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US Court: Transcanada's Keystone XL Profits More Important than Environment by

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posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 10:29 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

Dear WhiteAlice,

What a wonderful reply! I see that you put a lot of work into it, and I appreciate your efforts to correct my thinking when I go wrong. You've also pointed out one of my many failings which I have tried to correct, my tendency to wordiness. Let me see if I can do better this time.

I agree that your opinions on Obama were not specifically articulated. I made those statements because it seemed that your arguments painted him as a politician unconcerned with the environment, but only his personal political life. There may be an alternate explanation, but I didn't see it.

If he is concerned about the pipeline's effect on the environment, then he should just say, "Don't build it." There, issue handled, now let's deal with something else. The same with the economic benefit. If there is none, then reject the plan.

You suggest that Obama, while not asking for concessions from Americans, is asking for them from Canada. As you point out, Alberta is doing quite well economically without the pipeline. The oil sands will be taken and sent somewhere.

From one of your sources:

Obama said in June the project would serve U.S. interests only if it did not "significantly exacerbate" carbon pollution. The Times quoted him as saying that Canada could potentially be doing more to "mitigate carbon release."
We know that the pipeline project itself will introduce far less carbon than trucks driving all over the country. The environmentalists are demanding that the tar sands be left in the ground. The pipeline itself is not an environmental problem, people want Canada to ignore the tar sands.

And how dirty are those oil sands?

A 2009 study by CERA estimated that production from Canada's oil sands emits "about 5 percent to 15 percent more carbon dioxide, over the "well-to-wheels" lifetime analysis of the fuel, than average crude oil."

You mention the concessions that Harper is working on. Do those concessions have anything to do with pipeline safety? No. Do they have anything to do with the tar sands? No. Obama is asking for Canada to meet a new goal in reducing carbon emissions. How's that going? Also from your source articles:

But there's a huge snag. Obama hasn't said what he wants, or needs, to assuage environmentalists that Keystone XL is in America's national interest, or to convince congressional Democrats facing re-election next year that it can be approved without sabotaging their campaigns.

And the White House has yet to respond to the letter.

Other Canadian officials were quick to note that this country has done as much, or more, to curb emissions than the U.S. They say coal-fired electricity plants south of the border produce something like 32 times the amount of greenhouse gases as the oilsands, and argue the massive Keystone project will not significantly add to emissions.

And the president's own position on the project remains ambiguous, to say the least

"Give us a hard target," one source told CBC. "Don't make us guess."

How successful can we expect efforts to leave the oil sands alone to be? They won't be successful at all. Canadian jobs and billions of dollars of income are riding on it. As you said:

My fiance lives in Alberta and the economy there is bustling according to him. The Albertan economy is not suffering because of the lack of approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. The job market in Alberta is quite healthy and actually draws people from all over Canada because of its opportunity, a fact which is fairly consistent with any oil laden area (see North Dakota's economy v. the rest of the US).
Canada won't shut the operation down. So what do we do with the oilsands that are being produced?

But what if they can't sell it to the US?

The Athabasca oil sands are often a topic in international trade talks, with energy rivals China and the United States negotiating with Canada for a bigger share of the rapidly increasing output. Production is expected to quadruple between 2005 and 2015, reaching 4 million barrels (640,000 m3) a day, with increasing political and economic importance. Currently, most of the oil sands production is exported to the United States.
So, they'll sell it to China. They're really environmentally conscious over there.

If the EPA says that there is not enough, it's reasonably safe to assume that there isn't enough information. Just because you may think that there has been enough "science done" does not make it so.
And here, I will display my cynicism. Many studies have said it's fine, the risks are acceptable. Consider what Obama has done with other agencies, IRS, NSA, DOJ, etc. On this issue, the EPA will say whatever Obama wants them to say.

Even your sources say Obama isn't asking Canada for anything relating to the pipeline project. If he was worried about Keystone, isn't that where he'd want the concessions? But it isn't.

As a commenter to one of your source articles said:

Stop sucking up Harper...It's our oil .. they don't want it .. no problem , there are other countries with money
And he's quite right.

With respect,

posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by FyreByrd

Dear FyreByrd,

Wow! I really like your analysis. That's a great way to think about jobs.

If I may quote something I found a little earlier (The link is at the top of Page 2 in this thread), it may put some numbers into place.

