Keystone Pipeline Controversy

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ClairesMommy's picture
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Keystone Pipeline Controversy

First, I'm only citing wiki because it's darned impossible to find an unbiased article regarding Keystone. And because they're bothreally long articles, I'm not going to paste the entire text here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline

Some of the pros and cons (scroll down to table)

http://csis.org/publication/much-ado-about-pipeline

Which side of the debate are you and why?

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The EPA is power hungry and trying to take over as much as they possibly can. They don't care how many jobs or people they hurt in the process. Our economy cannot afford all these rules and regulations right now. They are hurting America by making it impossible for businesses to compete in this country and are driving businesses overseas. As far as I am concerned there is NO reason not to build this pipeline.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/19/epa-ponders-expanded-regulatory-power-in-name-sustainable-development/

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What do you think of Obama delaying his decision till 2013? Canadians are not happy, and I'm reading that many Americans (whether pro pipeline or con) are upset about it too, seeing it as just political jockeying due to the next presidential election. And Gloria, I agree with you about the EPA. We (meaning me and my boss) deal with the USEPA every.single.day. They hand out Administrative Orders on Consent like candy at Halloween. Don't throw a gum wrapper on the ground in front of an EPA officer, is all I have to say Wink

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

The EPA is power hungry and trying to take over as much as they possibly can. They don't care how many jobs or people they hurt in the process. Our economy cannot afford all these rules and regulations right now. They are hurting America by making it impossible for businesses to compete in this country and are driving businesses overseas. As far as I am concerned there is NO reason not to build this pipeline.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/19/epa-ponders-expanded-regulatory-power-in-name-sustainable-development/

Was that article supposed to be in support of the EPA or against it? I didn't see anything in it that I had a problem with.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Was that article supposed to be in support of the EPA or against it? I didn't see anything in it that I had a problem with.

So not only would the EPA have the power they have now... but they would get to add new rules and regulations based on what MIGHT happen in the future? Businesses are already spending a fortune to comply with their rules, it would just give them more power to make more rules based on predictions instead of facts. I guess you don't have a problem with more of our business going to China where they don't have the costs involved of complying with a mountain of regulations.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So not only would the EPA have the power they have now... but they would get to add new rules and regulations based on what MIGHT happen in the future? Businesses are already spending a fortune to comply with their rules, it would just give them more power to make more rules based on predictions instead of facts. I guess you don't have a problem with more of our business going to China where they don't have the costs involved of complying with a mountain of regulations.

Yeah, I think that using current trends to predict probable future outcomes and putting policies in place to either encourage or avoid those outcomes is what most smart businesses and agencies do. Typically, being reactive is less effective and efficient than being proactive. So yes, I support the EPA's ability to use predictive methods to guide future policies, rather than locking them in now and having to go back and change them as a reactionary method.

I do have a problem with companies moving to China rather than complying with environmental regulations, but I don't blame the EPA for that. We need environmental regulations. I like breathing and drinking clean water and what not, and unfortunately more often than not "clean business" is more expensive, so if companies are left to make a purely financial decision, it's a no-brainer what they will choose. But I still like breathing and drinking clean water. So instead of blaming the EPA, I blame the businesses themselves for making the purely unpatriotic and unconscionable decision to put profit over any sort of environmental or social responsibility.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Yeah, I think that using current trends to predict probable future outcomes and putting policies in place to either encourage or avoid those outcomes is what most smart businesses and agencies do. Typically, being reactive is less effective and efficient than being proactive. So yes, I support the EPA's ability to use predictive methods to guide future policies, rather than locking them in now and having to go back and change them as a reactionary method.

I do have a problem with companies moving to China rather than complying with environmental regulations, but I don't blame the EPA for that. We need environmental regulations. I like breathing and drinking clean water and what not, and unfortunately more often than not "clean business" is more expensive, so if companies are left to make a purely financial decision, it's a no-brainer what they will choose. But I still like breathing and drinking clean water. So instead of blaming the EPA, I blame the businesses themselves for making the purely unpatriotic and unconscionable decision to put profit over any sort of environmental or social responsibility.

Ya that would be great in a perfect world, unfortunately that isn't the case and the EPA isn't known for being reasonable.
http://reason.com/archives/2011/12/15/the-epa-vs-the-constitution
http://www.indystar.com/article/20111218/OPINION03/112180302/Too-much-too-fast?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7COpinion%7Cp
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93988&page=1
http://www.wfaa.com/news/texas-news/Power-company-says-EPA-forces-it-to-close-two-coal-units-129690758.html
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/29/morning-bell-how-the-epa-may-cost-you-thousands/
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/epas-abuse-power_590334.html

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Which part would be great in a perfect world?

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Which part would be great in a perfect world?

That we could live without having an impact on our environment. What good is clean energy if it is so expensive that people are going to freeze to death because they can't pay their electric bill?

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Thanks goodness Obama is looking out for Canada, the current government doesn't seem able to do so.

The Keystone Pipeline is a travesty. It was rushed through, and is using too many public dollars to steal jobs from Alberta and screw up the environment.

