Do you support the Keystone XL pipeline?

Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 04:02 pm
The only benefit is too the Oil companies who are losing money fast and if you look at the map, the pipeline will run through GOP states!
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 04:04 pm
It is no benefit whatever to the USA. And a danger to the environment.
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 05:42 pm
What do you make of the argument that, without the pipeline, tar sands oil would get transported anyway, by more hazardous and less efficient means?

The State Department review concluded that even if the pipeline were not built, global oil demand is such that companies would continue to develop the Alberta oil sands and bring the petroleum to market in other ways. The oil could come by rail or by building other pipelines. But moving oil by rail has its own hazards. As transport has increased in recent years, so have explosions of rail cars carrying oil.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/us/politics/what-does-the-proposed-keystone-xl-pipeline-entail.html?_r=0
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 05:48 pm
The Canadians have a plan to ship it from their own pipeline. I can't touch their moves, but I can try to here.
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 05:56 pm
2tfx wrote:

The only benefit is too the Oil companies who are losing money fast and if you look at the map, the pipeline will run through GOP states!

I think we all benefit by moving fuel and fuel oils through pipelines rather than rail, it is 1/3 cheaper, it is safer for humans and for the environment, and it frees up the railroads enough that they can move other freight and Amtrak at reasonable speeds.

The aversion to pipelines is not supported by reason or the facts.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2015 08:18 pm
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 05:17 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Thank you for information....
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 07:54 am
Why would this crap even need to be transported anywhere. Refine it in Canada if its so wonderful.

Most oil offers a 15:1 benefit in energy received to energy invested. Tar Sands offer only 2:1. What is the mad freaking rush to send this **** to the US, a net oil exporting country?
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 07:58 am
Let alone the huge piles of resulting dangerous cancer causing sand.

Staying Hooked on a Dirty Fuel: Why Canadian Tar Sands Pipelines Are a Bad Bet for the United States
New Report Shows Proposed Pipeline Brings Gulf Dangers to Heartland States
06-09-2010 // Aislinn Maestas
108 6
Tar Sands Report Cover

A report from National Wildlife Federation warns a massive 2,000 mile, five-state proposed pipeline would use safety shortcuts, substandard materials and unsafe practices, creating a high risk of ruptures that would endanger rare species, water supplies, and rancher livelihoods. The pipeline would run through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The report looks at the dangers of tar sand both to the Canadian and American environment, and global threat they pose because they emit higher greenhouse gas emissions than oil or gas.

Download the full report: Staying Hooked on a Dirty Fuel: Why Canadian Tar Sands are a Bad Bet for the United States (pdf)

Download the tar sands press teleconference (11.1 MB)

British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon tragedy off the Louisiana coast, which killed 11 men and is an unfolding ecological disaster, is not an argument to expand Canadian tar sands development, as some have argued. The Gulf Coast catastrophe should instead propel us away from a future of diminishing returns and higher costs from “unconventional” fossil fuel extraction, which includes tar sands, oil shale and coal-to-liquids. Moving deeper into tar sands would be taking the country down the wrong path—one that leads to an inevitable dead-end.
Web of Dangerous Pipelines Spreading Across the U.S.

The tar sands industry aims to create an extensive web of pipelines to deliver increasing amounts of this Canadian tar sands sludge to refineries in the United States. The U.S. federal government has already approved two dedicated tar sands pipelines and is poised to approve a third.

The Canadian company Enbridge’s Alberta Clipper pipeline, running from the U.S.-Canadian border in North Dakota, and across Minnesota to Wisconsin, has already been completed.
TransCanada’s Keystone I pipeline, which the State Department approved in 2009, runs from Alberta to Illinois and on to Oklahoma.
TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline is the third pipeline whose permit application is currently being reviewed by the U.S. State Department.

