain has not had the problems in Canada that it is having in the US, so again, more time is needed to amicably resolve this important issue, which hopefully it is possible to do.

      And it is true, here in Alberta there is almost too much work for people to do, and while we are happy with the thousands of Americans travelling here and working in our oil industry already and would gladly have welcomed thousands more, it appears it is time to take a breather on this project.

      I believe Keystone can go ahead on solely its benefits to American energy security and profits and jobs for Canadian and American companies. But that time is not now so it is better to sit back and wait until the political climate is more conducive to this valuable project.

  • Southern Populist

    It appears I was wrong on this keystone project. I appear to have been bamboozled by Frum’s characterization that radical environmentalists want stop this project to promote their radical energy agenda.

    The truth appears to be very different.

    OK, so let me see if I have this straight:

    The Canadian government and a Canadian multinational are:

    1) Seeking to send a pipeline across the American heartland so that

    2) Canadians can pocket profits and tax revenue and

    3) they want the US federal government to abuse its eminent domain authority to screw the local property owners in the process while

    4) putting at the American heartland at risk for a Deep Water Horizon oil disaster so that

    5) multinational oil companies in Texas can pocket profits for a product that will

    6) be sold overseas and not benefit Americans.

    The only question is WTF is Obama waiting for to permanently kill this thing?????

    Why is he waiting until 2013? He is supposed to represent the 99%, right?

    Keystone appears to be a classic example of Big Business and Big Government colluding to screw ordinary people.

    And Barack Obama is dithering until 2013. The question is why.

    • Watusie

      OK, so let me see if I have this straight:

      1) The Keystone pipeline is an abomination.
      2) You recognize that clever unscrupulous Republican spinmeisters can, nonetheless, wrap it in the American flag and pitch it as being great for the nation…so much so that you yourself less than 24 hours ago were proclaiming that Keystone is an example of why liberty-minded people simply MUST vote Republican.
      3) The Keystone pipeline can’t happen without the President’s approval.
      4) Every Republican candidate for 2012 who has gone on record would approve the pipeline.
      5) President Obama has killed it with the equivalent of a pocket veto; therefore, it won’t be built.
      6) But you want him to kill it via a different measure that would hand the clever unscrupulous Republican spinmeisters a campaign issue they can flog to low information voters in order to win back the White House.
      7) If the Republicans win back the White House, the pipeline will be built.
      8 ) Therefore, President Obama sucks.

      Can you see the flaw there?

      • paul_gs

        Obama didn’t kill the pipeline, he simply delayed it. He wants to approve it because it benefits America’s national interests (jobs and energy) but he is a realist and had to acknowledge the political pressure.

        Come 2013, after minor modifications, it’s probable the pipeline will go ahead with all of the attendant benefits to citizens.

        • Watusie

          Then why is the Canadian Finance Minister saying that the delay is intolerable because it will result in the collapse of the entire project?

        • Kevin B

          Probably because the delay will be expensive, and politicians tend to exaggerate.

    • ottovbvs

      So after admitting as was obvious that he’s been sold a pup on this pipleline (it’s not the dirty hippies after all that are stopping it) DSP now reverts to his standard operating procedure of blaming it on Obama because he’s not behaving like a dirty hippie. Strange how the brains of those with chronic ODS function.

      “Can you see the flaw there?”

      Watusie…Is this likely do you think for a guy whose IQ has to be below room temperature.

    • indy

      The dirty hippies aren’t always wrong just like Frum isn’t always right. Issues should be decided on their merits and not by who is on which side of them. There are plenty of cheerleaders who don’t really care what the issue is, they simply adopt whatever viewpoint they are told to (like our friend paul_gs) by their team.

      TransCanada used tactics that pissed a lot of people off. They have nobody but themselves to blame for being so arrogant about the whole thing.

    • Southern Populist

      Now that I have better handle on the facts than I did yesterday (I should have know better than to trust “axis of evil” David Frum), I am very happy with Obama’s decision here, although I wish he would have permanently killed it.

