Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Keystone (not the Kops) XL (not the record label)

What are the odds now, given the results of last week's midterm elections, that President Obama will give his seal of approval, or will it be his veto to the Keystone XL pipeline?

There are small pockets of resistance around in Canada and in the US - even in Texas, in the city of Denton a small group of protesters did their best - see HERE.

Refresher on the Keystone XL pipeline (
see HERE)

What is the Pipeline exactly?

The Keystone Pipeline already exists. What doesn’t exist fully yet is its proposed expansion, the Keystone XL Pipeline. The existing Keystone runs from oil sand fields in Alberta, Canada into the U.S., ending in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The 1,700 new miles of pipeline would offer two sections of expansion. First, a southern leg would connect Cushing, Oklahoma, where there is a current bottleneck of oil, with the Gulf Coast of Texas, where oil refineries abound. That leg went into operation in January 2014. Second, the pipeline would include a new section from Alberta to Kansas. It would pass through Bakken Shale region of eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Here, it will pass through a region where oil extraction is currently booming and take on some of this crude for transport.

The southern leg of the Keystone XL ties into the existing Keystone pipeline that already runs to Canada, bringing up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day to refineries in Texas. At peak capacity, the pipeline will deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day. While the pipeline is initially carried U.S. light crude, it is expected to carry more heavy Canadian oil harvested from tar sands over the next year.

In passionate opposition to this pipeline "The Way of the Warrior" points to one way it might possibly be stopped, or at least construction of it and of other proposed pipelines be slowed down.
The Way of the Warrior: How To Stop A Pipeline by Abby Zimet, staff writer at Common Dreams.
With a newly elected Congress gearing up to pass Keystone, the inspiring story of the Unist'ot'en Camp, an indigenous resistance community established in northwest Canada to protect sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory and blockade up to 10 additional proposed pipelines aimed at expanding Alberta Tar Sands operations. The Uni’stot’en Clan, which has families living in cabins and traditional structures in the direct pathway of the Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails fracking lines, argues that "since time immemorial" they have governed Wet’suwet’en lands, which thus remain unceded and not subject to Canadian law "or other impositions of colonial occupation" - an argument that has been sustained in court cases, and bolstered by the camp's recent peaceable ejection of a drilling crew........."

More strength to all protesters, everywhere!

Dang! If I don't laugh, or at least drag out a wan smile, I'll cry. So...
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this, at a distance of roughly ninety million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet, whose ape descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. This planet has, or had, a problem, which was this. Most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small, green pieces of paper, which is odd, because on the whole, it wasn't the small, green pieces of paper which were unhappy. And so the problem remained, and lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake coming down from the trees in the first place, and some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no-one should ever have left the oceans. And then one day, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl, sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realised what it was that had been going wrong all this time and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no-one would have to get nalied to anything. Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and so the idea was lost forever.”
― Douglas Adams, from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


mike said...

An interesting phenomenon is occurring with current global oil production: price war! OPEC has increased production and lowered the cost per barrel. ISIS is confiscating oil and selling it on the black market. The USA is increasing output. The global economy has slowed allowing oil inventories to surge. It is believed that OPEC is playing its cards to shutter American competition.

There have been various articles in my local newspaper about this situation. Most producers here in TX will stop production if oil decreases to $70 per barrel. Most of Texas' economy is dependent on oil output, so the collapse will have devastating consequences here. TX crude prices have dropped from about $115/barrel mid-year to the current $78/barrel...not much profit in TX oil right now and inventories are backing-up at our ports here in Corpus.

I think that if this continues, whether Keystone is allowed to proceed will simply be a matter of profitability. Congress and-or POTUS may give their blessings, but the project will be temporarily (or permanently) stalled by the economics involved and investor fears of diminished returns. We are currently in an oil bubble.

OPEC meets this month to determine production strategy amongst its members. It's clear that OPEC is willing to sacrifice profits of its members to ensure dominance.


On top of that, OPEC is out for blood.

Saudi Arabia has made it clear that it’s willing to accept much lower prices in order to damage rivals in the United States.

It’s not clear who will win this game of chicken, but someone’s economy is going to suffer."

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Let's hope the Koch brothers are losing their lunch on this decline in oil prices...LOL.

Sonny G said...

anytime the Koch Brothers and LOOSE can be said in a sentence makes me Grin... Just the though of them makes me queasy. talk about Greed personified.. grrrrr

Twilight said...

mike ~ Hmmm - Much of the financial side of it all goes right over my head, mike, so thanks for your additional information on OPEC etc.
I had read that gas prices have tumbled recently to under $3 a gallon - which is ridiculous as compared to what they pay in the UK for petrol.

Prices ought to go up to deter too many unnecessary one-man-one-car journeys, instead, prices are encouraging more solo (and other) driving.

I'd like to feel sympathy for Texas if things go ass about face for them oil-wise, but unless their leaders show a bit of humanity in other areas I can't dredge up much - and certainly none for the Koch Klan.

Twilight said...

Sonny - Me too!

LB said...

Twilight ~ That "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" excerpt reminded me of some of the issues I had with the movie "Interstellar". Which isn't to say it isn't an enjoyable 3 hour *commercial* packed with some amazing special effects - even if I don't happen to believe in the product(s) it's selling.

At one point, Matthew McConaughey's character laments, how in our relationship to Earth, “It’s like we’ve forgotten who we are — explorers, pioneers, not caretakers . . .”

Right then, I leaned over and whispered to my husband, "But we ARE Earth's caretakers."

Twilight said...

LB ~ Hmmm -we haven't forgotten who we are, we've never actually solved that particular conundrum. As our brains developed we (as a species) used them to explore, and are still exploring. Even now in the 21st century, the depths and bed of the Indian Ocean is still unknown territory, currently being scanned for a lost airplane and remains of all on board.

We surely could have worked out that explorers need also to be housekeepers, otherwise the base from which their explorations begin could perish through neglect - as it is beginning to do right now.

Our still developing brains dictated the pace of "progress" at first, but possibly unexpectedly, progress found its own speed and we failed to properly catch up and latch on to its negative effects.

If not us as our planet home's caretakers - then who?

R J Adams said...

One has to wonder whether "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" was the only sane thing ever written. (With the possible exception of 'Learning Curve On The Elliptic' and 'Sparrow Chat', of course).

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Douglas Adams' voice was such a loss. Wonder if you and he were distantly related. ;-)