The Keystone XL pipeline would cut through America’s heartland, running nearly 2,000 miles from Alberta down to Port Arthur, Texas, where the tar sands will be refined into transportation fuels. Other, shorter pipelines are envisioned to run to refineries around the country. This network of tar sands pipelines would deliver even more pollution to refineries where and the surrounding communities, which are already experiencing health effects.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will traverse rivers and carve across prairies, will flow on top of vital aquifers, and threaten farmers, ranchers and wildlife when it leaks or breaks, as it unquestionably will.

Building this new pipeline would institutionalize a demand for a product that we do not need—especially if we seize the initiative to wean ourselves from this a fuel that is sullying our coasts, tearing up our heartland, and destroying the health and livelihoods of communities. Current projections are that the new pipeline would not even run close to capacity, raising the question of why the U.S. is even considering this project.

Promoting the growth of the Canadian tar sands industry is a dangerous and foolhardy development. This pipeline system would virtually assure the destruction of swaths of one of the world’s most important forest ecosystems, produce lake-sized reservoirs of toxic waste, import a thick, tarlike fuel that will release vast quantities of toxic chemicals into our air when it is refined in the U.S., and emit significantly more global warming pollutants into the atmosphere than fuels made from conventional oil.

Communities that live near the tar sands are already experiencing health problems linked to the pollution, and dozens of wildlife species are at risk, including millions of migrating cranes, swans, and songbirds. If Keystone XL crosses our border, it will cut through thousands of miles of sensitive habitat in America’s heartland. When the tar sands are refined in U.S. facilities, the resulting pollution will foul our air and water.

We believe that the U.S. needs clean and renewable energy solutions as we make the inevitable and necessary transition to a post-oil world. Tar sands, as well as other inferior fossil fuels like oil shale, simply should not be part of the equation. Tar sands are a starkly inefficient, polluting, ecologically disastrous and expensive way to power our cars and trucks. Each tar sands pipeline our government approves further increases our dependence on this dirty fuel. These pipelines will become, in effect, a longterm, government-approved pollution delivery system.

If we allow all these pipelines to be built, we are essentially saying that we are willing to feed our oil habit, even if we know it will harm our air, water, health, prosperity and planet. Agreeing to increase our imports of Canadian tar sands represents the worst kind of addictive behavior: “persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to by physically, psychologically, or socially harmful.”

Why then, we ask in this report, is the U.S. poised to allow this expanded pipeline network that will lock our country into an ongoing reliance on the dirtiest of fossil fuels?

It is time to apply every ounce of American ingenuity to finding a technological path to a future that relies far less on oil and other fossil fuels and far more on sources of fuel that are renewable, sustainable, and clean. By applying the talent and technology of America’s best minds and businesses, this country can dramatically improve our environment and accelerate our move beyond a dirty energy economy.

We have arrived at a critical crossroads that will determine whether we can break free from this dependence—or lash ourselves tighter to it. Building new pipelines to import billions of barrels of dirty fuel from Canada is taking the wrong path into increasingly hazardous terrain. We should tell our elected leaders to reconsider.

0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 08:02 am

Koch-owned tar sands waste piles up in Chicago after Detroit cloud

Residents near Chicago are complaining about growing piles of petroleum coke - an ugly result of tar sands oil refining - that are building up along the banks of Calumet River. The carbon byproduct was reported and removed from nearby Detroit this summer.

While similar forms of coke byproduct have derived from coal production, petroleum coke – also known as pet-coke – results when tar sands are refined.

The substance made headlines earlier this year when a pet-coke pile that was three stories high and one block long created an ominous black cloud that floated over Detroit, Michigan. Citizens in nearby Windsor complained that they experienced respiratory problems and other ailments when the pet-coke infiltrated their water supply and floated through open windows.

The byproduct, which is approximately 90 percent carbon, has started creating similar problems along the Calumet River, which runs from South Chicago to Gary, Indiana.

“We’re really concerned about what’s going on in our backyard on the Southeast Side, but this is also an issue throughout the Great Lakes and across the nation,” Josh Mogerman, spokesman for the Natural resources Defense Council, told Midwest Energy News. “It’s going to become a bigger and bigger problem, and it’s not going away.”

