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Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the you-can't-divorce-politics-from-government dept.

Government 206

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that once again, the Obama administration has pushed back a final decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline possibly delaying the final determination until after the November midterm elections. In announcing the delay, the State Department cited a Nebraska Supreme Court case that could affect the route of the pipeline that may not be decided until next year, as well as additional time needed to review 2.5 million public comments on the project. Both supporters and opponents of the pipeline criticized the delay as a political ploy. Democratic incumbents from oil-rich states have urged President Obama to approve the pipeline but approving the pipeline before the election could staunch the flow of money from liberal donors and fund-raisers who oppose the project. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell said in a statement that "at a time of high unemployment in the Obama economy, it's a shame that the administration has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for years." Activists say its construction could devastate the environment, but several State Department reviews have concluded that the pipeline would be safe and was unlikely to significantly increase the rate of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. Even if the pipeline was canceled, it said, the oil sands crude was likely to be extracted and brought to market by other means, such as rail, and then processed and burned."

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Metaphor alert (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798883)

Obama's been laying pipe in America for 5 years; don't need the competition.

Re:Metaphor alert (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46799245)

Competition laying pipe? Maybe not.

Let's not be so quick to the default presumption that his African heritage won out over the Irish he got from his Mum.

Re:Metaphor alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799333)

yet another politician on the payroll of the oil companies.

but as long as it's a Democrat, it's A Okay.

Re:Metaphor alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799411)

No, its not OK. Obama is a DINO (Democrat In Name Only), and unlike RINOs, which is just an insult because the person isn't far enough right, Obama is actually one of the most far right presidents we've had in a long time. He has instituted far too many straight-Republican policies (which they then oppose, despite being their own fucking policies simply because "Oh noes, he's a 'Democrat'!") to be an actual Democrat.

Irrelevant... (5, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46798893)

Every action that increases the cost of gasoline increases the profit in producing it.

What the anti oil people have failed to grasp is that they're making the oil companies rich at everyone else's expense.

If I didn't know better, I'd think the whole anti oil campaign were a conspiracy by the oil companies to raise prices. Because that has been the result.

We are only getting fracking in the first place because oil got expensive enough to justify the practice. If oil were cheaper then there would be no fracking.

Increase the cost further and see what happens next. But it won't be the green revolution.

Long story short, batteries are what is holding back green technology. Batteries are shit. Until that changes the green revolution will mostly be a luxury feel good item for the wealthy. Anyone outside of the elite simply won't be able to afford to go fully solar with an electric car, etc.

Which means we're on gas. And prices for gas will have to get astronomic before it will overwhelm the price advantage that gas has over electric.

Re:Irrelevant... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798905)

I power my car with the energy produced from coal therefore I am better than you lowly gas guzzling people.

The hypocrisy is mind blowing.

Re:Irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798937)

Steam powered?

fascinating

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46799019)

ironically, yes. If his car uses an electric motor driven by batteries, and the batteries are charged via a connection to his electric utility, and the utility generates electricity by burning coal.... Then his car is, indirectly, steam powered.

We've come a long way since the 1880s (3, Interesting)

hessian (467078) | about 7 months ago | (#46799095)

In the present day, the steam plant is located far from the occupants of the car, thus the cars are safer. But otherwise, it's the exact same technology. That's progress(tm)!

Come to think of it, have we made any really startling breakthrus since the internal combustion engine and computer itself? I mean, other than obvious stuff like improving those gadgets and linking them together.

Re:We've come a long way since the 1880s (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 7 months ago | (#46799447)

Come to think of it, have we made any really startling breakthrus since the internal combustion engine and computer itself?

Nuclear is a fairly startling breaktrough, although it uses steam for power generation. And solar. Get fusion working, and it will be a big change (but again, it will use steam).

Re:We've come a long way since the 1880s (3, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 7 months ago | (#46799533)

Nuclear is a fairly startling breaktrough, although it uses steam for power generation. And solar. Get fusion working, and it will be a big change (but again, it will use steam).

