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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keystone XL..The real story


It's funny how someone can just type a few words without doing any extensive research and the local anti-Obama crowd will just follow along because it's the fun thing to do. I want the jobs just as much as anyone else because I hate to see people unemployed but it's important to see how much politics or other factors play into this. I won't post this at the VA because it'll get butchered by those that don't read and who are much more comfortable with their hate radio talking points. Yes, the case can be made that we have 2 million miles of pipelines carrying crude oil and another 170,000 miles of pipeline carrying petroleum products without incidents. I accept that argument but that doesn't mean that I’m not nervous about a pipeline going over our drinking water.

I just got through reading an article in Austin American Statesman from its editorial board who informed their readers that this project will be delayed but it will NOT be stopped. They explain that the pipeline does have some environmental concerns because of the route that was chosen. It crosses the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer which supplies water to 60 Texas counties. Fights over property rights and eminent domain are at the forefront. This fight is not about liberals or President Obama. It started with the State Department because Canada is involved. It does involve politics at the national front because republicans want to force the president's hands before the project is deemed safe and the concerns of the states are satisfied. Nebraska initially complained about the pipeline route passing over their environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region, under which lies the Ogallala Aquifer. It's funny how people value clean water. If rerouting is a solution, the February 21 deadline the republicans gave the president is not enough time to investigate all the options. There's a lot of territory between Nebraska and Texas. TransCanada can submit another application after Nebraska approves a new pipeline route.

Texans must consider the tradeoffs because extracting bitumen ore from oil sands requires a process similar to strip mining which uses a great deals of energy and water, to process it into transportable form. It does destroy the forests and contributes to climate change. Of course for those who  think climate change is a hoax, it shouldn't bother them at all. Under investigation is the excessive amount of heavy metals being used like mercury polluting the Arctic Ocean destroying the salmon.The extra asphalt from the refining process will find a way to get on our roads and into our surface waters?

It looks like everyone fell for the 20,000 jobs a year but most of those jobs would be temporary and a TransCanada executive told CNN that the permanent jobs would only be in the hundreds.

Another argument is also false because this pipeline will not relieve our dependence on oil from the Middle East. Much of the oil will be refined in East Texas but it will be sold overseas.

President Obama did not cancel the Keystone pipeline; he’s just sticking what he'd said all along, he wants more time to consider the alternate routes. I don't know what wrong with due diligence, it would seem that we want to consider all the options before pulling the trigger. Didn't we learn from Iraq, the 2008 financial crisis, and the BP spill?

That's how I see it...Am I missing something? I 'll be more than happy to read other sources or consider another viewpoint. 


Edith Ann said...

Look at you! 30,000! Congrats!

Okay, I am now 57 years old. I have been connected to oil field stuff since birth. When I was in the 7th grade, I had to do a report on something indiginous to Texas and I chose to write about the petroleum industry. The attitude at the time was we have oil that will last forever.

Fast forward to the early 80's when the oil field 'bottomed out'. It wasn't because there was no oil to be drilled, it was because other places were selling to us cheaper than we could produce it. This was after the Austin Chalk gas discovery. That was small and played out quickly.

I find it amusing today that folks are acting like the Eagle Ford Shale discovery is something new. They have been talking about it for some time and Chesapeake Gas decided to do something with it. Then they decided to sell 34% of any potential to China. (Why don't those screetches on the Advocate ever mention that?)

I truly have no concerns about the actual pipeline transport of the oil and gas. Of course there is always the potential for a problem, but I think over all it is miniscule. I think most folks' fears are fueled (pun intended) by the simple lack of factual knowledge.

I fully realize that I am biased. The oil field has been very good to my family--my father had a logging and perforating business, my ex-husband sold oil field equipment, I was a secretary for a local logging and perforating company and one of my sons now works for a gas compressor manufacturer.

I absolutely support finding other viable sources of energy, but don't kill what we have to force it.

Mike said...

Thanks EA

How about an ounce of prevention? Why not reroute the pipeline around our ground water if at all possible? let's not build nuclear reactors over fault lines and let's put the water pumps where they won't be flooded.