“The REMI model forecasts that the XL expansion of the Keystone pipeline would create about 16,000 jobs over a two-year period,” said Nystrom. “After that two years, about 800 jobs would be sustainable moving forward.” “The pipeline will increase competition between Canadian and Middle East crude producers for position in Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries, but will not affect refined product prices,” according to Dr. Wade.

“The benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline would be concentrated largely in the pipeline states themselves,” said Wade. “These areas could see an increase in gross domestic product by as much as $3.1 billion as well as an increase in business sales by as much as $6 billion.”

So, "A" is about 16,000, and "B" is about 800.

Now there is no question in my mind that you are correct that there will be more people involved in trucking the oil than there would be in manning the pipeline after it's built. We should remember to factor in all that diesel exhaust, the higher transportation costs, the greater likelihood of spills from rollovers, degradation of highways, etc. But you're right, there would be more people employed.

May I tell you a little story? You've probably heard it before, but it seems appropriate.

An American salesman of heavy earth moving equipment visited China and asked to see one of their road construction projects. He was taken to a site in very hilly country and saw hundreds of workers cutting away a hillside with picks, wheelbarrows, and shovels.

He told his host, "Our equipment would allow you to do all this work with just six people."

His host smiled and explained, "If we did that we would have hundreds of thousands out of work across the country. Mao taught us the value of having a fully employed population."

The salesman replied, "Well, in that case, perhaps you'd be interested in our line of teaspoons."

With respect,

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by charles1952

I didn't suggest that Obama asked for PM Harper to make concessions. To the best of my knowledge, he has not requested any concessions but has expressed concerns about the carbon emissions. My sense of it is that the reason why he is concerned about carbon emissions relating to Keystone XL is most likely due to him preferring that we do not continue to build an oil/gas based infrastructure.

Gas trucks would still be motoring around all over the country regardless of whether the pipeline is built or not. The pipeline is for crude, which is basically unrefined oil and intended to take crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands to Texas for refining (another branch taking crude to a port for travel to China). This oil is currently being transferred by train--not trucks. The only trucks on the road are for gas--not crude.

Let me try explaining what Obama is doing once again. The ball is in Obama's court. In Game Theory, that puts all control over what happens with Keystone in his power. This means that it is up to those who wish the pipeline to be built to convince Obama that it is worth it. By not establishing specific demands, Obama has introduced uncertainty into the game. Those who wish that Keystone be built have no idea how many concessions must be made to get Obama to approve the pipeline. Presuming that Obama does have a "bar of expectation" that he wishes to see met, this means that those proponents for the pipeline will offer concessions aimed at obtaining his approval. These offers could either meet or fall below or above Obama's actual expectations. They don't where that bar is so he can essentially hold on his approval or disapproval until the proponents of the pipeline issue the maximum of concessions that they are willing to do. This technique assures that the maximum benefits over the potential costs is obtained. Doing this changes it from a zero-sum game to a non-zero sum game.

To put it simply: Let's say that you own a painting that an art collector desperately wants. You know he wants it really bad and he asks you how much you would be willing to accept to part with it. What do you say? Do you throw out a figure (ambiguity of what collector is willing to pay is with you)? Or do you ask him how much he'd pay for it (safe to presume that he will attempt to give lower offer that can be built off of)? If you're smart, you'd ask him how much he'd be willing to pay and work upwards from there.

So no, this does not mean that Obama is not interested in the environment. His approval for the pipeline will be only if the concessions offered most likely exceed his bar of expectation (see how much he can get). In that case, the benefits will outweigh the costs. If he can gain greater environmental concessions in exchange for a pipeline that, if the First Nations have their way (and they are quite wealthy and have sworn to keep it locked up in courts for eternity), why wouldn't he take such a deal?

I agree that the Alberta Oil Sands will never be shut down. There is too much money and expected gains vested in it. However, just because the Alberta Oil Sands will never shut down or that China has severe issues with pollution (they are actually working hard to address it), it does not warrant that we need to build a pipeline cutting through the US. Just because something exists outside of one's country, it doesn't mean that we have to say "if we can't beat them, we might as well join them". If Alberta chooses to continue extracting oil from the oil sands, that is their decision. It's their lands that they risk despoiling. If China wishes to continue having air pollution that is so severe that it kills over a million of Chinese annually, then that is their choice as well. In terms of air pollution, we really aren't that much better. Have you ever looked at the issues in Salt Lake City? It's as nasty as Beijing.