The pet-coke in question is owned by KCBX, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, which is owned by multi-billionaires Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries also owns Marathon Refinery - the Michigan plant responsible for the ugly black cloud that appeared earlier this year.

Michigan residents were outraged when it was revealed that the Koch brothers, who have been connected to lobby efforts seeking to obstruct climate change prevention and stop clean energy policies, were storing the pet-coke illegally. At a public hearing set up to investigate the matter, residents accused authorities responsible for protecting the environment of neglecting their duties.

“State Department of Environmental Quality regulators and Detroit city officials appeared to be caught flat-footed by the piles, and scrambled this spring to assess whether they harmed nearby air and water quality only after media reports and complaints from residents and local lawmakers,” the Detroit Free Press reported at the time.

The uncertainty is spreading throughout the region as more cities facilitate the Alberta-based tar sands industry. Each barrel of oil shipped from Canada produces between 60 and 130 lbs of pet-coke. That is then sent overseas and incinerated in electricity generators because the Environmental Protection Agency has stopped issuing permits for the burning of pet-coke inside the US.

“This is dirtier than the dirtiest fuel,” Gay Peters, a Michigan politician who represents the lot where the pet-coke pile was stored, told the Guardian. “We need to know more about this material and the impact on communities. I don’t think enough is known.”
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 08:06 am


You really need to see these photographs
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 08:10 am
David Daniel stands on his property in Winnsboro, Texas, where the Keystone XL pipeline is slated to be installed.


Daniel is opposed to the pipeline, which will carry oil from Canada's tar sands.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Planning For A Pipeline

Daniel lives about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Dallas in East Texas.

He learned a pipeline was headed his way four years ago, when a neighbor called him at work to alert him that surveyors had been on his land.

He rushed home and hurried down the shady path from his house to where spring-fed streams meander through what looks like a fairy-tale forest. He found surveyors' stakes, with some cryptic writing on them, right in the middle of his 20-acre property.

"I didn't know what 'K-X-L' was; '36-inch,' I understood what that is. That meant pretty big. And 'P-L' had to be pipeline," he recalls. "My heart just sunk that this is the piece of the property that we fell in love with, and this pipeline would tear all this up."

A few months after he saw the stakes, he got a letter from a corporation named TransCanada asking for permission to send out more surveyors.

The letter warned that TransCanada could take him to court if he didn't comply. He called an attorney whose name was on the letter.

"I said, 'I have questions. I don't know anything about this project,' " Daniel remembers.
Infographic: Explaining the process of extracting oil from tar sands
How Tar Sands Oil Is Produced

According to Daniel, the lawyer said, "The only question I have for you is which pile to put you in, the cooperative pile or the f - - - ing uncooperative pile."

The lawyer says that he doesn't remember the conversation, and that he doesn't use such language. But Daniel took notes at the time, and he says the conversation is seared into his memory.

Daniel usually doesn't intimidate easily. He's a carpenter and used to work for circuses, riding motorcycles on the high wires. But he knew he didn't have the money to take on a big corporation.

TransCanada kept threatening Daniel that if he didn't give his permission, they'd get it from the courts through eminent domain, which forces people to give companies rights of way through private property for highways and other uses considered in the best interest of the general public.

What Daniel wants most from TransCanada is answers. He actually drew up a list of 54 questions.

"One of my many questions was: If there's a spill and we have to leave, are you going to take care of us?" Daniel says.

He also wanted to know things like: What kind of damage could a spill cause? And what chemicals would flow in the pipeline?

