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Author Topic: Keystone XL Pipeline  (Read 22801 times)
patric
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« on: February 06, 2012, 12:12:48 am »

If I'm reading this correctly,
http://newsok.com/keystone-pipeline-is-ready-to-come-through-oklahoma/article/3646091

the portion of the keystone pipeline that runs through Oklahoma was already built and operating, thanks to the Canadian company exercising Eminent Domain rights in our state.

The "thousands of jobs" apparently were going to other states, or am I missing something?
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nathanm
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 12:51:44 am »

the portion of the keystone pipeline that runs through Oklahoma was already built and operating, thanks to the Canadian company exercising Eminent Domain rights in our state.

Definitely built. I drove by a nearly-new pump station or whatever they're called with their name on it out west somewhere. I forget exactly where it was.
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Teatownclown
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 01:50:40 am »

Quote
The Questionable Economics of the Keystone XL Pipeline
http://mobile.businessweek.com/top-news/the-questionable-economics-of-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-02172012.html?section=highlights
The Lazarus of political dramas known as Keystone XL gained new life yet again this week as Senate Republicans introduced an amendment to force approval of a $7 billion, 1,750-mile, Alberta-to-Texas oil pipeline, and environmentalists generated 800,000 letters to the Senate in two days opposing it.
A quick review: In November, President Obama sent TransCanada, the Calgary-based oil services company that planned to build the pipeline, back to the drawing board when he rejected the proposed route through Nebraska, where the pipe would lie inches above an aquifer that sustains the Great Plains. Then in December, Republicans in Congress required the President to make a final decision within 30 days so they could portray him as a job-killer; he obliged, denying the permit in January. This week’s Senate amendment and its corollary in the House—a measure tied to offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean that passed with a vote of 237-187 on Feb. 17—are attempts to override the President’s ruling.
As skilled as opponents were in defeating the pipeline, which seemed a sure thing as recently as September, pro-pipeline commentators and their allies in Congress have proven equally adept at making the case for it. The pipeline’s champions argue it will create jobs, slash domestic gas prices, and reduce dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Just how realistic are these claims?
Clearly, the construction of the pipe, most of it below ground, will be a huge undertaking. The estimated number of people it will employ in the process, however, has fluctuated wildly, with TransCanada raising the number from 3,500, to 4,200, to 20,000 temporary positions and suggesting the line will employ several hundred on an on-going basis. The U.S. State Department, which made its own assessment because the pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canada border, estimates the line will create just 20 permanent jobs. One advantage of a pipeline, after all, is that it’s automated.
The gas price argument rests on the bump in supply the Keystone XL will bring to market. Keystone XL would deliver around 830,000 barrels a day. Not all of that would be used in the U.S., however: The pipeline delivers to a tariff-free zone, so there’s a financial incentive to export at least some of this oil. This is especially true because area refineries are primed to produce diesel, for which there’s less stateside demand. But let’s say two-thirds of the capacity—half a million barrels a day—of Keystone oil stays in the U.S. That’s a convenient estimate on which to gauge the impact of Keystone oil, because it’s the supply increase the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which provides independent data on energy markets, expected in a recent study of the expiration of offshore drilling bans. In 2008, it studied what 500,000 barrels more per day would save consumers at the pump: 3¢ a gallon.
The point is not that the Keystone XL won’t deliver on the economic claims made for it, but that it’s highly probable the gains will be modest for consumers, while carrying significant financial risks, as we previously explored.
Meanwhile, those opposed to the pipeline—including environmental groups that sent all those e-mails to Congress—might want to put their energies instead into passing fuel economy legislation. The mileage upgrade for cars and trucks that Obama proposed last July would displace 11.6 percent of current consumption by 2025. (This upgrade is already technically feasible.) After 2025, the new fuel economy standards could well reduce consumption by 4 million barrels a day—nearly five times the capacity of the Keystone XL—and more than we get from OPEC.
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Jammie
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 04:29:48 pm »

Seriously? They just went ahead and laid it down there before it was even approved?

There could still be a problem with rerouting it around the Nebraska Sandhills since their aquifer could be in danger. Many of the people in my own state aren't sure we want to take the risk with our environment. The guarantee is that there will be no leaks, but that guarantee was also previously given to Kansas and they've had a few. I don't have a link and I don't know where their leaks were, but I just recently read about it.

As far as the jobs, it's always been an extremely inflated number. It doesn't correlate at all when you look at previous projects. One might feel more safe about it if everyone was just upfront and honest about the whole thing, but that's not happening. Many of us were actually relieved when we learned they wanted to study the risk factors more before just going ahead with it.
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Conan71
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 04:52:02 pm »

That's not my read at all.  Apparently they have settled up with land-owners and are now waiting on approval to get rolling on full-scale production.
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nathanm
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 07:26:14 pm »

The guarantee is that there will be no leaks

If they actually said that, the company should just be liquidated. They would have to be the stupidest people ever to walk this Earth to believe that it's possible to build a leak-proof pipeline with current technology. Even well regarded pipeline companies that don't skimp on maintenance in the slightest end up with leaks every once in a while, even without things like earthquakes and other natural disasters.