And we have the Bakken Shale as well as oil deposits in the Four Corners regions. Oil production in North Dakota doubled in 2012 at 900,000 bpd. Interesting map for you:

Total oil production in the US is set to be at around 11.6 million barrels per day within the next 10 years. The Canada's oil sands oil isn't doing so well on the market. Tell me why we would chose to transport foreign oil from one end to the other of our country when we have ample oil in the US (and it's set to increase) that also needs refining. If Alberta chooses to ship it to China, they can be my guest. We're doing better on the oil market than they are.

And we haven't even tapped the Bakken Shale fully yet. I know this for a fact because my family has property on the Bakken Shale with an energy company estimate of a maximum of 6 wells on our property alone. They haven't been drilled yet so there is still oil rich shale property in North Dakota that has yet to be drilled. I personally have very mixed feelings on the matter but the mineral rights were leased long ago when I was a child. Not a whole lot that I can do about it.

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 04:05 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

Dear WhiteAlice,

Thank you for your patience with me. Thank you, also, for presenting a point of view that I can not easily understand. That means I'm about to learn something which I need to.

Interestingly enough, I don't understand what I don't understand. I suppose that makes me Mr. Confusion, squared. Of course, I understand your description of game theory, and we've also seen Obama use it many times. That's not my problem. In the broadest terms, I don't understand Obama's use of game theory in this particular case, and I don't understand what appears to be confusion between local climate and global climate.

To the best of my knowledge, he has not requested any concessions but has expressed concerns about the carbon emissions. My sense of it is that the reason why he is concerned about carbon emissions relating to Keystone XL is most likely due to him preferring that we do not continue to build an oil/gas based infrastructure.
His preference notwithstanding, Alberta will continue to drill for oil sands until the world says it will not buy it. The oils sands will be refined and used somewhere, whatever Obama wants. The world will have a fossil fuel and nuclear energy supply for the foreseeable future. In 2008, those sources provided a little over 87% of the world's energy usage.

So, what does Obama want? Is he concerned about the environment in this project? If he wants environmental concessions, it's surprising that the only thing he's talked about (concerning Keystone) in five years is generally reducing carbon emissions. Surprising, since Keystone adds fewer carbon emissions than any other form of transport. Surprising, since Canada, according to your source, has matched the US in fighting carbon emissions. So what does he want from Canada? I suspect, the answer is "Nothing."

The only other option is that he wants something from American companies or politicians. What? I believe there's only one answer to that, either money or votes. Over six billion dollars will be the estimated gain to states, largely those through which the pipeline passes. He'd like that money. It's also a money maker for the oil industry in the US. He'd like that money. Basically, as far as I can see, he's holding Keystone hostage to get things unrelated to Keystone. But what? I haven't heard of any talks or even the beginnings of negotiations with Americans. What's he waiting for.

Why do I think it's not environmental? Because the pipeline is the safest way to get the oil sands moved to the gulf coast. If he doesn't want the gulf coast to get the sands, fine, say so. They will get shipped by tanker overseas with all of the risk to the oceans. And this is one of the things he's forgetting, Canada can do a cost-benefit analysis as well. The website you linked to has an article indicating that Canada is thinking about taking the US to court.

So no, this does not mean that Obama is not interested in the environment. His approval for the pipeline will be only if the concessions offered most likely exceed his bar of expectation (see how much he can get).
Again, from whom? What does he want? The PM's wife? He hasn't told Canada even what area he wants concessions in. Even if he was playing a non-zero sum game, even a moderately competent negotiator could have brought it to conclusion in five years. As the clock ticks, Canada knows they are getting close to a time when they won't have to deal with Obama. When he leaves, it all starts over again. This isn't a negotiation, it's a stall.

Have you ever looked at the issues in Salt Lake City? It's as nasty as Beijing.
And here, I'm afraid, I must strongly disagree. Currently the particulate matter (2.5) reading in Salt Lake City is 13.3.
In Beijing it's currently 310, and has been above 200 all day.
0-50 is scored as good, with no precautions necessary. 300 is scored as hazardous, with the warning that no one should have any outdoor exertion.

Sixteen of the twenty most polluted cities in the world are in China.