It's OK to be biased but don't let it get in the way of a workable solution...:-)

This is my outlook...An oil company tells us that they want to build a pipe line through Victoria...I don't see anything wrong with inviting the environmentalist,concerned citizens, and experts from the oil company to a meeting to discuss a path forward...

Edith Ann said...

Sometimes I get so carried away trying to make a point, I forget the point...I must have been having a Rick Perry moment.

No, I completely agree that the--shall we call it--most sensible route for something like this needs to be taken. Of course--just becaus the shortest and straighest route might take it though the center of San Antonio...yeah.

And I can go with letting the thinking heads come together to figure this out--a necessary evil, but almost certain to bog things down.

Let me share this with you and anyone who might read. I know you heard about the tanker over-turning at 111 and 183 (inexperienced trucker, in my opinion, based on what I now have to put up with on the 183 every week). Heading north on 183, just before the 111 intersection, we were diverted behind the little post office there, through Hochheim and were then directed over 111 to FM 443. I had to take 443 to 90A, 12 miles west of Gonzales on the Shiner Highway. It added 25 miles (round trip) to my weekly trip. It was inconvenient and made me late to an appointment.

Here's the good side--

When you travel 183, you see a very small portion, although it seems like a lot, of the busy-ness of this EFS stuff.

When you take the route I had to take yesterday, first, you are elevated and can look down on the country side. I knew the EFS stuff was big--I keep up, but it is HUGE! When you can actually look at it, it is huge! Rigs and holding tanks everywhere!

And you can see the pipe line. It is like in the cartoons where the mole is digging and raising a furrow. You can see where it zigs and zags. It is very intersting. For those folks who like to take a Sunday drive, I seriously suggest that you take this route and see what all the fuss around here is about. My route was 145 miles round trip and took about an hour and a half one way. FM 443 is twisty and snakey and full of pot holes (thank you oil field trucks), but it's not bad.

Mike said...

Thanks EA, I will take that drive, the week before the Super Bowl of course..:-)

I don't know the first thing about the oil industry but I know it's necessary for now and I also know that they have powerful lobbyists to keep us addicted to fossil fuels until we run empty and we don't have a viable option because of them. I also know that it's an environmental hazard but as long as we have an abundance of it and it remains cheap, innovators for an alternative source won't be as an enthused.

Mike said...

And now it's time for one of those "off topic" comments.

The GOP  has a huge problem because Newt won BIG and takes that momentum to Florida. If Newt wins there the established GOP will panic and start scrambling for answers. Newt is on "Meet the Press" this morning,where he might go off the rails again...He can't stand ever sustain his front runner status because of his big mouth...If he gets the nomination ,'I see my Democrats winning the house,senate, and presidency.

Mike said...

I want to get this off my mind so I will use my personal blog to do this.

Yesterday,in a troll like way,rollingstone asked vet43 if President Obama loved America.
I usually consider the source and move on but how can anyone like rollingstone be so naive? His hate overrides any basic logic. Any president has to love his country; sure some might say it's a quest for power and to satisfy an ego but that person and has to be available 24/7 to make critical decisions that will be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb. Look at an American president before he goes into office and after. There are a lot of perks but they earn every penny of it; I can only imagine how much Maalox they go through. ...That's my take and I never mentioned their family.

Mike said...

No time to write a blog..Too busy reading about the GOP presidential candidates going wild in Florida..Democrats stand back and let the circular firing squad begin...The wacky one, Michelle Bachmann, said the Roe v Wade will be repealed next year, Ron Paul will make the debate,won't spend money on ads in Florida and won't even be there for the primary vote.Santorum is being Santorum and Newt & Romney are having hourly name calling sound bites.

Mike said...

I forgot to add what Santorum said "Last Friday, CNN’s Piers Morgan asked Santorum to clarify his reasoning behind such a callous position. Insisting that “it’s not a matter of religious values,” Santorum explained that sexual assault victims should “accept this horribly created” pregnancy because it is “nevertheless a gift in a very broken way” and that, when it comes down to it, a victim just has “to make the best out of a bad situation“:

Then he wants the doctor who perform abortions to go to jail.

We do have some single issue voters there ,even if they trample on a woman's reproductive rights.