In Oklahoma last year there were 51 pipeline spills that released 5 gallons or more of hazardous material, causing almost $10 million in damage.
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 06:53:04 pm »

If they actually said that, the company should just be liquidated. They would have to be the stupidest people ever to walk this Earth to believe that it's possible to build a leak-proof pipeline with current technology. Even well regarded pipeline companies that don't skimp on maintenance in the slightest end up with leaks every once in a while, even without things like earthquakes and other natural disasters.

In Oklahoma last year there were 51 pipeline spills that released 5 gallons or more of hazardous material, causing almost $10 million in damage.

Seriously? I'd heard there have been leaks, but didn't realize it was on that grand of a scale.

I guess I should clarify in saying that the promotors of the pipeline are guaranteeing no leaks. As far as the company itself, I shouldn't have said that because I don't know if they'd make that kind of a guarantee.

I looked it up on wikipedia and it sounds like there could be a huge amount of pipelines running through our country once the project is finished. It's probably not a good thing, but since Iran has gotten crabby and oil is starting to skyrocket, we may end up having to go along with the pipelines.
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Conan71
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 07:31:18 pm »

Seriously? I'd heard there have been leaks, but didn't realize it was on that grand of a scale.

I guess I should clarify in saying that the promotors of the pipeline are guaranteeing no leaks. As far as the company itself, I shouldn't have said that because I don't know if they'd make that kind of a guarantee.

I looked it up on wikipedia and it sounds like there could be a huge amount of pipelines running through our country once the project is finished. It's probably not a good thing, but since Iran has gotten crabby and oil is starting to skyrocket, we may end up having to go along with the pipelines.

There's plenty you can do to mitigate the risk of leaks.  Do Americans even realize how many pipelines already criss-cross the country?  This is hardly new, it's just the football du jour, especially with sustained high fuel prices which are rising again, it's very topical.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 07:41:13 pm »

The reason the pipeline goes all the way to the gulf coast is so they can sell the refined product overseas. If America was going to get the product, the pipeline would go as far as a midwest refinery.

I don't understand why we want this. A Canadian company wants to build a pipeline across America so it can sell gasoline to Asia. All we get are the assembly jobs and the risk of a spill.
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Conan71
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 07:45:05 pm »

The reason the pipeline goes all the way to the gulf coast is so they can sell the refined product overseas. If America was going to get the product, the pipeline would go as far as a midwest refinery.

I don't understand why we want this. A Canadian company wants to build a pipeline across America so it can sell gasoline to Asia. All we get are the assembly jobs and the risk of a spill.

If that were a completely accurate assessment then why not pipe it to the west coast?
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2012, 08:01:52 pm »

If that were a completely accurate assessment then why not pipe it to the west coast?

mountains?
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2012, 08:03:25 pm »

If that were a completely accurate assessment then why not pipe it to the west coast?

California, Oregon, and Washington are not petroleum friendly.
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Conan71
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 08:14:12 pm »

California, Oregon, and Washington are not petroleum friendly.

Answered my own question:

http://wcel.org/our-work/tar-sands-tankers-pipelines

Vancouver no likey oil tankers.
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 12:44:40 pm »

Seriously? I'd heard there have been leaks, but didn't realize it was on that grand of a scale.

No lie. Across the entire country, there were 603 pipeline leaks last year, resulting in 17 fatalities, 70 injuries, almost $326 million in damage, and the net release of 114,195 barrels of hazardous liquids. (around 25,000 barrels were cleaned up after spills)

http://primis.phmsa.dot.gov/comm/reports/safety/AllPSI.html
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 01:14:39 pm »

Here is a pretty good picture of the aquifer location.

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

We already have a LOT of pipelines running over the area.  Here is a partial map - not all of them are shown here.

http://www.theodora.com/pipelines/north_america_oil_gas_and_products_pipelines.html

We are gonna get this no matter what - the only question is the apportionment of the payoffs.

Pipelines already cross the aquifer, but it wouldn't be that difficult to re-route just a little bit to miss the biggest part of it (which would make too much sense.)

I would like to see DOT put some new regulations in place - poison to many - that would require pipeline operators to do timely inspections and maintenance and replacement of old pipes.  In addition to the $326 million nathanm mentioned, there has to be some cost associated with the 17 deaths and the 70 injuries above and beyond that.  The old "value of human life" discussion...

In particular - plastic natural gas pipelines.  Technology has existed for decades to do a 100% inspection on each of the welds during installation that would give a much better than 99% certainty that the weld was good (yes - I do know from personal experience of using those tools for hundreds of welds.)  Plastic pipes are welded by melting the ends and smushing them together and subject to many types of contamination like dust, rock, sand, anything blowing around the prairie when being welded, grass, moisture when there is lite rain (yes, they do - weld in the rain - not a problem if done right), and air entrainment from improper alignment, heating, pressure on two pipes.

Maybe the wind doesn't blow in the plains, though....

At that point, it is trivial, in time and cost, to cut out the bad weld and re-do it before burial.  But for some reason - because the pipeline companies scream like a stuck pig when you mention the idea - DOT has not written the regulations to mandate full inspection.  Would that constitute an unwarranted government intrusion?

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