There is no way that pipelines are safe. Remember that tiny incident of the BP oil spill in the gulf? That was oil just sitting there. Imagine what would will (not would, will) happen when a pipeline bursts on a piece of land. That pipeline will have thousands of tonnes of pressure pushing all that oil into the land. Ever seen land after crude oil has gotten into it? Barren for generations.

My children have not eaten an apple since March. I don't know when we will be able to eat apples again. A basic, loved food has been taken out of our grocery carts because of the rush for cheap energy, and the lack of safety measures for when the inevitable problem occurs. Coal, gas, oil, and nuclear energy are taking horrific tolls on our land, our food supply, our air, our bodies.

Renewable energy is no longer a pipe dream. It is realistic, it is possible. All it needs is the right infrastructure and policies to let it flourish, like it has in Germany and it is doing in Japan. The government needs to stop pandering to the oil barons and start putting policies in place that prioritize safe energy. When was the last time you heard of a solar panel killing someone? How many people on wind farms are killed each year?

The only reason why renewable energy is not prioritized is because you can't harvest the sun or wind or thermal crust. If someone could, they'd do it, and then put part of the squillions they'd make into lobbying the government to ignore environmental regulations for them, to prioritize their energy plans, just like the coal, gas, oil and nuclear barons do. Instead we have to rely on our common sense to do this.

The 18kw we consume in my house daily come from 4 places: solar (70%), wind (12%), kerosene (8%, only in winter) and nuclear (10%). We want to get rid of that nuclear and are saving money to get a wind turbine for our use (and to sell back to the electric company). It is so important for each of us to take steps to reduce our reliance on the energy companies. But as long as we let our governments put in billions of dollars into projects with such abysmal environmental impacts, what we do in our own homes will be meaningless.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

That we could live without having an impact on our environment. What good is clean energy if it is so expensive that people are going to freeze to death because they can't pay their electric bill?

How is clean energy any more expensive than dirty? It's not! It's just that the government invests in one kind of infrastructure, and has done so for decades. It is hella cheaper to build a solar farm than to build a pipeline for oil!

You can't have an oil well in your backyard, but you could have a wind turbine, a geothermal heater, or a solar panel and supply your own energy. If you have feed-in-tariff you can make money off of them. We make money on our solar panels every month. And that's in a place with an active volcano spewing ash on our panels 4 times a week. Imagine how much you could make every month.

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I'm with Blather all the way.

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Saving money for a wind turbine? Wink

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No, saving money to move to a green community in Colorado Smile Can't wait to downsize our house space. Once the giant carseats go, so does the giant car. Until then, I'm fine with paying more for Gas, it should cost more.

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Yes Jenn, great points.

Gloria - there is going to come a time (probably in our lifetimes!) when we can no longer rely on non-renewable energy sources (which have tended to be the "dirty" ones) simply because they are all gone.

Good info about the predictions about running out of oil:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/run-out-of-oil.htm

If you think people are going to freeze because they can't afford clean energy, imagine a situation where there is simply no more energy to be had! That is why it is so important to get the infrastructure in place to support the widespread use and availability of clean and renewable energy technologies. By penalizing environmental-ally expensive technologies, and rewarding more "green" technologies, the EPA and the government are using both the carrot and the stick to try to get us in a better place to be prepared for this eventuality.

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"Potter75" wrote:

No, saving money to move to a green community in Colorado Smile Can't wait to downsize our house space. Once the giant carseats go, so does the giant car. Until then, I'm fine with paying more for Gas, it should cost more.

By the way, I did reach out to DH's cousin to ask about green communities, and the info I got back was spotty at best. He's....well, his family is very wealthy, and he just kind of does whatever he wants. Like, at one point he was going to sell his own line of mountain bikes and camping gear, and currently I think he owns a tilapia farm. But anyway, one of the areas that he dabbles in his construction, so when I was asking him about it, he kept basically trying to sell his own skill set instead of answering my questions. Sooooo...if you get to CO and are on the market for a tilapia farming handiman, I've got a guy. LOL!!!!

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"blather" wrote:

How is clean energy any more expensive than dirty? It's not! It's just that the government invests in one kind of infrastructure, and has done so for decades. It is hella cheaper to build a solar farm than to build a pipeline for oil!

You can't have an oil well in your backyard, but you could have a wind turbine, a geothermal heater, or a solar panel and supply your own energy. If you have feed-in-tariff you can make money off of them. We make money on our solar panels every month. And that's in a place with an active volcano spewing ash on our panels 4 times a week. Imagine how much you could make every month.

Maybe you could run the power for your one house using all that ... but what about the plants that manufacture the solar panel or the wind turbine or geothermal heater? What energy are they using? What about the plants that manufacture the thousands of items that we use every day? It is unrealistic to think that we can live off nothing but clean energy.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Yes Jenn, great points.

Gloria - there is going to come a time (probably in our lifetimes!) when we can no longer rely on non-renewable energy sources (which have tended to be the "dirty" ones) simply because they are all gone.