      His decision appears to have simultaneously pissed off the Canadian government, a Canadian multi-national, the US Chamber of Commerce, American union interests, Texas oil interests and the worst elements of the Republican party.

      The question is: why did he do it in the way that he did?

      What is the evidence this is some kind of shrewd move to keep from handing the GOP an issue and ensure the ultimate defeat of this pipeline later? Is there actually any evidence of this, or is it guesswork?

      Many pundits are arguing this was a cynical and political ploy to placate the dirty hippies (powerful environmentalists) ahead of the 2012 election so he does not lose their support. Many are saying that once Obama wins, he will reverse himself in 2013. My concern is that that is exactly what he will do. He could have put the matter to rest by killing this pipeline for good right now.

      That said, the right thing is not always done for the right reasons, and even if he did it only for political gain, putting the breaks on this pipeline was the right decision.

      • Watusie

        “What is the evidence this is some kind of shrewd move to keep from handing GOP an issue”

        Seriously? You yourself swallowed Frum’s bogus take on this, hook, line and sinker. Is it really so difficult to imagine the havoc that the Republicans will be able to wreak on the minds of low-information voters?

        That is not a rhetorical question. I really, really want to know: how can you admit how easily and completely you were fooled and then turn around and say if Obama were to make a flat, permanent rejection of the project he would not be making a rod for his own back?

        • Southern Populist

          My thesis about Obama is that he is actually a faux liberal when it comes to defending ordinary people against corporate abuse. I am a 1000X more cynical about his motives than you are. It’s plausible that he went with the “temporary delay” approach because he doesn’t want to give the GOP an issue. It’s also plausible he doesn’t want to alienate the Democrat union voters who would benefit from this project, the US Chamber of Commerce who are big Democrat donors or the Canadian government. By using a temporary delay, Obama leaves open the possibility of giving those groups what they want later and screwing the dirty hippies and ranchers when he becomes a lame duck.

        • Watusie

          The “temporary delay” alienates the pro-pipeline unions just as much as killing it stone dead.

          The Chamber of Commerce spent $32 million on the 2010 midterm elections, 93 percent on GOP candidates. It gave exactly one endorsement to a Democrat in a Senate race – West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. But they sent him no money whatsoever.

          Canada has zero electoral college votes.

          My thesis is that your blind hatred of President Obama clouds your thinking and induces you to use factual distortions bordering on lies, a la Fox News, in order to justify your pre-conceived notion that if Obama is doing it, its gotta be wrong.

        • Southern Populist

          It is the far left that has educated me on the links between Obama and corporate money not Fox News.

          I don’t have satellite TV and don’t watch Fox News. If people here didn’t talk about Fox News, I would not have any idea what goes on on Fox News.

          Again, you don’t have to accept the idea from me. Many observers on the left view Obama’s keystone decision as nothing but a cynical ploy to grab the environmentalist vote before selling them out to corporate interests as soon as he is reelected.

          This comment from the left Web site firedoglake sums it up:

          Given the concerns about potential health and safety risks to the Agallala aquifer over which the current route would pass, there are compelling, legitimate reasons to consider alternative routes. Unfortunately, this move may only punt a decision to approve the pipeline until after the election. It strongly feels like an act of pure political cynicism from President Obama, instead of a sincere response to the concerns of regular Americans.

          Once Obama gets young environmentalists to vote for him in 2012, and he no longer needs to worry about facing the voters again, I suspect he plans to quickly approve the pipeline with a slightly different route, ignoring all other environmental concerns.

          fdlaction.firedoglake [dot] com/2011/11/10/obama-punts-keystone-pipeline-decision-until-after-2012-election/

          That’s from a liberal, a principled liberal not a blind ideologue.

