Keystone draft report

david52 Zone 6March 2, 2013


"As one would expect, the report is thorough. It notes that some 15,493 acres would be disturbed during construction - an area of about 24 square miles - and that the pipeline would cross over 1,000 bodies of water. It articulates the native species of plants and animals that would be effected by construction. And - of most concern to environmentalists - it considers how the project will affect and be affected by climate change. The project will create 240,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas while being built, and another 3.19 million metric tons each year thereafter - a figure that is less than one percent of the emissions from the country's coal-fired power plants.

Perhaps the most ironic part of the report is its assessment of what damage the pipeline might see at the hands of climate change. After outlining what climate change is expected to bring to the United States (warmer temperatures, more wildfires, etc.), it notes:

The pipeline would be buried deep enough to avoid surface impacts of climate changes (freeze-thaw cycles, fires, and temperature extremes).
This will no doubt be a great relief to activists.

But, as with nearly every part of this hard-fought issue, the report released today isn't a clear cut victory for either side. The Washington Post notes that the report undermines one of the key economic arguments made by pipeline proponents.

[T]he detailed environmental report - which runs close to 2,000 pages long - also questions one of the strongest arguments for the pipeline, by suggesting America can meet its energy needs over the next decade without it. The growth in rail transport of oil from western Canada and the Bakken Formation on the Great Plains and other pipelines, the analysis says, could meet the countryâÂÂs energy needs for the next decade, even if Keystone XL never gets built.

The on-going delay in construction of the pipeline has led to a significant over-supply of tar sands oil in Alberta, causing prices to plummet and, according to some analysts, threatening the long-term economic viability of the project. The State Department's analysis above offers another reason for pessimism: even if built, the market may not return.

Critics will also cite the report's determination that construction would create about 42,000 jobs - but only 35 long-term.

snip end quote.

this does not mention that the current US pipeline system is being very heavily used by the North Dakota oil boom.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

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We continue to speed up the pace of our destruction. I'm convinced we have no clue how to conduct our affairs at these scales. Our hunter-gatherer brains aren't evolved to this degree.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 12:18PM
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It's quite depressing, isn't it?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Geologically, it is what it is. For humanity, it sure is depressing.

Yet here I am teaching two classes in earth sciences to kids this month. At least there's hope when there's nothing else rational or sensible to go on.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 12:58PM
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Well, at least we now have the information and supported data to teach our youth! I call that a positive!

The negative is... greed will always exist, and without having practically the entire world on the same page, we won't be able to slow the ruination of our only planet. As a Grandmother, this worries me.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 4:18PM
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I think this report could provide President Obama with some cover to finally approve the KXL.
He may finally succumb to and withering pressure from the oil industry, special interest groups, and Republican lawmakers.

"ThereâÂÂs an even bigger reason to oppose the pipeline, one that should be on the minds of even those of us who live thousands of miles away: AlbertaâÂÂs tar sands are the continentâÂÂs biggest carbon bomb. Indeed, theyâÂÂre the second largest pool of carbon on planet Earth, following only Saudi ArabiaâÂÂs slowly dwindling oilfields.

If you could burn all the oil in those tar sands, youâÂÂd run the atmosphereâÂÂs concentration of carbon dioxide from its current 390 parts per million (enough to cause the climate havoc weâÂÂre currently seeing) to nearly 600 parts per million, which would mean if not hell, then at least a world with a similar temperature. It wonâÂÂt happen overnight, thank God, but according to the planetâÂÂs most important climatologist, James Hansen, burning even a substantial portion of that oil would mean it was âÂÂessentially game overâ for the climate of this planet."

Here is a link that might be useful: The Great Carbon Bomb

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:56PM
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Cover, Obama? not so quick...

2 Mar 2013 12:59 PM
Van Jones: Keystone XL would be âÂÂthe Obama PipelineâÂÂ
By Lisa Hymas
Activist and former White House adviser Van Jones came out swinging against the Keystone XL pipeline Friday night on CNN, warning that if it's approved it would be a big black mark on President Obama's legacy. His comments came a few hours after the State Department released a draft environmental impact statement finding that the proposed pipeline wouldn't have excessive environmental or climate effects. Jones:

What happens if you've got the Obama Pipeline -- now it's the Obama Pipeline -- and it leaks? His legacy could be the worst oil disaster in American farmland history. ...

If after he gave that speech for his inauguration, the first thing he does is approve a pipeline bringing tar sands through America ... the first thing that pipeline runs over is the credibility of the president on his climate policy. ...

The Obama Tar-Sands Pipeline should not the legacy of the president that gave that speech.

Watch the whole segment: "

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:39AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Let's ban coal here and export it. Let someone else be held accountable for global warming.

Let's provide a pipeline for Keystone Crude and export it. Let someone else be held accountable for global warming.

and on and on we go....climate change has become nothing more than a talking point for politicians who don't have the courage to face the consequences and impact of change.

After all these years of science, discovery and debate, we push forward with oil exports, coal exports, and oil and coal exploration.

And we wonder why the gasoline engine will predominate production for the next decade or more?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:59AM
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