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Harper presses Obama to approve Keystone oilsands pipeline
Calgary Herald ^ | February 4, 2011 | Sheldon Alberts

Posted on 02/05/2011 10:27:44 AM PST by thackney

Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a personal pitch Friday for President Barack Obama to support a controversial $7 billion pipeline that could double the amount of Alberta oilsands crude exported to the United States.

Harper confirmed he pressed Obama on Calgary-based TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline during the two leaders' hour-long meeting at the White House.

The planned 3,200-kilometre pipeline, which would run from Hardisty, Alberta to the Gulf Coast of Texas, is currently in limbo as the State Department weighs whether to grant a presidential permit allowing construction to begin.

In a question-and-answer session with reporters, Harper was asked if he discussed Canada's role as a secure supplier of oil and whether he sought assurances the U.S. would look favourably on the Keystone XL project.

"Yes, we did discuss the matter you raised," Harper said.

Obama has been a vocal advocate of the U.S. developing "clean energy" alternatives to help wean America off foreign oil. In his state of the union address last month, he announced plans to include sharp increases in funding for clean energy technology in his upcoming budget.

But Harper said he impressed on Obama the "reality" that the U.S. will need far more energy than it can produce for "some time" to come.

"And the choice that the United States faces in all of these matters is whether to increase its capacity to accept such energy from the most secure, most stable and friendliest location it can possibly get that energy, which is Canada, or from other places that are not as secure, stable or friendly to the interests and values of the United States," Harper said.

Obama has not commented publicly on the project — and did not respond to the question asked Friday of Harper.

But the prime minister's message was precisely the one that Canadian and U.S. energy sector wanted him to deliver.

Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, wrote to Obama on Friday appealing to the U.S. president to approve Keystone XL for economic reasons, saying it could create 342,000 direct and indirect jobs between 2011 and 2015.

"Other countries are securing their energy futures and we need to do the same," Gerard wrote.

The pipeline has been on indefinite hold since last July, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency described a draft environmental study of the project as "inadequate" — raising concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and the potential threat to sensitive ecosystems of a spill.

The State Department is now weighing whether to conduct a supplemental eco-study providing more detail on Keystone's emergency response plans, the chemical composition of the oilsands bitumen and potential damage to groundwater from pipeline leaks or spills.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last October that she was "inclined" to approve the pipeline. But she has since come under political pressure from more than four dozen fellow Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate to address environmental concerns.

In particular, lawmakers in Nebraska have suggested TransCanada change the route of the pipeline to avoid crossing over the vast Ogallala Aquifer, a major groundwater source for the Plains.

U.S. environmental groups have put Keystone XL at the centre of a national advertising campaign in the U.S. against oilsands imports, triggering a TV air war of sorts with TransCanada over the pipeline's value.

Outside the White House on Friday, a small group of environmentalists protested the pipeline by holding up signs depicting states along the Keystone XL route.

"What Prime Minister Harper failed to acknowledge is that tarsands oil is highly polluting," Alex Moore, dirty fuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S., said in a statement. "There are cleaner, safer ways to meet U.S. energy needs than to import this dirty oil from Canada via a dangerous pipeline through America's heartland."


TOPICS: Canada; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alberta; canada; energy; keystonepipeline; keystonexl; oilsands; pipeline

1 posted on 02/05/2011 10:27:46 AM PST by thackney
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2 posted on 02/05/2011 10:30:21 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: thackney

FU, Mr. Moore...real Americans approve...let’s git ‘r done.


3 posted on 02/05/2011 10:33:04 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Oh, Congress..? Defund the EPA...quit screwing around.


4 posted on 02/05/2011 10:33:56 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: thackney

Too bad the US can’t drill its own oil and give jobs to American companies and US workers. My bet is Obama will not approve this pipeline and give in to radical environmental groups. We all better be prepared to be shivering or sweltering in our darkened homes, standing in line for our ration of $5 gasoline and Great Depression level unemployment all thanks to Obama energy policies.


