Skip to comments.The Owners of the Keystone Pipeline Just Canceled a Project in Canada
Posted on 04/03/2015 4:49:50 AM PDT by thackney
TransCanada on Thursday announced a two-year delay to its plans to move the Canadian tar sands. The company is cancelling its plans to build a controversial export terminal in Quebec, citing environmental concern over the endangered beluga whale. This means a delay to plans for finishing the Energy East pipeline, now set for 2020. In the meantime, TransCanada will search for a new location for its port.
For once, then, Canadian oil news isn't about the TransCanada-owned Keystone XL, which has faced a six-year delay as the Obama administration sits on a decision to issue a permit. At least not directly, anyway. Energy East, once completed, would be even bigger than Keystone XL, delivering 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day, compared to Keystones 800,000 barrels. As its name implies, the pipeline would run from the Alberta tar sands eastward to the shipping lanes of the Atlantic coast.
Not only are Keystone and Energy East similar battles, but proponents (and opponents) often tie the two pipelines' fates together. Keystone opponents say building that pipeline would ensure tar sands extraction continues at a rapid pace, setting the world on track for severe climate change. Proponents argue that Keystone doesn't matter either way, because other pipelines like Energy East make tar sands development inevitable. If the United States doesn't build its pipeline, they say, Americans will miss out on the economic benefits. We dont think theres any way that the oil will stay in the ground, Matt Letourneau, a spokesperson for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said last year. Certainly the market will find a way.
But so long as there are delays, tar sands development isn't inevitable because Energy East's future, like Keystone's, is far from settled. Oil companies are still in the middle of working out how to get the landlocked tar sands to the coasts for refining and shipment, and during their delays on multiple fronts, Keystone isn't a futile fight.
The delay could provide a boost to organizers trying to delay other tar sands projects. Each of these pipelines face a similar environmental playbook: Delay as long as possible in the hopes that it becomes unprofitable or impossible for companies to pursue their plans. Keystone has faced years of delay, and now Energy East faces its own uncertain future. Environmentalists weren't the only reason for TransCanada's change of plans. Because oil prices are low right now, companies have little incentive to pursue their plans to extract costly tar sands for little profit.
TransCanada still has a strong incentive to find a new port and finish construction. Oil prices surely will rebound eventually, making the tar sands profitable once again.
I don't think you can look at this as a major impediment to the future of oil sands development but it certainly speaks to the opposition to pipelines, the anxiety about shipments of oil and, of course, to the increasing importance of environmental protection to the public, Andrew Leach, an economist with the University of Alberta, said. The beluga is an iconic species, so I think the writing was on the wall for this once the risk to habitat was made clear, in particular in Quebec.
In the short-term, however, this is a win for environmentalists. And it may even help them in their fight against Keystone.
The nihilist troglodytes just won another round even as global warming has been exposed as a false religion. Don’t believe that crap about the beluga whale one moment. I am beginning to think democracy is a bad form of government. Certainly when it has an ignirant, superstitious electorate like the current generation.
It is a terrible form of government.
But it is also better than all the other choices.
I’m not familiar with the oil processing issue so ask this question.
Which is worse, building a pipeline to transport tar sands oil or building refineries closer to the source of said oil? My assumptions would be that the end product, fossil fuel, would be more dangerous to transport than the crude oil.
Right now, that argument doesn’t ring true. For Democracy to be effective, you need an intelligent, ethical, moral, well-informed citizenry - a Republic of virtue. Need I say more?
We do it all the time. If people want a threat free world, they live in a fantasyland.
Give me a republic any day. Democracies are little more than mobocratic tyrannies.
There are thousands of miles of gasoline pipelines in the US.
People need to grease the right skids. Obama and the left can be very cooperative when money in the right amounts travels across the right palms.
A refinery still has to move the products, including by-products that are not as easy to move as the light-end fuels. Now you would be farther from the petrochemical plants that also use the output of the refineries.
The US does not have a refinery shortage. We produce more refined products than we use ourselves and export the surplus. We have a shortage of crude oil to feed those refineries, particulary the heavy oil like the oil sands produce.
It would also be more expensive by several orders of magnitude because the different refined products need to be transported separately.
Democracy is the greatest form of government. However it is like any organization of people. It is only as good as those who are elected to serve. When a man like Reid thinks lying is justified to get Obama elected one starts to think we need our elected officials to pass lie detector tests every month or so. I am in favor of every elected official plus every Gov type having to take lie detector tests. The VA employees damn sure should.
I thought it was going to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia in the first place. When did Quebec become the end terminal? Oh yeah, I forgot. They probably threatened to separate if they didn't get the deal. They've only been doing this for about 50 years.
Oh, and Beluga whales are an endangered species? Well, guess what? So is anyone living near a rail line that has tankers rolling by that are filled with crude oil.
Low oil prices are a double edged sword.
I agree but the periods of my adult life when we had expensive oil meant a lousy US economy. (73-4, 79-80, 08-12)
The left will try to claim that this is a victory for environmentalists, but the reality is that this and the decline in coal has a lot more to do with American ingenuity (fracking) giving us access to cheap oil and natural gas. This is a victory for capitalism, not a victory for marxism.
The Keystone pipeline is being blocked because Warren Buffett makes $2.5 billion every year its not built. His rail companies transport the oil.
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