          The problem is that you and Otto are so blinded by your partisan loyalty, adoration of Obama and hatred (mostly justifiable) of the GOP, you will support anything Obama does. If Obama sells out the environmentalists and the ranchers in 2013, I bet you and otto will be thumping for TransCanada the next day.

        • indy

          We’ve gone from the dirty hippies winning to the dirty hippies winning? Damn, they’re good. I’m going to go shop for a VW van right now. No need to wait til the last minute.

      • paul_gs

        - delete -

    • paul_gs

      Southern Populist, it look like you’ve sipped the green Kool Aid. Everything you’ve stated is incorrect.

      It’s going to take time to counteract the agitprop that has been peddled by the green zealots. I’ll give them credit for that, they sure know how to get the lies out.

      • Southern Populist

        Paul,

        I have no sympathy for the radical green agenda and consider them anti-human. But I can’t support driving ranchers off their own land and subjecting large swaths of private property to a potential catastrophe so that multi-national corporations can make money.

        I realize that radical greens don’t care about those ranchers or American workers and would in fact be overjoyed if they had to pay $7.00 or more for gas.

        • paul_gs

          But would any ranchers be driven off their land SP? From what I understand, the issue is to put the pipeline underground and everywhere it goes, the landowners receive financial compensation. But maybe they should be receiving more money, that’s always possible.

          I realize that the issue of eminent domain is a lot more problematic in the US at present so maybe that’s where the problems really are.

        • indy

          Gosh, you think? I wish I would have said that 20 minutes after this post initially went up.

      • TerryF98

        You still have not provided one shred of proof to back up your claims that this oil is all headed for the US market.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    so paul_gs, why don’t you Canadians keep all the oil there in Canada? Refine it up there for domestic consumption and for the leftoever build the pipeline to Vancouver and Nova Scotia, refine it there and then load it onto tankers for export..including the USA. Why bother with relying on the US at all?

    • paul_gs

      Frumple, are you planning on not using any more oil? As the article says, this decision reduces oil use not one drop.

      Canada and the US have worked together for over half a century to give both countries security of supply with oil and natural gas. It’s a two way mutually beneficial relationship that keeps more jobs and taxes in both countries while providing conflict-free energy.

      Why increase your reliance on oil from the Middle East and not from a trusted friend? The security of supply of oil from Canada is much better and environmentally, tarsands oil is less risky overall then oil sent in giant tankers to the US with offshore spill potential and which is then shipped around the US by pipelines.

      President Obama wants job creation, “shovel ready” projects, and lessen energy reliance on unstable foreign countries. Yet Keystone, which delivers on all three goals, gets kicked down the road. I can understand the politics involved but it is difficult to comprehend the rationale.

    • zaybu

      @Frumplestiltskin

      I once heard a documentary on that, and this question was asked. If I remember correctly it was a woman who held some high position in the Alberta government. She said that it was like catch-22, sort of. The province doesn’t have the technology for refining the tar oil, and doesn’t have the workforce to deal with that technology, which would take 3-4 years to train. So no one will train that workforce if the industry is not already there, and no one is going to build the industry if the workforce isn’t already there. She thus justified the move to send the oil to Texas for refining in those words.

      I don’t know if this argument is valid or not, but it made sense when I heard it.

      PS: Sorry, I was out of town, and I’m late on this thread.

      • paul_gs

        We pioneered the technology for refining tarsands oil in Alberta. And we do refine tarsands oil in Alberta already. Labor is in very short supply in Alberta and very expensive so it is not cost effective to build more upgraders at present.

        • zaybu

          Paul, what you are pointing to is the extraction of the oil from the tarsand, and in this regard, Alberta did groundbreaking work in the technology department. However, the refinery that would take place in Texas is converting oil to gazoline, diesel and other products that are used in multiple industries. That, Alberta is sorely lacking, and the reason why the Albertans decided it was more feasible to send the oil to Texas. And yes, you’re right, there is also a shortage of manpower in Alberta, another reason to send the oil.

