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Pierce writes: "One of the major arguments proposed for building the Keystone XL pipeline, the death-funnel through the spine of the country that will bring the dirtiest fossil fuel in the history of man all the way down to Texas, is that it, somehow, will magically lower gas prices in this country. Uh, maybe not so much."

  (illustration: 350.org)
(illustration: 350.org)


How the Keystone Pipeline Would Raise Gas Prices

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

22 July 13

 

ne of the major arguments proposed for building our old friend, the Keystone XL pipeline, the death-funnel through the spine of the country that will bring the dirtiest fossil fuel in the history of man all the way down to Texas, and thence to the world, is that it, somehow, will magically lower gas prices in this country and also somehow magically make the people who run oil companies less of the greedy, grasping vulture bastards that we have come to know them to be.

Uh, maybe not so much.

The true goal of multinational oil companies and Canadian politicians backing the pipeline is to reach export outlets outside the U.S. for tar sands oil and refined fuels, which would drive up the oil's price.

And that's always been the Canadian in the woodpile right there. We have to risk, among other things, a slice of the Oglalla Aquifer so a company from the Great White North can sell its ghastly slop to the Chinese. And we have to risk that because the Canadians will be damned if they're going to risk it.

Political leaders in the Canadian province of British Columbia have officially opposed plans for a major new tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta through their province to the Pacific Coast. Two other similar proposals may meet the same fate, and are certainly years in the future. This Canadian opposition increases the motivation of tar sands investors and developers and to get Keystone XL built as sure access to overseas markets.

'Twas always thus, by the way. Canadian energy companies look at the United States the way our companies look at, oh, Nigeria or somewhere.


 

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+27 # listentome 2013-07-22 16:27
You have forgotten The Keystone Express tar sands pipeline from Portland to Montreal (reversal pipeline) with its heated diluted bitumen (very dangerous)must be assessed by Exon/Mobil as greatest profit ever from the poorest states in the US, whereby the watersheds and farmlands will be threatened with permanent impacts in a likely breakage as 350 and NRDC Keystone researches have noted and which have been on the rise.

Tourism and some farming is the only economy in the region.

Green Mt. Power devastated the mountains of the NE Kingdom with over 35 giant towers in the poorest communities in the Northern part of the United States and rammed through the permits despite large protests with sparse population.
Citizens did not object to alternative energy, just to taking a bankrupt town and zero tax bribes without a decent citizen process to cover two very pristine mountain ranges which I see daily from my driveway, and then there were no jobs and the energy savings did not benefit residents outside of tax- all false promises by Green Mountain Power.
We do need WIND power, but not this way.
 
 
+22 # charsjcca 2013-07-22 17:23
Americans need a new lifestyle. Our issue is our consumption of energy resources. Stop the using and the issue melts away.
 
 
+10 # Cailleach 2013-07-23 11:55
The thing most people don't realize is that a spill from any bitumen pipeline in this country will destroy any underground aquifer
the runs under any part of the pipeline. This will raise food prices hugely, because nothing will grow in the affected areas.

Famine, anyone?
 
 
+4 # Mannstein 2013-07-23 19:59
If we continue to use water the way we have there will be no aquifer to pollute. Maybe then the Canadians will sell us some of their water. If not we can always Drone them for Democracy.
 
 
+6 # Mannstein 2013-07-23 19:57
You guys are all the same. You claim to want wind power but not in your back yard. Reminds me of a woman I met at the town dump a while ago. She was petitioning for signatures to keep cell phone towers out of our town. When I asked her why she has a cell phone which she was prominently wearing on her belt her remark was "Oh that's so I can talk to my kids." Go figure!
 
 
+2 # NAVYVET 2013-07-26 18:22
Green Mountain Power is a dubious corporation. They suckered me into signing up briefly several years ago, but I think they (at least temporarily) folded in my state. I was a professional alternate energy environmentalis t for 14 years, and I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM. Nothing but promises, unfulfilled.
Shady dealers can arise anywhere and it would be about the millionth time that one has sneaked into a technology that draws enthusiasts. However, that doesn't tarnish the GOOD, HONEST, COMPETENT wind power and solar power companies & electric utilities that provide from renewable resources--and there are plenty of those.
 
