Letters to the Editor

Letter: Pipeline safety

February 12, 2014


To the editor:

Approval of the TransCanada Keystone pipeline is looking more likely. A recent report from the Department of State does not identify serious risks to our national interests. Oh, really? What about climate change and dirty tar oil? Tar oil creates an unacceptable additional amount of C02 when energy companies use natural gas to heat the tar to extract the oil. Extraction costs render it the most environmentally unfriendly (C02 generating) kind of oil.

Maybe the pipeline is safer than rail, and maybe it will never spring a leak, but this is a poor solution to energy independence anyway since the tar oil is for export. It’s a seal of approval for a poisonous sewer pipe across our mid-section. It will probably take decades to wean ourselves off carbon but XLP is not a step in the right direction.

There are those who think there is maybe only a 20 percent chance of climate change. Even if that were true, a 20 percent likelihood is enough to do something. My house probably won’t burn down or flood, but I still have homeowners insurance. Let’s take out some insurance.

We can help solve the carbon issue with revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend legislation and no XLP. Call Citizens Climate Lobby and help enlist letters to our elected officials. There’s an old song: “Look over yonder. What do you see? A new day is rising, most definitely.” If we don’t look over yonder soon, tomorrow may not be the one we were hoping for.   


Brock Masters 3 years ago

Unless you don't use petroleum products your words ring hollow.

Chris Golledge 3 years ago

How do you figure that?

Tony is in favor of a gradual withdrawal from the burning (without sequestration) of fossil fuels to produce energy, and you are suggesting that, because he hasn't already quit using petroleum products of any kind, he is being hypocritical. Your logic is faulty.

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

A line from "Crystal Blue Persuasion." Funny. I wasn't convinced before but that did it for me. I have a quote for you. It's was a great line from the Joker, played in a "Batman" movie by Jack Nicholson.

"What this town needs is an enema!"

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

Let's examine what it is you are implying. You are accusing this administration of being wrong. gasp Why would you think they would ignore these long term implications? Do they know what they are doing or is this just a political move? Additionally, who are you to question what they are doing? They are much smarter than you and they have a mandate to do whatever they wish regardless of the law. They don't have to answer your questions. Everything they are doing is for our benefit and to make life fair for everybody. You have a lot of nerve calling them into question like this. You know, the terrorist attack on Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction to a video by an insensitive, muslim hating, extremist. At least that's what the State Department said.

Chris Golledge 3 years ago

What makes you think politics has anything to do with physics?

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

It's like this. The " Man Made Climate Changers" put forth bad science (physics) so they can get political cover to steal money from industrialized nations. I'm surprised you don't understand my position from past posts? You really are Chris, aren't you?

Ken Lassman 3 years ago

Sure, Scott, we remember your unsubstantiated climate opinions that fly in the face of the facts, but what surprises me is that you think it's OK to have Canadian multinationals cut Kansas in half with a pipeline that will end up depleting the historic regional oil surpluses and hiking our gas prices. Haven't you noticed that we're typically 10 cents or more below the national averages? If Keystone is completed (and the part in Kansas is), say bye-bye to cheap regional gas prices. To put some oily icing on the cake, all the Kansas counties that the pipeline goes through saw state legislators give TransCanada a 10 year tax vacation, so local folks are having to kiss goodby to $50 million in local taxes that could have otherwise help pay for maintaining roads, etc.

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

You call my climate opinions unsubstantiated in the face face of the facts. I say your facts are based on faulty information. There is nothing you can do or say that will convince me otherwise. The well has been poisoned by the extreme left in the world trying to extort money from industrialized nations. Like I have said before, if your side had put forth good science instead of crystal ball predictions, that never came to pass, then we might have common ground with which to come to agreement. I have never said that we should not be good stewards of our planet. There are things I do in my life to mitigate my personal footprint on the planet. As a matter of fact, I was one of the first to be a part of recycling, here in Lawrence, in 1971. I just don't buy people like Al Gore playing fast and loose with the facts in order to make himself a buck, feed that narcissistic ego and his need to be relevant.