        • paul_gs

          And there is excess capacity in Texas because Venezuelan and Mexican imports have gone down.

  • ottovbvs

    armstp // Nov 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm
    “That guy Paul_gs is one of the biggest and most consistent liars on this blog. The guy continually makes all kinds of claims, but never provides a shred of evidence to back them up.”

    I’m well aware this guy is a somewhat deranged Canadian (a couple of days ago he was suggesting Israel should launch a pre-emptive war against Iran using nuclear weapons) with a considerable propensity for lying. And even when prima facie evidence is produced to rebut his lies he continues lying. I’m afraid the do not call list is the only sensible way of dealing with him.

    • paul_gs

      otto, lay off the crack. I’d lIke to see where I said Israel should launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack.

      You like sources yet have none since I said no such thing.

  • ottovbvs

    Southern Populist // Nov 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    “The problem is that you and Otto are so blinded by your partisan loyalty, adoration of Obama and hatred (mostly justifiable) of the GOP, you will support anything Obama does. If Obama sells out the environmentalists and the ranchers in 2013, I bet you and otto will be thumping for TransCanada the next day.”

    Given the fact that (exactly as I predicted) DSP made a complete U turn on this issue when he learned it was not dirty hippies but eminent domain that was the issue accusing me of blind adoration and making claims about what I might do are as ever with this man risible.

    • Watusie

      Ah yes, Southern Populist scrapes the impossible-to-prove-future-prediction/hyopthetical barrel bottom. The favorite refuge of scoundrels defeated by facts and logic on this board since day one.

    • Southern Populist

      Do you even believe in limitations on the eminent domain principle, or is it your position that the US government should be allowed to seize land anytime anywhere as long as a Democrat is in the White House?

      I made the U turn after learning the full facts. My U turn was based on the possible abuse of the eminent domain principle here and the fact that there is nothing in this deal that helps ordinary Americans. All of the risk is foisted onto Americans while all of the benefits flow to big corporations and the Canadian government. It’s outrageous, and the fact that Obama hasn’t stopped it without hesitation even though he purports to represent the 99% is suspicious.

      That said, let me reiterate: Obama definitely made the right decision temporarily stopping this pipeline even if he did so only for short-term political gain rather than because he actually cares about the people affected.

      The issue now is whether it will stay stopped if Obama wins and no longer needs support from the environmentalist wing of his base. I and many other people doubt it, but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

      Given Obama’s close ties to big business, his financial dependence on big business, and his weak record reigning in big business (ex: Dodd Frank), the evidence points to a sellout as soon as he no longer needs liberal votes.

      • ottovbvs

        “the evidence points to a sellout as soon as he no longer needs liberal votes.”

        DSP is the guy who earlier said this blocking of the project by Obama made it a public duty to vote Republican. As I pointed out there is no understanding the reasoning processes of those suffering with chronic Obama Derangement Syndrome.

      • Watusie

        Your first paragraph is a monument to intellectual dishonesty. Apologies for blowing my own horn, SP, but I am the one who had to point out to YOU on the previous page that Obama was the good guy who came down on the side of the Nebraska farmers. Furthermore, I’ll remind you again the Obama’s fealty to the Chamber of Commerce is just something you’ve invented – they gave >90% of their money to the Republicans last time around. So “the evidence pointing to a sellout” in 2013 simply doesn’t exist.

        Your thought process works like this: (1) Obama is doing something (2) it must be wrong (3) apply selected facts, half-facts, and twisted facts as needed to demonstrate (2), discard the rest.

        Why don’t you just once try this: (1) Obama is doing something (2) it might be wrong or right (3) apply facts and make decision about (2).

        Or you can keep doing what other scoundrels do, which is take refuge in some fact-free future hypothetical which we mere mortals without a crystal ball or a time machine can’t challenge.