There are ways to directly generate electricity from fusion reactions. Lawrence Livermore Laboratories actually demonstrated it in the lab and came out with greater than 85% efficiency from this system (heat-based systems max out near 50%). Before I'm criticized for even mentioning it, yes, it's more complicated and difficult that just hooking up a turbine. It's still feasible, and should not be dismissed out-of-hand as an area of research in fusion power generation. In the long run, it would be much cheaper.

Re:Irrelevant... (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46799197)

Also, if the electric utility has nuclear power plants, his car is steam powered.

Only if it's powered by ground up eagles and other birds is it green.

Does. Not. Compute. (3, Informative)

stomv (80392) | about 7 months ago | (#46798975)

My part of the country gets about 5% of our electricity from coal. The largest share (though not the majority) is natural gas, with big chunks of hydro, nuclear, and small but growing chunks of wind and solar and biomass/landfill gas. The carbon intensity of the electricity in my region per usable energy (say, per mile the vehicle can go) is less for electric than for gasoline, by a pretty wide margin.

Furthermore, if a person has PV panels on his own house, he can legitimately claim that his vehicle is low carbon emissions even if he does live in Kentucky or Ohio or Arizona or any other significantly-coal-dependent state.

Furthermore, coal plants are being retired all around the country. There's currently about 300 GW of coal fired capacity in tUSA -- by 2020 it will be closer to 220 GW. Folks who want less carbon emissions are opposed to building new capital infrastructure which will facilitate more carbon emissions for decades to come. Those folks would rather spend money (and create jobs) building wind turbines and solar farms and expanding subway and bus lines and switching more truck delivery to rails and switching from the manufacturing of gasoline fired autos to electric vehicles.

The folks who oppose the Keystone aren't in favor of coal fired electric power plants. That's pretty freaking obvious.

Re:Does. Not. Compute. (5, Insightful)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | about 7 months ago | (#46799469)

they might not be in favor of shipping oil by rail either, but that's what's happening because of them.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799369)

I'd say ignorance. Its the same mentality that goes to the store and buys meat thinking that meat is a slab of product divorced from its source... aka a live animal at some point.

I am not a vegetarian. But I am often annoyed by my fellow urban dwellers that don't seem to understand where anything comes from or what you must do to sustain the system.

I really think everyone as children should be taken out to the country to see a real farm in action... and then follow that forward to the grain mills, dairies, and slaughter houses.

I suspect you'll have more vegetarians when all is said and done... but the meat eaters that remain wont be such doe eyed fuckwits.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799475)

Sigh, this old chestnut.You might suspect that, but do you have any actual evidence? Prior to relatively recently you couldn't avoid seeing meat hanging in shops or seeing the source. In most of the world that's still the case. Most of those places have lower rates of vegetarianism than the US does.

The reason that people go vegetarian is environmental, in which case that wouldn't have an impact, empathy for animals, which probably wouldn't happen if they were regularly exposed to meat being butchered or something else. But, I highly doubt that this would change anything for most people.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799563)

I don't disagree... the point is that so many in our society don't understand anything about how the society is sustained.

They don't understand where anything comes from or how it is obtained.

That includes the fuel. Everyone just assumes it comes from the store as if its being produced on site and the price is something the clerk behind the counter makes up on an hour to hour basis.

Re:Irrelevant... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799631)

I power my car with the energy produced from coal therefore I am better than you lowly gas guzzling people.

Indeed, centralized coal power produces less pollution per unit of energy than the IC engine of a car. Running a car on coal electricity will produce less carbon pollution per mile.

The hypocrisy is mind blowing.

More like your understanding of reality is flawed. Efficiency comes with scale; electric power stations are quite efficient, IC engines are not.

Re:Irrelevant... (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#46798907)

What you fail to realize is that most of them could care less if the oil companies get rich or not. They are more concerned with controlling you and getting your vote. The evil oil companies is just a windmill for you to tilt at while they cheer you on claiming to do something about it while you gladly vote for them.

both true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798955)

These are both true. The oil companies take a straight percentage as profit.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799379)

Oh I know... I'm not against the pipeline.

Resisting it is meaningless. The oil will flow one way or another and making that process less efficient is not good for business or the environment.

Not at all (0)

stomv (80392) | about 7 months ago | (#46798959)

Every action that increases the cost of gasoline decreases the consumption. For people who believe that climate change is real and caused/exacerbated by human activity, reducing the amount of gasoline consumed is a good thing.

