Friday, February 01, 2013

Obama Delays Keystone XL Decision

"We're talking the beginning of summer at the earliest," said the source, who did not want to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the TransCanada Corp project, which has been pending for more than four and a half years. "It's not weeks until the final decision. It's months."

Here's the most important bit from the piece:

"The fact the administration is taking its time suggests ... that it wants to succeed with an airtight story that pleases the primary concerns of both sides," said Kevin Book, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners in Washington.

...which is to say that, whatever he decides in the end, Obama has no reason to short-circuit the process; deciding before the game has been played out would, in the case of a yes decision, inflame environmentalists, who will say that he has caved to the oil industry.

In fact I would not bet on a decision this year.  Finding a new route that is empirically safer than the old is not as easy as it sounds.

4 comments:

meadowlark said...

When we see the disasters in Australia, America, China and Africa to name a few. Pollution is becoming deadly. The dirty Bitumen of the tar sands, has the potential to destroy this entire planet.

Chinese people can't even go outside, the pollution index is off the charts. If we want a planet left to live on, we had better use renewable energy, no matter how much big oil squeals at the trough. 40% of China's farmland is polluted. Their water is unfit to drink in many places in China.

This is utter nonsense. This planet being destroyed because, of out and out greed. Time to shut the tar sands down. Alberta's lakes are all being polluted by the tar sands. How stupid can Premier Redford and Harper be? Enough of their stupidity, is enough.

Paul Kuster said...

Big Oil is Big Wind. Suncor, a major player in the Oil Sands, has a big stake in the K2 wind development project in Ont. The massive subsidies received for the power produced, helps go to help finance these operations in Alta. Same for Enbridge. Yes that Enbridge of Kalamazoo fame. Their stake in the Underwood wind development grosses them around $20 million a year in subsidies coming from my pocket and yours.
As for China, the toxic farmlands and water are a direct result of our demand for rare earth metals in our electronics such as cell phones , computers and interestingly enough wind generators. One ton of neodymium is used per megawatt of a wind generator. That's a lot of cell phones worth. But, that's China and as such, out of sight, out of mind.
I don't think one could make the case that the Oil Sands is the enormous environmental bogeyman it's been made out to be. Can you name the lakes that are now irreparably destroyed now from Oil Sands activity? As a consumer of fossil fuel products,like many others, I understand the trade-offs and realize that fossil fuels developed in Canada are much more beneficial than depending on other jurisdictions like Nigeria.
If you like, I can provide the math and links to my claims regarding China and the wind turbines.

bigcitylib said...

You may provide links if you wish.

Paul Kuster said...

Here's a link to the environmental havoc in China;

http://quixoteslaststand.com/2012/02/01/the-effects-of-wind-turbines-in-china-pollution-on-a-disastrous-scale/

The Enbridge wind development in Underwood, (Lake Huron shore between Kincardine and Port Elgin) has a nameplate capacity of 181.5mw. In it's best year, 2010, it produced 382,883mw of power representing 24% of capacity. Even at that level of production, the payment for that power amounted to $ 51.7 million. Take away what the Bruce "A" units would've received for that power, $28.7 million, Enbridge gets approx $23 million extra in subsidies from Ont taxpayers. All for a 181.5mw development running at 24% efficiency in it's best year.
The other installations run between 21%-27% efficiency and currently there's 2000mw installed capacity to date. The goal is for 10,000mw. Do the math. Suncor, Enbridge, Nextera and others will be taking out of the province, amounts in the billions per year for 20 plus years for power that for one we don't need and two, is so useless and unreliable.
We can of course have the debate as to where to spend that money otherwise, health, education, infrastructure, but at least it would stay in Ontario.