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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Keystone Pipeline Hearings – Is Obama up to the Decision?

with 3 comments

Was listening to the Keystone pipelineĀ US hearing today and found the opposition not as frightening as I thought. As you most likely know the Keystone pipelineĀ is a vital link for Alberta to move the oil sandsĀ bitumenĀ from Fort McMurry Alberta through the US to Huston Texas.

There were over 65 speakers that were given 3 minutes to address the committee and make their point. The Sierra Club and Greenpeace made their usual pitch against the Keystone citing environmental damage to the environment and climate without having any real alternatives to offer. Most against the Keystone were surprisingly weak on their presentations. On the other hand the pro Keystone speakers that includedĀ the VeteransĀ Organization, Labour International Union, trucking industry and others had strong arguments for building the pipeline. Some of the key points the unions and the trucking organizations madeĀ were the thousands of good paying Ā jobs it would create and that fuel costs would decrease greatlyĀ helping out the american truckers

It amazes meĀ thatĀ  the KeystoneĀ is even an issue . Presently there is no real alternative to oil and probably won’t be for many decades to come. In order to compete in the world America needs a SECURE source of energy. Canada and the Oil Sands fits the bill. Other sources of energy will continue to be developed and when ready will be phased in. But until a new source of competitive energy is fully developed Oil is the only real available source.Ā Environmentalists Ā don’t seem to understand that oil is in decline, and as it declines the price willĀ increase Ā making alternatives more attractive. Exactly what they are asking for. Ā But today America needs to have cheaper energy than its competitors to compete and grow its economy in uncertain times.Ā Alternatives presently don’t fit the bill.

I think the approval of the Keystone pipelineĀ will boil down to a political decision. If Obama thinks he will loseĀ votes in the coming presidentialĀ election by giving the Keystone approval we won’t see a decisionĀ until after 2012. The benefits are there for America.Ā Ā It’sĀ time forĀ Obama to stand up and do the right thing, approve the pipeline.

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Written by Ken McGregor

October 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Rundle ,I think you overstate the role of GHG’s in the KXL deatbe by emphasizing a GHG-based solution. I would rank GHG’s as a distant 3rd or perhaps 4th in importance among the concerns leveled against KXL. Most likely to derail the project may be concerns about pipeline safety. The proponents of the pipeline have been broadsided by a lot of unfavorable events, some of which are their own responsibility. These incidents have been compounded by poor response to requests for information from regulators and ignoring concerns voiced by environmental groups which have now been almost taken as fact. Second, I would look at the choice of the route itself. The route is clearly chosen to be as direct as possible, which makes sense from an engineering perspective, but the question of why they don’t simply follow the existing Keystone right-of-way is valid. If you are going to run a new right-of-way, then the process necessarily becomes tougher. Third, although it may be the one which ends up first, is the question of economic vs. physical need . The case for the KXL pipeline is one of matching products to markets, not of physical cross-border capacity, and here again the proponents have not done a great job of making their case consistently. You can make a credible argument that the additional cross-border capacity is not needed given current production growth forecasts in Alberta. The regulatory regime is designed to allow new infrastructure to be build to serve new demand, not to allow infrastructure to be built to displace oil from another jurisdiction. That might be the biggest test. Anyway, I might be proven wrong, but I certainly don’t think anyone will be wishing they’d signed deals for 30Mt/yr of emissions offsets when the decision comes down later this year.Andrew


    December 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

  2. “theres no real alternative to oil”….are you kidding me? Solar…Hydrogen…Biofuel/Ethanol….Geothermal…Wind….Hydroelectric..even nuclear for god’s sake.But you wouldn’t know that because your republican friends on tv brainwashed you to believe this. Politicians and Corporations are so tied up in oil that they won’t let it go because they can’t make a profit off of renewable and sustainable energy. We went to war for this, they wont let it go and go to renewable clean sources.

    By the way, your dear friend Beohner was paid to push this deal forward…there’s absolutely no benefit here for the american people other than 1 to 3 thousand TEMPORARY jobs (not 30 thousand) and potential environmental damage.

    I dont understand why there even is a discussion about the e.p.a. There should be no debate about the health and condition of the environment. It should be unanimous that the air and water needs to be kept clean. They wont let them drill wherever they want and thats why they start to brainwash people on tv to vote against the e.p.a. Seriously now…no conspiracy bullshit…but the Repubs are doing everything against american people’s interests.

    December 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    • Bill McKibben has done himself a great diiverssce by swallowing the James Hansen is God garbage hook, line, and sinker. Bill has turned his burning desire for a Utopian climate where all his outdoor pursuits are steeped in perfect weather conditions into a mindless regurgitation of the attention seekers’ endless prattle about the end of the world. The only person more impressed with Hansen than McKibben is Hansen himself.


      December 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

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