Good info about the predictions about running out of oil:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/run-out-of-oil.htm

If you think people are going to freeze because they can't afford clean energy, imagine a situation where there is simply no more energy to be had! That is why it is so important to get the infrastructure in place to support the widespread use and availability of clean and renewable energy technologies. By penalizing environmental-ally expensive technologies, and rewarding more "green" technologies, the EPA and the government are using both the carrot and the stick to try to get us in a better place to be prepared for this eventuality.

Don't think it is going to happen.

http://economics.about.com/cs/macroeconomics/a/run_out_of_oil.htm

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Maybe you could run the power for your one house using all that ... but what about the plants that manufacture the solar panel or the wind turbine or geothermal heater? What energy are they using? What about the plants that manufacture the thousands of items that we use every day? It is unrealistic to think that we can live off nothing but clean energy.

It's unrealistic to think that we can continue to live off of a finite, non-renewal energy source. When it's gone, it's gone. We'd better have something else to take it's place.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Don't think it is going to happen.

http://economics.about.com/cs/macroeconomics/a/run_out_of_oil.htm

Seriously? You think we'll have oil forever? You realize that there is a finite amount of it out there, and a seemingly infinite demand, right?

ETA: Did you actually read your article? The author is supposing that we will never run out of oil because we will replace it with alternative energy sources that become more affordable as oil becomes more scarce and therefore more expensive. Which I totally agree with - I doubt we will actually *let* ourselves get to the point where there is literally no more oil in the ground. What I am arguing is that we need to get those alternative energy sources firmly in place - if we *didn't*, we actually would run out of oil eventually. I don't think that's literally going to happen because I hope we're smarter than that, but that is why it is so important to invest in renewable energy technology now, so that it goes exactly as this author predicts it will.

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I am anti-Keystone, all the way. I would hate to see a pipeline crisscrossing Canada and the US. It's definitely not a straight path. The proposed path crosses environmentally sensitive areas in both countries. However, the number one reason why I am against Keystone is, as a Canadian and an Albertan, we are once again selling our raw resources to the US to once again have to buy it back at a premium. It always reminds me of Oliver Twist when he says "Please sir, can I have some mo?" Why we won't build the refinery here at the site of the oilsands escapes me. Canadian companies have spent billions in carbon capture research and technology, and the bitumen could be refined directly at the source, preventing the need for a pipeline thousands of miles long to the gulf coast. And sell it to China instead, if the US says no to the deal? That would be an environmental disaster of global proportions, IMO, and the logistics would be not much different than Keystone: Build a pipeline to the BC coast (that's actually already been tabled) through aboriginal lands, then load Chinese tankers? I don't know how stringent China is with regard to environmental protection, but I have a feeling it's nowhere near that of Canada and the US.

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One pervasive myth about domestic energy production is that America is running out of energy. We are told that we must use wildly expensive and unreliable sources of energy such as wind, solar, and biofuel because someday we could run out of coal, oil, or natural gas. The reality is that the United States has incredibly vast coal, oil, and natural gas resources as is documented in our recently released report.

•The United States has 486 billion short tons of recoverable coal. This is enough coal to provide 464 years of electricity at today's current rate of coal consumption.

•North America has nearly 1.8 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. That is twice as much as the combined reserves of all OPEC nations.
•In oil shale resources alone, the United States has 1 trillion barrels of oil. This is nearly four times as large as Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves. But due to regulations, these resources are essentially locked up.

•North America holds 4.2 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas. That is enough natural gas to satisfy the United State's current natural gas demand for 575 years.
•This is more natural gas than the combined proved natural gas reserves of the next five nations (more than Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan combined).

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/energy-intelligence/2011/12/08/debunking-the-myth-that-america-is-running-out-of-energy
http://energyforamerica.org/inventory/

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Interesting. You'll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical about this report as it comes from the Institute for Energy Research which is basically the mouthpiece for the oil industry in DC. I have to wonder when they talk about "technically available" what the impact to the land and the people living on the land would be if they actually went after it. But I poked around a little and didn't see any responses to it, so I'll have to keep my eye on it.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Interesting. You'll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical about this report as it comes from the Institute for Energy Research which is basically the mouthpiece for the oil industry in DC. I have to wonder when they talk about "technically available" what the impact to the land and the people living on the land would be if they actually went after it. But I poked around a little and didn't see any responses to it, so I'll have to keep my eye on it.

Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices

Just look at what has happened in North Dakota and Montana. There is no telling how much oil is available if the government would quit coming up with so many regulations.
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204226204576602524023932438.html
http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/04/news/economy/oil_shale_bakken/index.htm

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I was thinking about it some more, and my mind actually took a bizarre sort of Wag the Dog conspiracy theory turn. IER is basically Big Oil in DC, right? So on the surface, it makes sense that they would want to have access to more oil. Only, basic economics teaches us that the higher the supply, the lower the price. If Big Oil could flood the marketplace with all that oil, in theory the price of oil should drop through the floor, right? But if oil is scarce, they can charge more for it. And if they can make the oil scarcity someone else's fault (the government) - so much the better, right? Only why would the government be complicit in that (assuming that the environmental piece wasn't actually a factor) unless they had something to gain from high oil prices too? And then my head started to hurt and I decided to go eat some leftover spaghetti.