        • ottovbvs

          Do you think this might improve DSP’s self knowledge or indeed the self knowledge of any sufferers from ODS whether they be on the far left or the righ?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

        • Southern Populist

          “Obama was the good guy who came down on the side of the Nebraska farmers. ”

          I take it you mean he temporarily came down on their side. It remains to be seen whether he will do so permanently.

          And, one more time, it’s not just me making the point 1) that Obama did this for political expediency and 2) that there is very reasonable chance he will not permanently stop this pipeline.

          Here is how one author from the Daily Kos summed it up:

          [blockquote]The White House and State Department had stacked the deck in favor of the pipeline, and the opposition succeeded in putting the brakes on it. A delay helps the opposition continue to educate the public and press for a real environmental impact study on the pipeline, and gives more time to mobilize citizens in opposition in other states that are in the potential path of the pipeline. It also allows President Obama to avoid making a decision that would anger the base before the election.

          However, pushing the decision off until after the election means that it could be made without having to be concerned about the next election, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for stopping the project entirely.[/blockquote]

          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/10/1035130/-State-Department-to-delay-decision-on-Keystone-XL-pipeline?via=search

          EDIT: And yes, for the record Watusie, I am happy to acknowledge that my initial judgment on this issue was wrong and yours was right. I change my views all the time when presented with new facts and evidence.

        • ottovbvs

          Now DSP who thought there was a public duty to vote Republican because of Obama’s decision is now invoking Daily Kos who are annoyed with Obama because he hasn’t done all kinds of things which DSP would consider anathema. I wonder if Kos thinks theres a public duty to vote Republican? This guy causes me so much merriment I should send him a small check. Next he’ll be quoting Mikey Moore with approval.

          “I change my views all the time when presented with new facts and evidence.”

          Except you haven’t changed your views as they relate to the president. Firstly you damned him for stopping it, now you’re damning him for (maybe) allowing it to go ahead. You self evidently have a terminal case of ODS but it’s so completely irrational it’s very funny.

        • Southern Populist

          I already conceded my initial judgment was wrong and that Watusie’s was right.

          Obama made the right decision here. A temporary stop is far better than the alternative. I definitely agree with that much and have said so twice and now for a third time.

          But if you and Watusie don’t think there is credible evidence he that did it for political expediency and that there is a reasonable chance he will reverse himself after the election, you two are the ones now digging in on an untenable position.

    • Southern Populist

      Many of my criticisms of Barack Obama boil down to two things: he does not do enough to oppose corporate interests and Wall Street, and 2) his foreign policy is only marginally distinguishable from the Republicans’. I do indeed dislike him a lot for governing like a Republican clone in these two areas, or only slightly better than one.

      • ottovbvs

        “I do indeed dislike him a lot for governing like a Republican clone in these two areas, or only slightly better than one.”

        This isn’t remotely true or why has he been opposed totally by Republicans for the past three years? Furthermore, I’m not sure why even if was, that it should cause you to be upset with him since you constantly advance Republican positions.

  • zaybu

    I haven’t read all comments on this thread, and might repeat some, but I must say I am disappointed in Obama. A yes or no would have indicated some leadership, instead of this “maybe”. Personally, I am in favor of building the pipeline. At present oil price, there is $1 trillion worth of oil. There is no way it will just lie there. A pipeline will be built, either for American market, or for the Chinese, who btw, have offered to build and finance a pipeline to the West coast.

    • indy

      What’s completely lost on everyone is that Obama did TransCanada a favor by allowing everyone to cool down. I would bet 50/50 this will go forward but not until some fence mending happens from TransCanada. As I’ve said over and over, TransCanda’s incompetence and arrogance has been the real problem from the get go. They managed to get left and right united against it. How stupid must you be to get this to happen in 2011 America? If I ran the company, some heads would be on the chopping block.

      P.S. I’m sure DSP will now see this as Obama caving to business interests.

      • zaybu

        @ indy

        It’s a greater blow to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who has described U.S. approval as a “no brainer” earlier this fall.