Chris Golledge 3 years ago

"There is nothing you can do or say that will convince me otherwise. ' Well, so much for having a rational discussion. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2417636

Ken Lassman 3 years ago

Really, Scott? Do you seriously think that these OBSERVED sea ice cover numbers are faulty:

Or how exactly are these OBSERVED atmospheric CO2 levels from the Mauna Loa observatory distortions of reality:

Or how about these satellite measurements of sea level rise--how are these faulty:

None of these measurements came from Al Gore, Scott. I'm glad that you're doing your part by mitigating your personal footprint, and I hope that one day you'll consider that all of the facts are not being manipulated by some extreme leftist cabal that wants to fleece and imprison the rest of the world. This is too important of a topic to not be able to consider the possibility that there are real issues that require real responses, and I have faith in your ability to take a second look at all of this and come up with a more nuanced conclusion than you've been able to manage so far, perhaps because you simply didn't have access to the latest information available. Even Robert Muller, a confirmed skeptic, took a closer look and when doing so on his own terms, has come around to the fact that climate is warming and humanity is responsible for it: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

Ken, I truly admire your zeal and tenacity. :-) The link you provided is to an article in the NY Times. That publication carries no intellectual weight with me at all. They are the most idealogical newspaper on the planet. Period. If I provide you a link to a Forbes article, would you believe it?

Ken Lassman 3 years ago

No, Scott, the first graph is from the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington and calculates the Arctic sea Ice Volume Anomaly by plugging in satellite data into the PIOMAS program which has been validated by measurements from the US Navy among other folks--check out the validation of their observation accuracy here:http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/validation/

And no again for the second graph, which shows the Keeling Curve; the increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as observed from the Mauna Loa observatory that has been continuously collecting data since the 1950s--you can find more about the validity and reliability of this data collection by visiting here: http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/

And, no, the New York times is not the source of the global mean sea level data--it's from NASA's TOPEX and Jason satellites, which you can find out about here: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

You really should not be so swayed by labels, Scott. You will miss a lot of really good stuff that would enrich your life if you threw everything out that the New York Times publishes. In this case, they were merely giving Mr. Muller a guest column that he himself wrote, based on the results of a Koch-funded study that meant to show that global warming was overblown. But the results were undeniable even to the denialist Robert Muller, and his Berkeley Earth research center published the results showing undeniable warming, clearly caused by human activity. You can find their full report untainted by the New York Times here: http://berkeleyearth.org/summary-of-findings

And since you mentioned it, Forbes even has a link to Mr. Muller's results: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/10/24/independent-study-confirms-that-global-warming-exists/

Hope this helps.

Chris Golledge 3 years ago

Ken has already covered it, but yes, I am aware we keep showing you observations from the real world, and you keep saying they must be wrong based on your political beliefs. Let me rephrase the question; why do you keep doing this?

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

Why do you buy into the bad science that you are trying to sell me?

Chris Golledge 3 years ago

Let's try something. Please let me know at what point your understanding of physics diverges from the consensus.

Was Fourier wrong in 1824 when he determined that the earth was warmer than it would be without an atmosphere?

Was Tyndall wrong in 1859 he discovered that CO2 interferes with the transmission of radiative energy in the infrared spectrum?

What about Arrhenius in 1896 when he postulated that our burning of fossil fuels would eventually raise the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and this would restrict the flow of outbound energy, and the planet would warm?

Let's start with some of this early work and you tell us what you think they got wrong.

Ken Lassman 3 years ago

I think that our current political state has been demonstrating Newton's Third Law for a while now....

