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Letters to the Editor

Pipeline decision

January 21, 2012

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To the editor:

I am writing to express my support for President Obama’s decision to deny permission for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline, which is designed to take Canadian tars ands oil to Texas for refining and export, poses a danger to the ecology of the state of Kansas by crossing some of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the state, including the Flint Hills and the Ogallala Aquifer; a spill would endanger the drinking water and agricultural irrigation of millions of people in the region. Also, the tapping of this particularly energy-intensive form of oil would release hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon into the atmosphere, adding to the climate change that is already occurring and leading to what NASA climatologist James Hansen called “game over” for the environment.

Despite inflated jobs claims from the oil industry, the pipeline would provide at most a few thousand temporary construction jobs, and virtually none of those in Kansas. There is far more potential for job development in the transition to wind, solar and other clean, renewable and domestic sources of energy. Taking this farsighted approach would be better for Kansas, for the country and for Creation.

Comments

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

In other pipeline news, Warren Buffett makes even more money from the decision of his good buddy. http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/24/at-least-somebody-benefited-from-obamas-no-on-keystone-xl/

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jayhawxrok 2 years, 2 months ago

The pipeline would not have done any of the miraculous things the Big Oil liars claim but we can count on all the faux snooze parrots to repeat their claims ad nauseum.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

DougCounty (anonymous) replies… I'm a bit disappointed with your attitude--

Moderate Responds.

You seem to be very loaded against my comments. I did not support doing this I observed it is being done in another country and that our actions are unlikely to change what is being done.

In my youth I spent time up there and am very much aware of the fragile environment just not from a book - from people who live there/

Our northern neighbors are not known for being insensitive. If they think they can manage it are we being "ugly" Americans messing with them. After all they can run the pipeline to their west coast and even build refineries there. Would that not be an environmental disaster?

Is there a compromise anywhere here before we get an uncontrolled outcome?

My "shoot foot" comment referenced the authors tie to renewable energy which IMHO is not directly related to this debate. Renewables are not the answer to everything - at least not yet

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

I think that future generations might very well despise us for our lack of foresight on conservation and environmental protection issues. We may be handing them a terrible mess.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 2 months ago

I read that sometime in the future we will need to build fresh water pipelines from Canada because they have a large surplus of fresh water.

If we want to create jobs from building large piplelines we only need to wait a few years because our reservoirs and our rivers are drying up and cities in places like Nevada, Arizona and Southern California to name a few are going to be in dire straits.

Canceling this pipeline for further study is not a big deal at all. In the larger perspective, this is about the size of a pimple compared to the problems our kids are going to face very soon.

We may not be able to find the lying and stealing politicians to blame in about 20 years from now, but we will want to pee on their graves.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

camper, the canadian leader is a conservative. so much so that the bush label was used as an albatross to slander the guy with in recent elections. steven harper is his name I think. The cannucks can accurately blame bush but the tealicans here have amnesia and blame the leader who inherited the bush mess because they know no better and have racist tendencies. that part of canada is in the hillbilly belt of canada. rednecks and tribes on the prairie except in places like wennipeg, saskatoon, regina, and calgary. money speaks and common sense walks there.

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

The solar power plants in the mojave desert, to my knowledge, actually use mirror systems to concentrate sun rays and direct it to create steam. It is like the experiment we used to do as kids with a magnifying glass. I think 354 megawatts is the equivalent of a mid-size coal powered plant. There is promise.

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

From Wikipedia snap:

There are several solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which supply power to the electricity grid. Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is the name given to nine solar power plants in the Mojave Desert which were built in the 1980s. These plants have a combined capacity of 354 megawatts (MW) making them the largest solar power installation in the world.[1] Nevada Solar One is a solar thermal plant with a 64 MW generating capacity, located near Boulder City, Nevada.[2] The Copper Mountain Solar Facility is a 48 MW photovoltaic power plant in Boulder City, Nevada.[3]

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey, Germany, how's the solar energy thing coming along? "...Solar energy has the potential to become the most expensive mistake in German environmental policy..." Read all about it at http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,809439,00.html

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

And other reason. Apparently, the Obama administration's decision drew criticism from the Canadian Prime Minister. I don't know about anyone else, but this irritates me a little. Since when does Canada pressure the United States? To take the risk a spill will would cause?