      • indy

        I’m sure that is part of what caused them to operate with such heavy handedness. If Canadians really want to know why this failed, they should look in a mirror. I’d bet my house the administration delivered the exact same message, though undoubtedly a tad more politely.

        • ottovbvs

          You’re probably right but in the present climate they thought they could ramrod it through. I do think the blocking was a political decision but if it was then it was a good one on the substance. Will it be reinstated? Hard to tell but like you I lean in the direction it will be but the Canadians will certainly have to do a lot of fence mending….and they will. The environmental issues are a bit overblown as they always are in situations like this but the eminent domain issues do concern me. It’s one of a couple issues where Ron Paul and co have a good argument. The rest of their arguments are crap but even a bad opera has the odd good tune.

    • ottovbvs

      “I haven’t read all comments on this thread”

      Obviously not…as numerous posters have pointed out most of the oil is intended for export.

      • zaybu

        As usual your nitpicking and one-upmanship always lead you to make ridiculous answers. Did I ever say the oil was for American consumption? I clearly indicated to Frumplestiltskin that the oil was destined to Texas for refining purposes, and why the Albertan government made that decision.

        • ottovbvs

          “As usual your nitpicking”

          True I do have a fairly intense taste for precision, it’s hardly my fault if you don’t.

        • zaybu

          Well try to connect the dots. On one post I said that the oil was intended to go to Texas for refining purposes, in another post I mentioned that if not for the American market, then it will be for China. You immediately concluded that I didn’t know that “most of the oil is intended for export.” Instead of nitpicking, improve your reading skill.

        • ottovbvs

          “Well try to connect the dots.”

          So now understanding zaybu relies on connecting the dots. Okaaay. I’ll schedule some dot reading classes.

      • paul_gs

        Not true otto. Repeating the lie peddled by the zealots a hundred times is still a lie.

  • nuser

    “Stopping XL Keystone won’t save the planet” , that is the headline in Canada by Frum.

  • nuser

    B.T.W.
    Apart from the environmental consequence , just what expenses are we looking at,and who pays for what?What little I know , converting tar sands is much different from Jed Clampett
    and his oil gusher. Is specialized education not in play here as well?Something is rotten……..

  • zaybu

    ottovbvs: “So now understanding zaybu relies on connecting the dots. Okaaay. I’ll schedule some dot reading classes.”

    No need. You would deprive us of how great a job you’re doing in embarrassing yourself.

  • armstp

    A few comments on whether the oil from the pipeline will be exported out of the U.S.

    There is no way to know exactly 100% where the oil will end up. The Canadian oil will be mixed with other domestic U.S. oil and it will be impossible to know where the Canadian oil ends up.

    However, what we do know is this:

    1) Canadian oil companies have said in hearings in Canada that given the expected decline in demand for oil in both Canada and the U.S. they will have to find markets outside of North America for their new oil production.

    2) Both Valero (who will take +20% capacity of the pipeline) and also TransCanada have in investor presentations (see link below to presentation) emphasized their strategy of focusing on exporting oil from the Tar Sands and the refineries in Texas to markets outside of the U.S. Given declining demand in the U.S. the growth in their business is in exporting oil to South America Europe. This means that it is very likely that Tar Sands oil from the pipeline will be sold overseas and maybe all of it.

    3) The refineries in Texas where this oil will be heading is in a special Free Trade Area. This means that Valero won’t pay any taxes on the crude it exports from their Port Arthur refinery in the Foreign Trade Zone. This gives them an economic reason to export the new oil from the pipeline that is not needed in the U.S. because of declining demand in the U.S.

    Companies will always do what makes the most econmic sense. The Canadian companies and U.S. refiners just want a route for their oil to get it off the continent. They do not care about keeping it in the U.S. They only care about selling it to markets where they can make the most money.

    The argument that this pipeline will help take the U.S. off of “foreign” oil is BS if this oil is exported. This is just a Republican talking point to support their energy industry corporate buddys and to use to bash Obama if the pipeline is not approved.