Whether or not the cost rising results in more profits for oil companies (hint: it doesn't -- the profit per unit goes up, but the number of units sold goes down, and profits go down) is irrelevant to those who want less consumption of fossil fuels because, well, the carbon emissions are bad for mankind.

Re:Not at all (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46799043)

Every action that increases the cost of gasoline decreases the consumption.

Oil has a very flat demand curve. When the price doubled from $2 to $4 per gallon, demand went down about 3%. In the long run, people will buy more efficient cars and change their commuting patterns, but in the short run most people have no choice but to just suck it up and pay.

America produces most, but not all, of the oil it consumes. The oil companies make WAY more profit on domestically produced oil, because foreign governments capture most of the profit on their oil exports. If demand drops due to higher prices, the oil companies import less foreign oil (the least profitable) and make a windfall on domestic oil.

Re:Not at all (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799383)

Except that hasn't really happened.

What is happening is that oil companies are laughing at you all the way to the bank.

At you... laughing... to the bank.

Keep it up... they find it hilarious.

Re:Irrelevant... (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46798995)

What the anti oil people have failed to grasp is that they're making the oil companies rich at everyone else's expense.

This is not about facts. It is about a litmus test of ideological purity. Like spotted owls [wikipedia.org] and SDI [wikipedia.org] , it has taken on so much symbolic importance as a political dog fight that the underlying facts no longer matter at all.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46799127)

Even wealthy people with aspirations to roles as activists only have so much time and energy to throw at this part of themselves, the part that needs to be seen as doing the good work. Anything packaged as "Save The Earth" catches their interest instinctively.

The article postulates the Dems are trying to pacify the environmental flag wavers by not signing until after the next election cycle, an eerie parallel to the Republican need to court the far right during Presidential primaries and then distance themselves from them in the general election.

They are going to allow the pipeline after instituting some measures in the approval that "make it safer". If they were going to kill it, he would do it now.

I, for one, am more concerned about the release of sequestered carbon from the exploitation of the field than I am how they get it here.

Re:Irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799381)

If thats the only 'fact' supporting why it should be approved, then it should not be. "They will make [more] money off it" is the whole point of capitalism so that is not a legitimate counter-point.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799549)

Myopic asshats will be myopic asshats.

Re:Irrelevant... (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46799021)

Increased energy use is a self-correcting system.

As it gets more expensive, there is economic pressure to use less, or to find more efficient ways to use the energy available.

Without market distortions, such as massive subsidies for current forms of energy production, higher costs lead to new energy generation methods.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799345)

Except for it isn't because you can't reduce your energy consumption to zero.

What happens is that people must pay the price whatever it is until it reaches such a high price that it creates a real crisis.

You create the crisis and you might have riots in the streets or a general break down in society. So have fun with that.

But the prior while people will do what they can to reduce consumption they still need to drive to work, they still need to drive around town, they still need to use energy. And raising prices just takes money out of their pockets to no greater purpose.

If your goal is to radically reduce energy, your best bet is to go around and just kill about half the population of the world.

Short of that... energy consumption can only go so low.

Re:Irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799517)

If your goal is to radically reduce energy, your best bet is to go around and just kill about half the population of the world.

Obama can't fulfill all his campaign promises in the first six years. Give him some time.

Re:Irrelevant... (1, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#46799453)

Self-correcting is relative to time. Many make the assumption that the time base is short and so destructive policies will have relatively immediate consequences. This is what confuses the global climate debate and the argument that when it gets hot enough, we'll switch to something non-carbon based. If the time base is short, that might work. However, if what we pump now means a runaway greenhouse effect 20-30 years from now, then we're screwed 20-30 years from now and no amount of "market forces" will fix that.

Clint Eastwood had it right, "Do ya feel lucky...?"

This includes regulation (1)

hessian (467078) | about 7 months ago | (#46799115)

Every action that increases the cost of gasoline increases the profit in producing it.

Just a reminder: this includes regulation. It's a great excuse to charge more money and use what the laws do not specifically prohibit as a chance to make even more.