I would be happy when the decision is finalized, that we say to Canada "No Thanks". A few thousand temporary construction jobs does not comensate for the long-term risk the US would inherit.

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

Here are some more reasons to not encourage the use of oil derived from tar sands:

a) Natural gas is needed (depending on the depth of the bitumen) to generate steam in order to warm it up enough to extract. For every three barrels of oil derived, the equivalent of one is used in extraction. Using a cleaner fuel such as natural gas to produce a dirtier crude makes no sense. Furthermore, natural gas must be piped in (from a different pipeline alltogether!) to achieve this mining of tar sand.

b) For every barrel of oil refined from Alberta's tar sands, four tons of dirt, rock, and bitumen must be dug up in the process. At current production levels, this is enough waste to fill Yankee stadium every two days.

c) Canadian communities near the mining areas are afflicted with high rates of debilitating illnesses such as rare cancers, lupus, lymphomas, leukemia, and autoimmune diseases. In the formerly pristine region of Fort Chipewayne and Fort McMurray Alberta, fresh water can no longer be used. It must come from a treatment plant. The once blue river in the area can no longer be fished. It is now brown. There is an oily scum that floats on top of your glass if you still drink the water.

d) Mining tar sands is also water intensive! Twice as much is used for this oil than the residents of Alberta Canada use in a single year. The water use also creates other problems because it drains the Canadian aquifer, the wastewater resulting from the mining must be cleaned via water treatment if it is treated at all. Much of the wastewater is diverted to poisonus tailings ponds.

All of the above was paraphrased or taken directly from the following book "Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal", Michael Brune. It provides much awareness to the actual effects of our energy usage....something we don't often think about when we fill up at the pump. The time is now to start introducing cleaner energy infrastructure systems for the future. Going to tar sand is a step backward!

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purplesage 2 years, 2 months ago

I suggest that all of y'all who are so opposed to the pipeline turn off your fossil fuel furnaces and quit driving automobiles. Otherwise, you can't continue to complain about efforts at exploration or transportation of oil and gas to the places where it is used.

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Phoenixman 2 years, 2 months ago

Obama promised that his election would bring a halt to the rising oceans, etc, etc. He did it!! Last year global temperatures were down!! He is a god...All worship Obama.

Newt or Romney or Santorum 2012

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

All the opinions are much appreciated, but the fact is, this is solely a political move by The Anointed One to appease his extremist left-wing environmentalists base in an election year.....nothing more, nothing less.

He will desperately need each and every vote he can muster. This also shows how much he could give a flying fig about America's best interests.

History? He has made history alright.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Do we understand what we did here? The pipeline will now go west to the Pacific. The tar sand will be developed. We have simply avoided new spills on our turf. (there already is a pipeline)..

Apparently there is a disconnect as wind and solar energy are not really alternate solutions for what we use petroleum to power (cars, industry). They, hopefully, will avoid coal fired solutions. Otherwise natural gas (we have a lot of that) will be our solution.

I hope we all feel better. Pull pistol, cock, shoot foot!

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Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

Tar sand oil puts out three times the carbon dioxide as regular oil. The damage the extraction work does is worse than strip mining and mountain top removing. The jobs are there as long as construction occurs and then then jobs are gone. How can dimwits call jobs creating by stimulus failure when the life expectency on these jobs is just as temporary....of course no one can reason with dimwits who don't read national geographic and probably don't read at all. Why reason with deniers....just beat them in an election and leave them as angry and misinformed as they sound now on the outside looking in with their crazy uninformed opinions.

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mloburgio 2 years, 2 months ago

Key Facts on Keystone XL

Keystone XL will not lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but transport Canadian oil to American refineries for export to overseas markets.

Keystone XL is an export pipeline. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.

Gas prices: Keystone XL will increase gas prices for Americans—Especially Farmers By draining Midwestern refineries of cheap Canadian crude into export-oriented refineries in the Gulf Coast, Keystone XL will increase the cost of gas for Americans. TransCanada’s 2008 Permit Application states “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil.

Jobs: TransCanada’s jobs projections are vastly inflated.