TransCanada told Daniel in writing that questions about spills were hypothetical because their pipeline would be designed not to spill. But in a document for the State Department, TransCanada predicted two spills every 10 years over the entire length of its Keystone XL pipeline, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Some scientists argue that the company underestimates that risk. Another pipeline it put into service two years ago has had 14 spills in the United States, although most were small, according to TransCanada.
The U.S. Pipeline Network
Map of U.S. Oil Pipelines

Source: Petroleum GeoGraphics Corporation (U.S. Pipelines), TransCanada (Keystone Pipelines)

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

After two years of wrangling, Daniel finally gave in to TransCanada, because he felt he had no other choice. He signed a contract, and in March 2010 accepted $14,000, which was a lot more than the $2,400 TransCanada had first offered him.

But around that same time, something happened that would help get Daniel some answers.

In July 2010, a pipeline carrying tar sands oil burst in Marshall, Mich., inundating 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River with heavy crude.

When Daniel heard these reports, he got scared.

"We didn't have to talk in hypotheticals anymore. We had a real-life example of what we thought could happen here," he recalls.

Daniel went to Michigan in search of answers.

How Clean Is Clean?

In Michigan, a cleanup worker turned whistle-blower named John Bolenbaugh helped answer one of Daniel's questions: If there's a spill, will they clean up all the oil?

Two years after the spill, Bolenbaugh takes an NPR reporter on a kind of treasure hunt for oil, crashing through jumbles of brush and chest-high grasses.

On the bank of the Kalamazoo River, Bolenbaugh sets up a video camera, because he videotapes everything he does. And then he hurls himself into the river.

A couple of minutes later, he walks out of the river, holding up a blue latex glove covered with tarry black stuff.

"It's like molasses but even a little thicker," Bolenbaugh says. "And it smells like asphalt, kind of. When it was fresh, it was a horrible, horrible smell, like they just paved your road, but they paved it on all four sides of your house, and you had to stay there for months. It was that bad."

Bolenbaugh is like a reality TV character. He talks a mile a minute, and he's prone to exaggeration. He sees himself as the Erin Brockovich of this disaster.

Bolenbaugh grew up in Michigan, and after a stint in the Persian Gulf with the Navy, and several years in prison for a sex offense, he started working on pipelines. So when the spill happened, he was called in to help clean it up.

As Bolenbaugh tells it, he and other cleanup workers were told to bury oil, which made him furious. So he started taking photos and videos with his cellphone on the sly.

Bolenbaugh was fired after he went to the Environmental Protection Agency and the media. But he sued the contractor he worked for and got a big settlement. Now he's suing Enbridge, the company that runs the pipeline.

He carries around some of the photos and tons of documents in a huge binder, which was part of the evidence for his lawsuit.

"If you notice in this picture, the oil is still there, but we're raking dirt over the top of it," Bolenbaugh says. "That's what we're ordered to do."

Bolenbaugh credits himself with getting Enbridge to redo cleanups. They dug up a two-mile stretch of creek for a second time, after Bolenbaugh showed reporters that a lot of oil was still under the replanted vegetation.

"I got 'em good. And I'm proud of myself for what I've done," he says.

Enbridge and the EPA dispute Bolenbaugh's interpretation of the role he's played, but they both confirm that it has taken far longer to clean up the oil than expected. Early on, the EPA gave the company a couple of months. Two years and $800 million later, the cleanup is still going on. The cost eclipses every other onshore oil cleanup in U.S. history.

What Is Tar Sands Oil?
Professor Steve Hamilton of Michigan State University has studied the cleanup along the Kalamazoo River. i

Professor Steve Hamilton of Michigan State University has studied the cleanup along the Kalamazoo River.
John W. Poole/NPR

A major reason the cleanup costs so much and is taking so long is that lots of the oil sank to the bottom of the Kalamazoo River — but no one realized this at first.

Michigan State University professor Steve Hamilton is paddling down a stretch of the Kalamazoo that had just been opened to the public. For nearly two years, 37 miles of river and two miles of creek were closed because of the contamination from the spill.

In a shallow section, Hamilton sticks his paddle into the river and pokes the bottom.

"You can see just a little bit of sheen being produced here," says Hamilton, an independent science adviser for the cleanup. "It's starting to come up from this as I disturb it."