What's worse is that the pollution eventually drifts into the US. Why not have the process in the US where the are strict controls and everybody and his mother will be monitoring the pipeline for a quart of leaked oil?

Tell me why we would chose to transport foreign oil from one end to the other of our country when we have ample oil in the US (and it's set to increase) that also needs refining.
Because refined oil is valuable. If it wasn't, the industry would have said, "Don't build the pipeline." Besides, refineries have been running at less than 90% utilization since 2006, there's certainly room to refine more.

It may be that I'm just not bright enough to follow the reasoning. I hope I'm bright enough to explain why I'm confused.

Again, many thanks for your patience with me.

With respect,

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 05:29 PM
I always thought USA's dependance on foreign oil was a plan to preserve their own reserves. The US has a lot of oil under their soil so I figured when the rest of the world ran out of oil, the US would still be in good shape.

I saw a commercial on TV last night from Keystone Excel. It depicted beautiful vistas, healthy wildlife and happy children, all the while describing how their proposed pipeline will be the safest in the world so I guess we need not worry. (sarc)

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by charles1952

lol you're welcome. If my two attempts to explain it haven't worked, I honestly don't know another way of explaining it. Just know that Keystone is not solely dependent on Obama's decision to approve or veto. There are other parties in play that can prevent it from ever being built.

In regards to Salt Lake City, Utah and air pollution in general, it tends to get worse dependent on time of year/season. Looking at Salt Lake City today isn't going to tell you the story as the peak time period for Salt Lake City's air quality to drop to health hazard levels is in January.

Bakersfield, CA is also really quite bad. I remember stopping in Bakersfield on my way to Arizona years ago and what i thought was a peculiar early afternoon fog was actually a dense smog. It was pretty disgusting.

As someone who was involved with the oil industry for a very, very long time, the oil industries will take as much as they can get. They truly are a bunch of really very greedy people that do have a tendency to put more weight on money than anything else.

reply to post by Beartracker16

The Strategic Petroleum Reserves is actually comprised of both domestic and foreign oil reserves. These particular reserves are primarily comprised of foreign oil. US oil production had undergone a sharp decline in production for several decades until hydraulic fracturing (fracking) became cost effective enough to extract oil from shale oil deposits and improved equipment discovered previously unnoticed reserves or oil "missed" in existing wells.

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 09:24 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

Dear WhitAlice,

Thanks for your efforts, sorry I'm so slow at figuring things out. But you bring up two things.

Just know that Keystone is not solely dependent on Obama's decision to approve or veto. There are other parties in play that can prevent it from ever being built.
Let me see, if Obama wants it, and the Canadian government wants it. Who has the power to stop it? I suppose somebody can try law suits, but anybody else? And law suits aren't a guaranteed win.

You probably right that we have to wait a few months to see Salt Lake City at it's worst. I went to the weather site you provided and it described the horrendously awful day Salt Lake City had with a rating of 130.

The greater Salt Lake region had up to 130 micrograms of soot per cubic meter on Wednesday, or more than three times the federal clean-air limit, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The worst day in Salt Lake City is a good day in Beijing which often goes above 500.

And the question I still can't figure out, if he's trying to get concessions, from whom? And what kind of concessions? Political, economic, environmental? No one seems to know. If environmental, does it have something to do with the pipeline? With global pollution? Canada doesn't know, nor, apparently, does anyone else.

With respect,

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by charles1952


I do like your story and may have heard it but am grateful for the reminder (the brain is going afterall).

The point is valid, in my opinion, that it is better for the Capital from the Endeavor to go to many hands and family and to just a few.

In high school I bought a copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book at the Midnight Special (then on Washington Blvd in West Los Angeles. The Chinese have the avntage of thousands of years of history to draw on and have, for the most part, learned from it. They have weathered things as a people (of many ethnic minorities such as the USA) that I can't imagine and survived.

Decentralizing production would go a long way to bringing back not only our economy but the worlds.

That said, investment in other forms of energy, conservation of what we have, and sharing need to take the forefront.

As Chairman Mao Said: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

posted on Oct, 18 2013 @ 09:56 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

White Alice,

Thanks for the lessons in Crude transport and game theory.

Hell yes, get the trains rolling again, upgrade the rail stock, the rails, and for heaven's sake bring back the caboose.

As for game theory. Not a big fan. A great theory, from what I can follow which is pretty basic - but doesn't seem to work real well with real people.