5 posted on 02/05/2011 10:34:02 AM PST by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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For the curious, a very detailed map.

http://www.keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/clientsite/keystonexl.nsf/pipelineroutemaps.pdf
5.5 MB

6 posted on 02/05/2011 10:34:42 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: thackney
Obama has been a vocal advocate of...

...driving gasoline prices up to $7 per gallon, devastating the lives of millions of Americans in the process...

7 posted on 02/05/2011 10:35:40 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: thackney

Obama is such a nitwit.

Here we have a friendly country willing to supply the USA with crude oil.

Obama does not want to have friendly crude oil suppliers.

No Obama wants unfriendly suppliers like Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, or Nigeria among others.

Obama is hoping the unfriendly suppliers cut us off so he can expand his expensive alternative energy projects and payoff his political supporters in the alternative energy camp.


8 posted on 02/05/2011 10:36:28 AM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: thackney

Wasn’t there a tunnel put up and taken down quickly in India during the satrap vacation there? What was that a demonstration of really, and who was there? Where did the technology to do that go?

Oh, and is/how is Communist China connected to this ‘Keystone’ project?


9 posted on 02/05/2011 10:38:20 AM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: thackney

I think it only needs to run to Billings, MT. Refine it there and use product pipelines to bring it to a gas station near me.


10 posted on 02/05/2011 10:40:03 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: thackney

In particular, lawmakers in Nebraska have suggested TransCanada change the route of the pipeline to avoid crossing over the vast Ogallala Aquifer, a major groundwater source for the Plains.

That really should not be a concern as it would take a catastrophic failure of the pipeline at just the right place and followed by very inept response to even have a small chance of oil permeating the aquifer.

However, the EPA and the land owners along the pipeline route will make it difficult to get the pipeline built.


11 posted on 02/05/2011 10:42:25 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: who knows what evil?

Bump.


12 posted on 02/05/2011 10:44:40 AM PST by GlockThe Vote (Who needs Al Queda to worry about when we have Obama?)
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To: combat_boots

?????

You confuse me.


13 posted on 02/05/2011 10:47:25 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: thackney

Looking at the route, wouldn’t it be cheaper just to get a pipe over to the headwaters of the Mississippi River and then float it down? ;>)


14 posted on 02/05/2011 10:49:29 AM PST by epithermal
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To: thackney

Sorry.

The pipeline is a tunnel. I have wondered why that tunnel used to transport 0bama & Michelle to Ghandi’s burial spot was constructed when 0bama’s security is so heavy anyway. I think it was a demonstration of capability & technologies, more than for his protection. And I wonder who benefitted.

I am thinking of who would build such a pipeline/tunnel here through the US and who would own the rights to it or anything put through/alongside it.


15 posted on 02/05/2011 10:51:56 AM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: The Great RJ

“Too bad the US can’t drill its own oil and give jobs to American companies and US workers.”

While it is true that the Gulf permitting process needs to get moving, it is simply not true that we are not drilling in the USA.

In fact, almost have the working drilling rigs in world are working right here in the USA.

And if you wish to include Canada in there, the number of rigs in the two countries account for two-thirds of the rigs in operation today.


16 posted on 02/05/2011 10:53:39 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: combat_boots

I was happier when I didn’t understand what you were trying to say.


17 posted on 02/05/2011 10:54:28 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: thackney

It won’t happen while this President is in the White House. In thrall to the “environmentalists”.


18 posted on 02/05/2011 10:55:58 AM PST by popdonnelly (If Obama improves education, who'll vote for him?)
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To: thackney
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a personal pitch Friday for President Barack Obama to support a controversial $7 billion pipeline that could double the amount of Alberta oilsands crude exported to the United States. ,

A personal pitch from the PM. BO is not looking out for our interests. This should have been locked up in a contract long ago.

19 posted on 02/05/2011 10:59:29 AM PST by King Moonracer (Bad lighting and cheap fabric, that's how you sell clothing.....)
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To: trumandogz
Rather silly given how many pipelines already cross it.