Hamilton says this tar sands oil sank to the river bottom because it's heavy — heavier than almost anything that's considered oil.

"It's not quite solid, and it's not quite liquid," he says. "You could pick it up and shape it into a ball practically. Tarry is another way to think about it."

Tar sands oil has to be diluted to make it liquid enough to flow through a pipeline. But once it's back out in the environment, the chemicals that liquefied it evaporate. That leaves the heavy stuff behind.

Cleanup crews didn't know what they were dealing with. They expected it to act like oil usually does and float on water. So they focused on vacuuming oil and skimming it from the surface.

But about a month into the cleanup, some fish researchers got a surprise. One of them jumped from a boat into the river. With each step he took, little globs of black oil popped up.

That kicked off a search for sunken oil.

"And everywhere they looked, they found it," Hamilton recalls.

EPA's Midwestern chief Susan Hedman says they had to develop new techniques to remove all of this submerged oil.

"The EPA staff that worked on this, that have responded to oil spills over many, many years, had never encountered a spill of this type of material, in this unprecedented volume, under these kinds of conditions," Hedman says.

Scientists say they're only beginning to study how tar sands behave after a spill, or even whether it might wear out a pipeline.

Will Companies Protect People In Pipelines' Paths?

The most important questions Daniel explored on his scouting trip were about his family's safety.

"If there's a spill and we have to leave, are you going to take care of us?" Daniel says.

On his Michigan trip, he got an earful on that one from Michelle BarlondSmith.

She and her husband lived in a riverfront trailer park, where trees still show oil rings about three feet up their trunks.

BarlondSmith says the sickening fumes from the oil lasted for months.

"Besides the splitting headaches and the dizziness — and we call it the crab walk, which is when you think you're walking straight but you look like a drunk walking down the street — you couldn't eat because you felt like you had two rocks in your stomach just pounding. And when you tried to eat, unpleasant things happened," BarlondSmith says.

Authorities didn't suggest they evacuate until 10 days after the spill; peak levels of toxic chemicals in the air had passed by then. Enbridge did pay for a couple of weeks at hotels for the couple. But after that, they had to go home.

The EPA measured high levels of benzene in the air after the spill. Benzene is a chemical in petroleum, and in high enough doses, it can wreak havoc on the nervous system.

The company did buy about 150 houses along the route of the spill, but not BarlondSmith's mobile home. Her husband says they felt abandoned by the company and the government.

"We were pretty much alone. They did not help us at all," says Michelle's husband, Tracy Smith.

David Daniel says he's haunted by their stories and what he saw in Michigan.

"I learned that this is a whole new monster than what folks in Texas are used to dealing with," Daniel says. "This is not a regular crude oil pipeline. This is something completely different. It's not being treated differently."

The Canadian pipeline company involved in the Michigan spill is not the same company David Daniel is dealing with; he's dealing with TransCanada.

TransCanada's representatives say their company is trying to learn as much as it can from the Kalamazoo spill, but they also stress that their Keystone pipelines should not be compared with the 40-year-old one that busted.

"The new pipelines we want to build are going to be the newest and safest pipelines ever built in the U.S.," says Grady Semmens, a spokesman for TransCanada. "They'll be a lot newer than that line that Enbridge operates. And we're quite confident that any incident even approaching that scale will be very quickly identified and responded to by TransCanada."

TransCanada studied the chance that its new Keystone pipeline system could rupture. It predicted, in a report to the U.S. State Department, that a big spill could come twice every 10 years somewhere along the length of the system, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Still, Semmens says pipelines are safer than transporting oil on ships, trains or trucks. He also stresses the benefits of getting petroleum from a friendly country like Canada.

"It's oil that's produced here in North America; it supports the millions of jobs in North America in the energy industry; and it can replace a lot of oil that's currently being imported from other countries," he adds.

Texas Landowner Prepares To Fight

Last week, TransCanada began construction on the southern section of the Keystone pipeline. It will go through about 1,000 private properties, including David Daniel's forest in East Texas.