Personally, I'm certain this will come to pass as President Obama loves big business almost as much as republicans do. The only difference is that he does try to get some scrapes for the little guy out of the deal.

I think we will be sorry - I think the Taxpayer will have to pay huge, never ending clean up costs (think Exxon Valdez - still going, Hanford - still going and will forever).

And that's probably my biggist complaint - if WE THE PEOPLE are going to have to pay for big businesses 'Externalization of Costs' we should be paid hamsomely up front.

Please forgive my spelling.

posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 01:22 AM
reply to post by FyreByrd

I just wanted to add a little thing I just found on 'who's going to make money' from the Pipline.

And guess who the big winner is......

Koch brothers could make $100 billion on Keystone XL pipeline deal

A new study released Sunday concludes that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries stand to make as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is given the go-ahead by President Obama.


IFG also finds that more than 1,000 reports and statements in support of the Keystone XL pipeline project have been made by policy groups and think tanks that receive funding from the Koch brothers and their philanthropic foundations.

“The Kochs have repeatedly claimed that they have no interest in the Keystone XL Pipeline, this report shows that is false.” Said Nathalie Lowenthal-Savy, a researcher with IFG. “We noticed Koch Funded Tea Party members and think tanks pushing for the pipeline. We dug deeper and found $100 billion in potential profit, $50 million sent to organizations supporting the pipeline, and perhaps 2 million acres of land. That sounds like an interest to me.” Nathalie continued, “We all know they will use that money to fund and expand their influence network, subvert democracy, crush unions like in Wisconsin, and get more extremists elected to congress.”

and here is the link to the cited study:

posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 05:17 AM
reply to post by FyreByrd

I, for one, am shocked!

These reports just can't be credible!

posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 08:36 AM


I am really having trouble with patience and tolerance these days. I don't know what kind of 'evil' - yes 'evil' can justify profit over life.

Everywhere I turn, it's profit over Life.

It almost makes me believe that these critters are in charge:

My rationale as to why is that once they are allowed to sue, these cases could very well end up before the Supreme Court and if the current judicial train of thought is that the right to profit is greater than the right to life, we're truly screwed.

The current train of judicial thought?

It would appear that at least some judicial thought is guided by the principle of 30-pieces-of-silver. Like slush funds in secret Vatican bank accounts. People like Chief Justice John G. Roberts .... and the Bush family, the Clinton family, the Obama family and ...... ?

Slush fund accounts of major US politicians identified and seized at Vatican Bank (Rome). Connection established with Daniel Dal Bosco RICO indictment, which cites Giancarlo Bruno, Silvio Berlusconi & Ban Ki Moon. On Wednesday 5th January 2011, it emerged that US establishment-related slush fund accounts had been located in, and seized from, the Vatican Bank in Rome. The source of funds for these accounts in almost every instance was found to be the US Treasury.

Beneficiaries of the covert Vatican accounts include Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and each of the Obama children, Michelle Obama’s mother, all the Bushes and the Clintons, including Chelsea Clinton, Joe Biden, Timothy Geithner, Janet Napolitano, several US Senators, including Mitch McConnell, several US Congressmen including John Boehner, several US Military Chiefs of Staff, the US Provost Marshal, the US Judge Advocate General, the US Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, several US Judges, the Pope, and several cardinals. Big money was found in each of the accounts. legatus-split/

I truly cannot understand it. Maybe I am crazy but I'd give up plenty to heal the planet and humanity.

But who determines what is necessary to "heal" the planet? The Bush family? The Clinton family? Obama? Al Gore?

The UN plus the geniuses running our country appear to be totally corrupt .... totally evil. I would not trust them to care for my pet rock.

edit on 22-10-2013 by juspassinthru because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 12:36 AM

reply to post by Drunkenparrot

Billions would die? That is just bs alarmism.

We would simply have to return to our roots of focusing our labor on food and shelter. If it wasn't possible then we would have never reached this stage in the first place.

What was the global population prior to the industrial revolution?

The current 7 billion are only sustained through petroleum driven food production, preservation, delivery etc.

Billions are dependent on the petroleum driven food chain and yes, billions would die of starvation and disease in just a couple of months if the oil taps dried up tomorrow with no alternative replacement.

Not alarmist at all, just informed.

edit on 24-10-2013 by Drunkenparrot because: (no reason given)

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