In 2008, TransCanada’s Presidential Permit application for Keystone XL to the State Department indicated “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” to build the pipeline. According to TransCanada’s own data, just 11% of the construction jobs on the Keystone I pipeline in South Dakota were filled by South Dakotans–most of them for temporary, low-paying manual labor.

Safety: A rupture in the Keystone XL pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 2 million people.

The U.S. Pipeline Safety Administration has not yet conducted an in depth analysis of the safety of diluted bitumen (raw tar sands) pipeline, despite unique safety concerns posed by its more corrosive properties. TransCanada predicted that the Keystone I pipeline would see one spill in 7 years. In fact, there have been 12 spills in 1 year. The company was ordered to dig up 10 sections of pipe after government-ordered tests indicated that defective steel may have been used. KeystoneXL will use steel from the same Indian manufacturer. Keystone XL will cross through America’s agricultural heartland, the Missouri and Niobrara Rivers, the Ogallala aquifer, sage grouse habitat, walleye fisheries and more.

http://www.tarsandsaction.org/spread-the-word/key-facts-keystone-xl/

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Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

I love the enviro-whacko viewpoint. Thanks for the morning laugh. Best yet this is just another nail in the Obam '12 election joke. No real progress with unemployment and high gas prices is a sure combination to get him out of office. Best idea Obama's had since he's been in office.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 2 months ago

The cynical political game that Obama is playing with the very important Keystone Pipeline, instead of doing what any capable U.S. President would have done long ago, is one of the most shameful acts of his failed presidency.

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

A. Oh yeah! There's a pipeline spill every other day practically B. If some other nation burns the oil up, somehow magically, it does not release carbon. C. China needs the oil more than we do since they're about to surpass us as a world power.

Shalom chaverim.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 2 months ago

There is a an oil glut in the Midwest right now because producers cant find truckers to haul the oil out of Cushing, Ok and Tex. An oil well I am involved in was shut down because we had no drivers. We had 30 truckers apply for jobs and not 1 passed the drug test. A lot of trucking outfits and independents pulled out of Texas and Ok and headed to the Dakotas where truckers are making $125k but living in their trucks because there is no housing or rooms in the areas available. Is the pipeline going to help this problem, yes. Will the pipleline get oil to the gulf faster and cheaper, yes. Will our oil end up over seas, yes. Will our gas at the pump go up? Neglibible amount if any. The current pipeline owners have a monopoly. It's illegal but there is collusion. Price of oil will be cheaper with another major pipline player. The commodities traders manipulate the prices of oil and gas, not the producers. If current suppply was dictating crude oil prices on Wall St, crude would be trading at $45 a barrel. News like Iran and blockades drives the prices up and it's an event that has not happened and most likely will not happen. Crude went up $10 on that news and has not come back down. Blame Wall St., not the producers. As far as jobs, it will create jobs. How many? Who knows. The ecological impact debate. Of course their is an implied risk but everything in life worth doing is a risk. I can't think off hand of any type of lucrative invesment where there is not a risk. I believe that living like Chicken Little and thinking the sky is falling all the time is not a very productive approach to living.

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thuja 2 years, 2 months ago

"This decision is totally about getting Obama elected again!"

No, this decision is about us being totally addicted to oil and the delusions associated with such addiction.

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501gdm2 2 years, 2 months ago

This decision is totally about getting Obama elected again! Like several of his decisions, it's not good for America! The pipe line should have been approved and he hasn't to this day made a decision without trying to blame someone else for his decision. He needs to go!

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501gdm2 2 years, 2 months ago

This decision is totally about getting Obama elected again! Like several of his decisions, it's not good for America! The pipe line should have been approved and he hasn't to this day made a decision without trying to blame someone else for his decision. He needs to go!

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 2 months ago

Obama (or whomever) will approve it, in 2013.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, it would be better for the pipeline to not be built. (Maybe.)

And it would also be better if we all would refrain from driving our cars any more than is actually necessary.

There is another factor to be considered. And that is, since the pipeline is not going to be built across the United States, the fuels derived from the tar sands will be sold in Asia instead of here. That has already been announced.

Of course, that will free up other sources of crude oil for our purposes, but it's important that any decision such as this should not be thought of as an isolated thing, but rather as only one part of a much bigger situation.

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