But Daniel recently decided that given all he's learned, he can't let it happen without a fight.

He told TransCanada in a letter that he considers his contract void because of what he calls its lies and bullying. And he warned the pipeline company to stay off his property.

Daniel admits he still expects bulldozers to show up in his forest sometime in the next couple of months.

"For me, as a father, I have a duty and responsibility to protect my family. What I know about this project is they can break laws and put my family at risk. I'm not OK with any of that. If that means I'll have to stand in front of a bulldozer, I'll stand in front of a bulldozer."

Sometime in the next few months, David Daniel probably will have to stand by and watch as bulldozers knock down his thick forest and dig up the streams he loves.

His East Texas property is one of more than 1,000 in the path of a new pipeline, the southern stretch of what is known as the Keystone XL system.

For years, Daniel has tried to avoid this fate — or at least figure out what risks will come with it. But it has been difficult for him to get straight answers about the tar sands oil the pipeline will carry, and what happens when it spills.

"I want to know exactly what I'm dealing with," he says. "Maybe other folks want to go through life with blinders on, but I want to know how to protect my family, and without knowing everything, you don't really know how."

New pipelines, like the one coming to Daniel's property, are spreading out around the United States as the nation gears up to get much more of its oil from Canada's deposits of tar sands in Alberta.

This is not conventional crude. It is so thick, sticky and full of sand that companies have to shoot steam deep underground to liquefy it or scrape it out of sprawling surface mines. These complex extraction techniques are expensive, and they also produce a lot more greenhouse gases than conventional oil wells. But high oil prices are finally making tar sands oil profitable.

Many people are welcoming the jobs, money and friendly oil that will come with these pipelines. And politicians including President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney tout the benefits of getting more of our petroleum from such a friendly neighbor.

But pipeline spills are inevitable; hundreds of spills happen each year in the U.S.

And that terrifies some people in these pipelines' paths — Daniel included.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 08:26 am
Exxon Spills Tar Sands Oil Again In Missouri, Can’t Find 126,000 Gallons Spilled In Arkansas

by Ryan Koronowski Posted on May 2, 2013 at 10:07 am
6,469Share This 784Tweet This

"Exxon Spills Tar Sands Oil Again In Missouri, Can’t Find 126,000 Gallons Spilled In Arkansas"

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Exxon, cleaning up another oil spill from the Pegasus tar sands oil pipeline. (Credit: KAIT)

ExxonMobil has now confirmed that on Tuesday, the Pegasus pipeline that has been out of service since it spilled thousands of barrels of oil into Mayflower, Arkansas in March spilled some more into a yard in Missouri. In the town of Doniphan about 190 miles north of Mayflower, a resident reported seeing some oil and dead vegetation in the yard. Though small in scope, perhaps as little as 42 gallons, the spill is a reminder that oil is messy, tar sands oil particularly so, and transporting it across the country is extremely risky.

More pressing is the missing oil in Mayflower from the spill last month. The Sierra Club requested the accident incident report, which said that 3,000 barrels of oil (some 126,000 gallons) have not been recovered no matter how energetic Exxon’s response was:

Despite a massive cleanup effort in the Mayflower, Arkansas, neighborhood, the federal pipeline safety agency reports that ExxonMobil has recovered only 2,000 of the total 5,000 barrels of spilled tar sands crude. The accident incident report, which the agency shared with the Sierra Club after a Freedom of Information Act request, gives new insight into the size of the spill and the ineffectiveness of the cleanup effort. The report reveals that in total 83 people were evacuated from their homes, emergency response took 40 minutes, the pipeline was operating at 708 pounds of pressure when it burst, and 2,000 barrels reached local waterways.

The Pegasus pipeline was built to carry diesel fuel in 1947, Exxon converted the pipeline to carry tar sands crude and reversed its flow in 2006. In 2011, the federal pipeline safety agency fined Exxon $26,500 for failure to properly inspect a section of the line.