    The argument that this pipeline will create a lot of jobs is BS. 20,000, if that is the real number, is a drop in the bucket and the true number of permanent new jobs will be in the hundreds, as an executive from TransCanada has already publically stated (it is on a CNN interview video).

    I have no problem with building oil pipelines, but lets be honest about why this is being built. Judge it on its true merits. A true or honest cost-benefit analysis.

    Also, the delay in the decision is no big deal, as it was likely going to be delayed in the courts by the State of Nebraska. Better to take the time to get it done right.

    Here is a link from a blog that shows a Valero presentation where they talk about exporting oil from their gulf coast refiners. There are three slides that can be looked at to make up your own mind (the company has since taken these slides down from their website – I wonder why?).

    “This map shows clearly the company’s strategy to export diesel from the Gulf Coast refineries (like Port Arthur) to European, Mexican, and South American markets, while importing gasoline from overseas.”

    “a slide showing explicitly Valero’s plans to export diesel to the strong European market.”

    “Finally, here’s their slide on the Port Arthur plant, which is ready “to process over 150,000 barrels/day of high-acid, heavy sour Canadian crude,” and which produces “high-quality diesel and jet fuel for growing global demand for middle distillates, and is “located at large, Gulf Coast refinery to leverage existing operations and export logistics.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/valero-positioning-export-tar-sands-oil-guarding-pot-gold-end-keystone-xl-pipeline

    • Southern Populist

      + 1, very valuable information.

    • paul_gs

      Except that everything you have said is not true armstp. You have simply copy and pasted the fabrications from an anti-pipeline zealots website.

      It is well known that DeSmogBlog is an untrustworthy site.

      • TerryF98

        For Fecks sake Paul-gs stop calling people liars without give one iota of proof that all this oil is destined for the USA domestic market.

        We know you are a tool but with this you are convincing us that you are also a totally unprincipled imbecile.

      • armstp

        Paul,

        What specifically is untrue?

        The fact that oil demand in the U.S. is declining?

        The fact that those are not Valero’s slides?

        The fact that Valero operates its refinery in a free trade zone that is to the benefit of exporting?

        etc. etc. etc.

        Just saying something is not true does not make it untrue.

        Again, Paul as many have stated on here, why don’t you provide one single piece of information, a fact or some proof to support your argument or statement? Your comments on FF just make you a Canadian Teabagger. Lots of rhetoric, but no facts or any real logic.

        You seemed a bit brainwashed by all the corporate PR and Republican talking points.

        Why not justify or fight for the project on its economic merits, instead of this BS that it will bring oil security to the U.S. or the oil will not be exported. Clearly it will be as the tar sands oil is best for diesel and the demand for diesel is not that great in the U.S. and greater in Europe and South America, markets that Valero is actively targeting.

        • paul_gs

          You simply repeat the false talking points peddled by DeSmog. They cherry pick one slide out of hundreds, deliberately misrepresent it and then peddle their lies as some kind of “fact”.

          DeSmog is not trusted at all in Canada since they play so loosely with the truth.

        • armstp

          Not sure what your point is about “cherry picking”. Please explain. In fact, why don’t you provide any explanation or proof as to why you think no oil is going to be exported from the pipeline. Again, you give us nothing.

          It is clear to me that Valero has a strategy to focus on export markets, which their presentation makes clear. They also operate in a special tax zone that makes it more economical to export.

          Tar sands oil is better suited to be converted into diesel. Demand for diesel in the U.S. is falling, so no need for more supply. Demand for diesel is greater and growing in South America and Europe.

          It is logical that they will export a great amount of any new oil they obtain from the pipeline.

        • paul_gs

          You never saw Valero’s presentation so you are grossly uninformed on the issue. Secondly, you rely on DeSmogBlog as your “source”, who are notorious zealots and lie freely and openly on their website.

