Friday, August 26, 2011

US State Department Declares Keystone Pipeline Low Risk

TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline to move Athabasca Tar Sands bitumen to Gulf Coast refiners cleared a big hurdle today.   The US State Department reported the venture poses "no significant impacts to most resources" so long as the operator complies with US laws and follows recommended safeguards.

The State Department’s report failed to back up its conclusions, Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, international program director for the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York, said in an interview.

“When you read through the executive summary, they are noting a lot of real potential problems,” Casey-Lefkowitz said. “For them to do that and then conclude there no significant impact minimizes the very legitimate concerns of people who depend on the Ogallala aquifer and the 1,000 rivers that this pipeline would cross.”

The 1,700 mile pipeline could deliver up to 700,000 barrels of toxic, corrosive bitumen sludge a day to refineries in Texas and Oklahoma.   The Gulf Coast refineries are facing declining production from Venezuela and Mexico even as their capacity is expected to rise by 500,000 barrels a day by 2020.


LMA said...

Low risk seems to mean that oil leaks are OK as long as they are small, and increasing GHG don't matter.

TransCanada's CEO defines the major issue as energy security, but energy security will matter very little in a future of hell and high water when the infrastructure starts to collapse.

This news must be disheartening to the brave souls who are protesting despite the approaching hurricane. My optimism is fading fast that Obama will veto this pipeline.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding, Obama wimped out and accepted the dirty oil, from the tar sands. Shame on him.

They have deformed fish, in Athabasca Lake. There is mercury, heavy metals and cancer causing agents in, the mighty Athabasca River. The huge Athabasca watershed, is now contaminated.

The caribou are dying. Another flock of ducks died, from landing in the filthy sludge. Our beloved Whooping Cranes, fly right over the filthy tar sands. We can only pray, they don't decide to land in the dirty crud.

They are going to destroy, 740,000 acres of Boreal forests, to get to the bitumen. The last Boreal forests in North America. There are thousands of wildlife creatures, who call those forests home.

Worst of all, there is a First Nations village, dying from cancer. Even the rare cancer of, exposure to petroleum.

Scientists have found, acid in the ocean, right up to the shores of BC. They were stunned. They thought the acid way out in the deep. The acid will eat off, the shells of crustaceans.

The coral is bleaching white. Scientists say, The Great Barrier will be dead, within 20 years. Our oceans are dying. They are to their limit, of absorbing carbon monoxide, from the burning of fossil fuels.

This is a damned serious wake-up call. If we don't get rid of fossil fuels. The planet will get rid of us.

Thank you Mr. Obama. You are the same kind of idiot, Harper is. Greed comes first, before common sense. The pair of you are as equally as stupid.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, I read in today's NYT that Obama wasted no time in signing off on the project. It's going to be fast tracked and some claim it'll be finished by 2013.

An administration spokeswoman said the Keystone XL won't increase greenhouse gas emissions because the Tar Sands were going into full production with or without the pipeline. It's a bit like saying you won't quit smoking because the tobacco companies are just going to keep making cigarettes.

Now watch Harper race to get the Northern Gateway pipeline built across British Columbia's mountain ranges to a supertanker port in Kitimat. With those treacherous coastal waters it isn't a matter of if there'll be a tanker/bitumen disaster, it's only a matter of when. One mistake, one mechanical glitch and you've got a tanker full of that toxic, corrosive, carcinogenic sludge ruptured on a very deep rock bottom.

LMA said...

I don't think it's quite a done deal yet, as there will still be public hearings, consultations with affected states, etc., with final approval coming from Obama by the end of the year.

Another convenient rationalization, MoS. The tar sands are going to be developed anyway, so the U.S. might as well import the oil. What twisted logic.

GHG will most definitely be increased whoever burns the oil, and as Hansen warns this is going to mean it's game over for climate change. Well done, Harper!

The Mound of Sound said...

LMA, my only hope is that, ten, twenty or thirty years from now, people like Harper and America's abjectly corrupt congressmen are held criminally liable for their reckless, criminal negligence. I want people like Harper and Imhofe to spend their last years behind bars.