 
+14 # Padre Art 2013-07-22 16:37
I would suggest that Chas Pierce, Esq. needs to look at who controls the petroleum industry in Canada. It is not Canadians but Americans. Yes, we in BC have turned down the Northern Gateway line for several reasons, lack of consultation with First Nations, danger to the fishing industry, danger to the ports and channel through which megatankers will sail. We, unfortunately have a government in Canada that is pushing the oil industry for its own reasons. But if Chas.P. really knew much about Canada, he would not have made much of the argument he presented.
 
 
+10 # kochadoodledoo 2013-07-23 04:54
Interesting. Thanks for that perspective.
 
 
+6 # Mannstein 2013-07-23 20:02
As a matter of fact the same can be said for a large number of other Canadian resource industries.
 
 
+1 # NAVYVET 2013-07-26 18:24
Explain, please, why your government is so much under the big fat rear end of Big Fossil Fuel?
 
 
+24 # Eliza D 2013-07-22 17:01
Then again, the Koch brothers, our Congress, and Obama look at the US as,oh, Nigeria or somewhere too. Fight,fight, fight!
 
 
+26 # joyce4680 2013-07-22 17:22
Are they aware that the Ogallala Aquifer is ALREADY low? Agricultural use has dropped the water level such that the aquifer is now being "mined", meaning that more water is withdrawn than is replenished by precipitation. This cannot be allowed to happen because the whole area will suffer from lack of water!
 
 
+11 # Walter J Smith 2013-07-22 22:40
The truth is only relevant to them when it is told contrary to their wishes - as Snowden has done, as Bradley Manning and others have done.

The truth about what they are doing is meaningless until it is revealed in public.

Then it is terrorism against the US.
 
 
+31 # Todd Williams 2013-07-22 17:24
Oh, so it's wind power, but not in my backyard? Sorry, I can't buy into that way of thinking. Which would you prefer, a coal power plant or a nuclear cooling tower or wind mills? Are you willing to give up your electricity to avoid seeing power generation? Are you reading this on a computer? Well turn the damn thing off now! You're using power that had to be generated somehow and somewhere. I happen to prefer wind and solar to any other way of generation now existing. As a matter of fact, wind and solar energy are sent into the power grid and used all over the US. You don't know where the electricity used in your house is generated. It could be on the mountain top that you see or from a solar array in California or a wind farm in Wyoming. If we are ever to achieve freedom from coal, then we need to think outswide of the box and maybe sacrifice something for the public's good. I am willing to do so. Are you?
 
 
-50 # arlenhersh@yahoo.com 2013-07-22 18:07
Just read Pierce "Esquire's" diatribe on the Keystone Pipeline. So much for thoughtful, intelligent reporting.

The bias is so clear it's simply not worth responding to, except to acknowledge it for the baseless garbage it is.

AH
 
 
+23 # Todd Williams 2013-07-22 20:40
Refute one fact in that article. Bet you can't. It's true.
 
 
+9 # soularddave 2013-07-22 22:32
Its NOT "baseless", and he makes some of the points as to WHY and HOW. The only point you make is that you disagree. WHY? HOW? WHO are you?
 
 
+2 # kochadoodledoo 2013-07-23 04:57
Could you please explain further?
 
 
-24 # Quickmatch 2013-07-22 19:03
"The Keystone XL pipeline, the death-funnel through the spine of the country that will bring the dirtiest fossil fuel in the history of man all the way down to Texas, and thence to the world." Man I'm getting to tired of politically wired hyperbole from the left and right. "Death funnel", comeon! Dirtiest fossil fuel in history? Somebody got to give me a comparison between Alberta tar sand and what's coming out of the Wyoming and Montana strip mines before I accept that.
 
 
+10 # soularddave 2013-07-22 23:09
Quoting Quickmatch:
Somebody got to give me a comparison between Alberta tar sand and what's coming out of the Wyoming and Montana strip mines before I accept that.


That's fair. Some of us have been following this for a very long time, but we shouldn't assume that everyone's understanding "tar sands" like some others do.

First, let me say that I've worked with bitumen and asphalt. Its nearly the same stuff. When bitumen is heated to make it soft enough to work with or shove through a pipe, it gives off vapors. These vapors BURN and make the skin red, like a fast and severe sunburn. You can feel it burning your insides if your mask doesn't fit well.

The "tar sands" of which we speak must be refined, using much heat, and water to wash the sand away so the abrasive nature of the sand doesn't grind away the inside of the pipe. It takes a LOT of fuel to heat large quantities of tar sand as it comes from the earth, and that's a polluting process in its self. The oil soaked sand has to stay in Canada, and it's put in large reservoirs to be forgotten. Those "lakes" won't grow much, but birds do get in them and get covered and weighted down by the tar (they die). Remember how prehistoric animals got caught in the LaBrea Tar Pits in L.A.?