The report also states that even though there are at least 3,000 unrecovered barrels of oil, the current “estimated cost of public and non-Operator private property damage” is $0. At the same time, when ClimateProgress reported on the tax loophole that allows oil companies like Exxon to avoid paying into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund because tar sands oil is not classified as oil, Exxon’s response was that it was “paying all valid claims relating to the spill.” They even doubled down and tweeted as much. But Exxon’s opinion of what a constitutes a “valid” claim is key here.

The oil in this pipeline is not paying a cent per barrel into the cleanup fund created to be the backstop for corporate intransigence: “When the responsible party is unknown or refuses to pay, funds from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund can be used to cover removal costs or damages resulting from discharges of oil.”

Last month, local residents filed a lawsuit against Exxon seeking $5 million in damages. The cleanup is still ongoing, and many residents have still not been allowed back into their homes a month after the spill. In fact, Exxon has offered to buy some of the affected homes.

Exxon's tar sands oil spills into a cove of Lake Conway, Arkansas. (Credit: Greenpeace Photo by Karen E. McCall)

Those 3,000 barrels, or 126,000 gallons of heavy tar sands crude oil, went somewhere. Exxon acknowledges that it did spill into a cove near Lake Conway. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel confirmed that the cove does connect to Lake Conway. Third-party observers have noted that this means there is oil flowing into the Arkansas River.

Exxon points to testing from the Arkansas DEP that find no oil in Lake Conway, but those tests only sample the top and bottom of the Lake. Other tests sampling the whole water column have found oil in Lake Conway. If the spill has spread beyond Mayflower, an apologetic “community newsletter” featuring the release of selected ducks and turtles into marshland will not be enough.

While Exxon’s Valdez spill more than 20 years ago was much larger that the Mayflower spill, the company was rebuffing claims of liability for future losses as recently as 2011.

Exxon pulled in $9.5 billion in pure profits in the first quarter of this year.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 09:33 am
I confess I haven't studied up on this issue at all, so I went to Wikipedia to get the baseline story and now I'm confused about why anyone is arguing about this.

Here is the map

The first thing to see is that phases one through three are done or almost done. There is already a pipeline from the tar sands to US refineries in the Mid-West and then to the Gulf coast.

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline (Phase IV), which would essentially duplicate the Phase I pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska,[9] with a shorter route and a larger-diameter pipe. It would run through Baker, Montana, where American-produced light crude oil from the Williston Basin (Bakken formation) of Montana and North Dakota would be added[7] to the Keystone's current throughput of synthetic crude oil (syncrude) and diluted bitumen (dilbit) from the oil sands of Canada.

So the new leg will provide a bigger pipe and help the folks in Montana get their high quality crude to market. I get that there were some ecologically sensitive areas that the pipeline was originally going to be routed through but that has been resolved leaving only the carbon emissions question, yet the oil is already flowing. It is either going through the existing pipelines or via train and truck. I don't really see the issue.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 10:36 am
The issue is: we don't want tar sand oil and we don't need tar sand oil.
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 12:42 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
But you already have tar sand oil. Why not move it efficiently?

The way to get rid of tar sand oil is for all of us to dramatically cut our energy use. As a high cost energy source, it would be the first to go out of production once it is not needed. As long as there is a demand, energy companies are going to produce it.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 12:50 pm
But the Canadians have a plan for a pipe line of their own. Why should we let it move through here if they can keep it up there?
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 01:03 pm
The United States is lousy with pipelines. They are all over the place including the Ogallala Aquifer. Why flip out about this pipelines when all of those other pipelines are running around already?
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 01:05 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:
What is the mad freaking rush to send this **** to the US, a net oil exporting country?


this is about someone's investments, not any benefit to general consumers
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2015 01:27 pm
But this is true about a lot of industrial spending. Amazon does not install automated system tracking to benefit the consumer, they do it to improve their efficiency and make more money.

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