Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘Keystone XL’

Contrary To GOP Bloviating, Keystone XL Won’t Start Construction Until 2015

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 15, 2012

Just in case you were wondering whether John Boehner’s bill to “force” Obama to build the Keystone XL Right! Now! was serious legislation or political theater, now you know — it’s theater:

The Calgary, Alberta-based company said Tuesday in an earnings release that its executives continue to work with Nebraska to determine the best route that avoids Nebraska’s environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Last month, the administration of President Barack Obama denied a permit for the project, but left the door open for TransCanada to apply for a new pipeline route. The company said last month it expected the new application would be processed in an expedited manner so that it could be in service in late 2014.

TransCanada has now moved that back to early 2015.

Hat tip to David Dayen. As Dayen says:

While the report makes it sound like the denial of the permit is responsible for this pushback of the start date, as Johnson explains it’s really the mandate from the state of Nebraska for a new route around the underground aquifer in the Sand Hills region. That requires the deployment of a new route, which has to be mapped out and planned. And that leads to the delay. Incidentally, that mandate in Nebraska was carried out by a Republican governor and a Republican legislature, concerned about the impact of the pipeline on their environmentally sensitive areas.

Your move, Oompa-Loompa Boehner.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

China Property Bubble Pops, Dooming Keystone XL Pipeline. Here’s How.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 22, 2012

Lost in all the hubbub over whether Obama is siding with the oil barons or the environmentalists on the plan to pipe Athabascan tar sands muck down to Houston is the economic fact that the window of profitability for the stuff is rapidly shrinking.

As most informed persons know, the muck’s eventual destination was never American gas tanks, but foreign — especially Chinese — ones. However, the stuff is too expensive to extract for it to be profitably shipped overseas in anything less than supertanker loads, and Canada’s western coast has no ports capable of docking supertankers. Even if it did, the First Nations peoples won’t let anyone hack through their lands and forests to get a pipeline — which is the only way the stuff can be profitably transported on land — to the British Columbia ports. That’s why crossing the border to get to Houston, with its supertanker-capable ports, is key.

But for this whole scheme to stay profitable, oil prices have to stay above $90 a barrel. As this oil price tracker shows, the price per barrel crashed well below that point when the US real estate and banking bubble’s popping took the US (and world) economy down with it in September of 2008, and prices stayed well below $90 a barrel until March of 2011. Only after oil prices consistently topped $90 a barrel did the TransCanada folks start talking heavily to the US mass media about Keystone XL.

Now we have word that the Chinese real estate bubble is popping:

The mainland property market is in meltdown and the damage is spreading, not only to consumers but across the mainland’s economy and, perhaps, internationally as well.

Since last year, Beijing has sought to burst what it saw as a dangerous bubble, which was pushing home prices beyond the reach of the middle class. It did so by initiating a series of tough measures to restrict bank lending and a crackdown on speculation.

As a result, sales have slumped by as much as 70 per cent, triggering a mainland-wide price war among major developers desperate to raise cash amid a credit crunch. Many are not expected to survive the shakeout.

This is having ripple effects throughout the Chinese economy. Steel suppliers in and out of China are adversely affected, since new construction accounts for 29% of China’s steel output and 15% of the world’s total steel output. Concrete, copper, and other construction-connected businesses in and out of China are also affected.

Municipalities and other local governments, which typically depend on land sales for a good chunk of their revenue, have sustained a hard blow just as they were struggling out of the long recession. Angry home and property owners suddenly find themselves “underwater”, or with negative equity, just as many if not most US homeowners have over the past five years.

The effects of the bubble’s popping will be to markedly slow the Chinese economy, if not stop it outright. That means that there will be less demand for oil, just as there was less demand during 2009 in the depths of the recession. That means that world oil prices will soon be dropping again.

And that means there won’t be any way to sell the tar sands muck to anyone and make a profit on it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

FrackQuake-Wracked Oklahoma In Keystone XL’s Path

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 6, 2011

Life’s little ironies:

The Keystone XL pipeline, the one that TransCanada really, really wants and climate experts like NASA’s James Hansen really, really fear would trigger runaway, irreversible warming and a “game over” scenario for humanity, runs through the part of Oklahoma most heavily visited by earthquakes of late.

And (drum roll, please) the USGS has linked these quakes to the use of a mining and oil and natural gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”. (In fact, Cuadrilla Resources, the company doing shale fracking in Blackpool, England, has admitted that its fracking caused the earthquakes that rocked that part of England.)

Oh, and did I mention that the pipeline sits right on top of the Ogallala Aquifer, which sits under the soil in places like Oklahoma and Nebraska?

Of course, there will those oil-company execs that will claim that we really don’t what’s causing the fracking. But that makes it even worse: If fracking’s to blame, we stop the the fracking and thus the quakes. But if fracking’s not to blame, and we don’t know what really is to blame, then how can we risk a pipeline running over the water supply of the nation’s farmers when there are earthquakes we can’t predict, much less prevent, in the area?

If Big Energy actually consistently admits that fracking’s triggering the quakes, it’s going to set up one hell of a Hobson’s Choice for them: stop fracking, or stop the pipeline. Take yer pick.
Added by Charles as a technical visualization aid for our Transcanada spokesman:

NYT photo of ruptured pipeline

(Image from NYT of Silvertip pipeline rupture in the Yellowstone River). Recent news:

Exxon crews spent three months cleaning thousands of acres of land along the river. The rupture happened while the Yellowstone was in flood stage and deposited globs of oil in fields hundreds of feet from the riverbank and left a bathtub ring of oily grime around buildings caught in the flooding.

Posted in koch brothers, Occam's Razor, Oil | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

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