So this "refined" bitumen goes into the pipe or tank car. It gets like cold molasses or even harder as it cools to ambient temperature - so it doesn't flow, except under high pressure.
 
 
+2 # mdhome 2013-07-26 05:24
No disagreement, but if they feel it must be dug out of the ground, why don't they refine it at the source? At least a leak would be less toxic. I rather think it should be left where they found it.
 
 
+8 # soularddave 2013-07-22 23:29
Continuing...

It has to be heated in the pipes bu burning more energy and that pollutes the air more; just to get the stuff to flow. It has to flow a long way, too!

So we have: TOXIC TO LIVING THINGS
ENERGY INTENSIVE REFINING and with that, AIR POLLUTING.

Now on the economic side of the proposition, "they" promote Jobs and prosperity. Well, it seems like... Not so much. Temporary jobs to the crews that follow the construction, but not many for the people in the affected areas along the pipeline. Local revenue for the completed pipeline? Well... as little as possible, per whatever agreement is brokered by the mega corporations.

Now the risk - to those who get little more. Those pipelines are always problematical, and IF there develops a problem - Ohhh what a mess! Usually a toxic mess that KILLS everything in the stream until it gets cleaned up. Have you ever heard of a spill that got cleaned up to everyone's' satisfaction? Ask some fish, or the kids who USED TO fish in the polluted streams! The bigger problem lies in the chance of polluting the Ogalala aquifer. It's the largest (underground) aquifer in America, and millions of people depend on its diminishing capacity to provide water for people, livestock, and crops. A spill could wipe out a whole region's agricultural economy.

Someone else can please describe the little benefit that might show up in the USA.
 
 
+9 # kochadoodledoo 2013-07-23 04:58
Gee, I thought "death funnel" was a great description.
 
 
+27 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-07-22 20:22
Boycott the corporations that are killing us. Vote the leeches out of politics. Wake up America.
 
 
+9 # kochadoodledoo 2013-07-23 04:59
Can we fit all that on a bumper sticker?
 
 
-11 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-22 22:18
Natural gas is the current best option and oil and green energy. How about national run oil? Oh only commies do that sort of thing. Demonizing the oil companies does not solve anything. It's the lesser of evils. Right now natural gas. This article and most don't explain enough about what Keystone will do. I say a political movement make them pay us to use states lands to move the goods. Better yet. All governors should drill in their states and get as independant as possible. As a result their states will become wealthy. Then the power of that wealth to influence the electorate. hey isn't that what the Bush's did to us via Texas!!!!
 
 
+11 # 6thextinction 2013-07-23 08:56
do you have children? grandchildren? heard of present water shortages? global warming? scientific predictions for the end of the 21st century?

you and your comrades are a small minority, thank god.
 
 
-9 # BKnowswhitt 2013-07-23 22:01
the truth is the planet has cooled since 2002 - there are 1000 or more real scientists who study this stuff. And money is power. Get rid of everything modern go back live in the woods and stick your head in the sand ...
 
 
+1 # NAVYVET 2013-07-26 18:32
BK etc: I think you are overdoing the Borowitz imitations. Nobody is getting the point.
 
 
+1 # NAVYVET 2013-07-26 18:31
Quoting BKnowswhitt:
Natural gas is the current best option and oil and green energy. How about national run oil? Oh only commies do that sort of thing. Demonizing the oil companies does not solve anything. It's the lesser of evils. Right now natural gas. This article and most don't explain enough about what Keystone will do. I say a political movement make them pay us to use states lands to move the goods. Better yet. All governors should drill in their states and get as independant as possible. As a result their states will become wealthy. Then the power of that wealth to influence the electorate. hey isn't that what the Bush's did to us via Texas!!!!


I think this is a classic example of exaggeration for the sake of cutting edge SARCASM. Get a sense of humnor, folks. I thought it was pretty clever. People take Andy Borowitz seriously, too! Sheesh.
 
 
+9 # gdp1 2013-07-23 10:16
....Toxify Oglalla....at your own risk......the LARGEST aquifer in North America.....no more irrigation, drinking water, and, bottled water is suddenly OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE....it 'll kill your dog, and your kids.....and you.....To even consider that this is a good idea....is final, total and complete of stupidity....or , corruption.....
 

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