20 posted on 02/05/2011 11:00:01 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: thackney
But Harper said he impressed on Obama the "reality" that the U.S. will need far more energy than it can produce for "some time" to come.

"Reality" doesn't really work with leftists, unfortunately.

dirty oil

Really the stupidest leftist meme ever.

21 posted on 02/05/2011 11:01:07 AM PST by denydenydeny (Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak-Adams)
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To: thackney
The oil from the Alberta oilsands (there's no tar there) costs Americans less than the oil you import from the Mid East. Our (Canada's) alternative to the U.S. market is China. We wouldn't even have to wait for a pipeline to be constructed; as shipment by rail would be economic, and the infrastructure is already in place. Only environmentalists (ours, plus American and European) stand in the way of this.
22 posted on 02/05/2011 11:08:27 AM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: thackney

Liberals want us to import oil from the hostile Middle East instead of from a friendly democratic neighbor to our North.

Go figure.


23 posted on 02/05/2011 11:10:55 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

For significant volumes, shipment by pipeline is FAR cheaper than by rail.

About half the oil we get from Canada is already from the oil sands.


24 posted on 02/05/2011 11:13:31 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: thackney

It would create good paying jobs in America and help to revive our stagnant economy.

You would think Obama would be doing everything to expedite this project.


25 posted on 02/05/2011 11:15:53 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Liberals want us to import oil from the hostile Middle East instead of from a friendly democratic neighbor to our North.

Go figure.

____

All part of the plan to make us dependent upon unreliable Arab sources of crude oil.

Thus, when something goes awry in the middle east, the liberals can give even more stimulus money to their alternative energy buddies.


26 posted on 02/05/2011 11:19:11 AM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: combat_boots

I’ll tell you how the Chicoms are connected to this. If the US does not approve the project, there is a pipeline project waiting in the wings to run from the oilsands to the west coast. From there the oil goes by tanker to China. If the US doesn’t want it, the Chicoms will buy all we can produce.


27 posted on 02/05/2011 11:42:57 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (How do I change my screen name now that we have the most conservative government in the world?)
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To: thackney
Pipelines are generally cheaper than rail — but, there are some important factors to consider.

Pipelines cost a lot to build — that capital cost has to be amortized over the life of the pipeline, or over the supply of commodity being shipped (whichever comes first).

In the case of the Alberta oil sands; CN rail already has track in place from Alberta to the west coast. There is plenty of excess capacity, in this railway, to handle millions of barrels of oil/day.

Pipelines take time to build. Building tanker cars takes a lot less time — and it is scalable. That means quick response, and little risk.

A new pipeline would be strongly opposed by environmentalists (just as the proposed one to Texas is being opposed). The railway is already in place. There would be opposition from environmentalists, but their hand would be much weaker. Environmentalist roadblocks (as opposed to real environmental concerns, which would be addressed); would be the main impediment to building a pipeline.

Environmentalists here also strongly oppose shipping oil, from a west coast port. So far, they seem to be winning. If the choice were between building a port facility, and completely shutting down the Alberta oil sands — the port would likely be built. (Recall that environmentalists want all the oil-sands production to stop — and that Obama leans in that direction.)

That said, the best thing for North America would be to build the pipeline down through the US. However, that seems to be up to the U.S.A.

Here's a couple of short articles about the use of rail to ship oil from the oil-sands. The first one mentions shipping raw bitumen to China, where it would be refined. The bitumen would have to be heavily diluted, and heated, to pass through a pipeline.

http://www.cjob.com/Channels/News/Edmonton/story.aspx?ID=1351872

http://www.teamstersrail.ca/TCRC_News_April_9_2009_1.htm

28 posted on 02/05/2011 11:53:37 AM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: trumandogz

The recent gulf oil spill is a pefect example of catastrophic failure and inept response.


29 posted on 02/05/2011 1:21:13 PM PST by printhead
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