          I mean seriously, did you spend even 5 minutes reading their website? Nobody can be taken seriously who links to DeSmogBlog.

  • paul_gs

    Oil use has only declined due to the strength of the recession. It’s temporary.

    Regarding Valero, 90% of their production at that refinery goes to domestic consumption. That number will not change with the tarsands oil.

    But the greens instead invent the lie that 100% is for export knowing full well this is a falsehood as agitprop is what they do.

    • armstp

      “Oil use has only declined due to the strength of the recession. It’s temporary.”

      More BS from you. Actually, the decline in demand that is important has nothing to do with the recession. This is a long term trend that is well studied. It has to do with more fuel efficient cars, more alternative fuels, demographics, etc.

      From the liberal WSJ:

      “Among those who say U.S. consumption of gasoline has peaked are executives at the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, Exxon Mobil Corp., as well as many private analysts and government energy forecasters.

      The reasons include changes in the way Americans live and the transportation they choose, along with a growing emphasis on alternative fuels. The result could be profound transformations not only for the companies that refine gasoline from crude oil but also for state and federal budgets and for consumers. Much of contemporary America, from the design of its cities to its tax code and its foreign policy, is predicated on a growing thirst for gasoline.”

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123957686061311925.html

      Another BS line from you:

      “Regarding Valero, 90% of their production at that refinery goes to domestic consumption. That number will not change with the tarsands oil.”

      What is important is where their growth is coming from and where they are deploying their resources for future growth. What will they do with the new supply from the tar sands? All of their growth is coming from exporting oil from the U.S., particularly from their gulf coast refineries where the tar sands oil is to end up. They will use new supplies to grow their export business. They have made this clear with investors. That is why they will ship the tar sands oil to their Port Arther refinery, which is located in a free trade zone and is where they have the facilities to export; ie. put the oil on ships, as the do today at that facility.

      • ottovbvs

        armstp/watusie: you’ve adduced mountains of background that discredit paul_gs’ lies and obfuscations. Surely by now it’s apparent that if you produced the CEO of Valero to support your statements he’d still be denying it or trying to weasel out it by some flip comment. This is not a man who is rational by any normal measure so why waste time arguing with him about it. There is a side benefit I suppose in that we’ve all learned more about this controversy (I certainly have).

      • paul_gs

        Did you even read the article armstp?

        The WSJ article says, some industry players “believe” oil consumption has peaked. As the article goes on to say, the current recession is the cause of the drop in demand.

        Secondly, oil imports from Venezuela and Mexico are declining. The Keystone XL oil would have replaced those declining imports with a new source to supply the US market (and preserve American jobs).

        Of course Valero has always exported a small percentage of their production, anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the issue has known that for years. It remains fact though, that the majority of Keystone XL is to replace declining imports from other nations.

  • Ogemaniac

    “Yet markets continue to work”

    Bull honkey. Quadruple triple bull monkey honkey doo of the highest order. Markets only “work” if the prices are right, and every aspect of fossil fuel use is absolutely loaded with major externatlies that are on the same order as, if not larger than, the nominal “market” prices themselves.

    I am sorry, but your entire argument is epic fail. Please try harder next time.

  • kirk

    Here is a market based argument. Any delay in Keystone is a delay in cap-ex investment in energy infrastructure. As you point out – shale bed methane (aka natural gas) will become a more useful investment in an amazingly short time. When(not if) the cap-ex investment in natural gas production and distribution *across the planet* comes on-line this will be the market choice and the demise of tar-sand based energy production. It simply cost too much to produce a BTU of energy from tar sands with or without government regulation. Delay is sufficient. Delay is a win.

  • paul_gs

    You would need probably a 100,000 miles of pipelines across the USA to get all that natural gas to facilities and ports. Even with oil as the main energy driver, it is estimated that the US will need to construct 35,000 more miles of NG pipeline in the next 15 years.

    With the green whackos calling the shots, what do you think the odds are of all the piplines needed receiving approval to be built?