Mike Ford 3 years ago

The damage done to the land around First Nations reserves to remove this oil is not worth the removal of said oil. The extraction process destroys the land leaving the surface looking like the moon. This oil puts extraordinary amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is fact unless one is an scientifically uneducated AM radio listener who willfully puts their heads in the sand (No pun intended) in spite of reality. Canadian PM Stephan Harper is just another George W. Bush wannabe disavowing First Nations treaties left and right whose actions have led to the Idle No More Movement in Canada amongst indigenous peoples. This is one planet. We all live on it. Some of us choose to care and not let exploiters like the Koch Brothers write political policy for us like we're lemmings. We pay attention. There is a chance that Mr. Harper might be voted out of office but then what American pays attention to Canadian politics anyway? just trust the exploiters and hope you benefit from trickle down economic policies that have never worked anyway.

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

In that case Barack Obama is just another PM Stephan Harper. President Obama gets the ACA passed and then starts issuing executive orders that change the law, which is clearly outside of his Constitutional powers. So, I would say you're the pot calling the kettle black. Also, you need to get past this, "I hate George Bush" thing. In almost 6 years in office Barack Obama has one single accomplishment that is the ACA. He had to lie to get people to buy into that.

Mike Ford 3 years ago

He has to issue executive powers because some tantrum throwers won't wave the white flag and act like adults and do the work of the country. Obstructing isn't work and the fact that some people have amnesia isn't any excuse. You need to realize you have political amnesia and Bush's loss and the splintering of your excuse of a political party isn't an excuse to hurt the rest of the country because your side lost two elections and keeps up all this bashing of the poor, women, and minorities to keep your illogical political base interested.. Besides the US President Harry Truman had to use Executive Order to integrate the US Armed Forces in 1948 because that was the "Do Nothing 80th Congress". This congress is even worse. And to beat you to the punch of amnesia those were Southern Democrats obstructing Truman then. These Dixiecrat's progeny are now the State's Rights Tea Party Republicans who have now morphed their ideas of racist segregation into religious shaming through politics and economic Darwinism, You don't fool me with your political amnesia. Think before you speak.

Scott Burkhart 3 years ago

You and the left's idea of bipartisanship and working together means that everybody do what Barack Obama wants them to do. Like pass a 2000+ piece of legislation that hadn't even been read. And when it was passed, it was done so on a technicality. So don't smugly lecture anybody on throwing tantrums.

Brock Masters 3 years ago

They are hypocrites because while they condemn the GOP for representing their base and voting against Obama's policy's they laud KS democrats for voting against all of Brownback's. Yes, but Brownback's policies are bad for the state.......and Obama's are so good for the country. Friggin' hypocrites.

Richard Heckler 3 years ago

Transport a fossil fuel that the world does not need to Texas so that the product can be shipped abroad = dumb.

It does not matter where is will be shipped it still contributes to Global Warming Climate Change. Of course the Koch boys stand to make billions which is ever more polluting considering how much more they would spend polluting our democracy with evermore corruption of the USA.

Vote Out Koch Money and Vote out Incumbents!!!!!! Save The Planet a far more worthy cause.

Bob Smith 3 years ago

You think the world doesn't need oil?

Mike Ford 3 years ago

guess what genius I benefitted from that 2000 page document that you and yours have created so many gigantic fibs about. I guess your fibs aren't working very well right now are they?

Mike Ford 3 years ago

yeah so we can have that incredible and unnecessary mess that's already happened in Michigan and Arkansas from this type of oil with cover ups following.

Bob Smith 3 years ago

Citation, please? From something not like infowars, if you'd be so good.

Ken Lassman 3 years ago

Google is really not hard to use--I heartily recommend it so you don't have to depend on others to spoon feed you the news and it helps you develop critical thinking skills and reliable sources--even primary sources for your information:

Michigan Enbridge spill (Tar Sands spill):

official EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/region05/enbridgespill/

local coverage 3 years after spill: http://www.freep.com/article/20130623/NEWS06/306230059/Kalamazoo-River-oil-spill

Arkansas Mayflower spill of Canadian crude: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/12/nation/la-na-nn-arkansas-oil-spill-20130412

One year later: http://rt.com/usa/mayflower-keystone-oil-pipeline-410/

Beator 3 years ago

I wonder if the pipe will be built quicker than the SLT.... what was that? 25+ years ?

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