DeVry MBA /|\ (3, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 7 months ago | (#46799177)

Every action that increases the cost of gasoline increases the profit in producing it.

I know a guy who runs a sandwich shop. Next time I see him I'll tell him to throw away 50% of his ingredients, leave the ovens on full even when he's closed and take on employees whose sole function is to break things.

He'll be pleased as puch at all the extra money he'll make!

Re:DeVry MBA /|\ (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46799209)

Runs a sandwich shop? Rastamon don't have no am-bee-shun.

Re:DeVry MBA /|\ (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799329)

Your economic analogy is false.

Imagine rather that ALL food prices are increased.

Will you pay or starve?

Re:DeVry MBA /|\ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799547)

You don't have to imagine this. Ethanol was used to inflate the price of corn beginning in 2006 which caused global food prices to spike. Americans spend the least amount of income on feeding themselves and so we don't see the impact this has on the rest of the world. All the major commodities were pushed to new heights within the last ten years and that has become the new paradigm. Yesterday's highs are now today's unacceptable lows. They know we have short memories and can be convinced of just about anything. In ten more years no one will remember that the pipeline didn't employ anyone who wasn't already a contract worker.

What would Jesus do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799193)

Jesus would be trying to figure out how to get young adults off their parents health insurance policies. You know, the ones they still have, intact, that no longer have lifetime caps.

Jesus would be taking away health insurance from millions, making evil insurance companies give back those hundreds of millions in new premiums that are taxed because they can’t be held offshore under Reagan’s offshore asset squirreling rules.

Jesus would be helping states who have refused to cover their citizens with Medicaid explain how it’s actually making those who qualify, weaker, and even more sick.

Jesus would bring back pre-existing conditions.

Jesus, would be asking for his shirt back

Re:What would Jesus do? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799321)

what in the name of god are you trying to say?

Re:What would Jesus do? (1)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#46799467)

I think he's saying Jesus will return to implement pre-existing conditions and be very involved with the health care debate.

I Think He's Saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799657)

...That Jesus would bring back pre-existing conditions. You know, by re-blinding that guy he healed.

Re:Irrelevant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799319)

Not batteries specifically, but an efficient way to store electricity. Be it as potential, kinetic or chemical energy.
A number of projects/proposals for Pumped-storage hydroelectricity [wikipedia.org] seem promising.

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799397)

Yeah but batteries are the only practical and portable means of storing that kind or power short of gasoline. And batteries in that context are crap.

Ug... (2, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 7 months ago | (#46799505)

Keystone is at best a waste for America and at worst a natural disaster waiting to happen. It's a pipeline down to Mexican refineries so Canada can sell cheap tar sands oil to China. The problem is it's a _long_ pipe line, and they have a history of breaking and nobody noticing (since it costs lots of $$$ to monitor them) until after a community's ground water is heavily contaminated. If it happens in a mid sized town or city where it's too expensive to buy everyone out those people are just screwed.

The problem is these sorts of things are only a matter of time. With current tech maintenance costs more than allowing the disaster to happen. If the companies were severely punished for the spills that wouldn't be an issue. But if BP had to clean up their last mess they wouldn't exist as a company, and the owners would be broke. Those guys just buy off politicians until their in the clear. Heck, the CEO of TEP cried a little on Camera and got away with giving thousands of people cancer because he wouldn't pay to upgrade the safety on his factory. It was called a "Once in a 100 year event", but there were records showing it had been 100 years since the last one. That's some Mighty fine work there, Lou.

So to summarize my rant: You're asking me, as an American, to take a big risk that sooner or later is practically guaranteed to end in an etiological disaster in exchange for at best a few thousand jobs and a bit of cheap oil for China? I think This [google.com] just about sums up my feelings.

Re:Ug... (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799589)

1. The oil will be sold where they want to sell it regardless. They're currently shipping it through other pipelines and ferrying it by truck where there are no links. You did not stop the flow.

2. The canadians can build their own export facilities in Canada entirely bypassing the US. The canadians already take your position as a betrayal of our shared economic arrangement. The deal was that we'd provide certain assets to them and in return we got first bid on resources. You've made liars of us and the canadians are not happy about it.

3. Pipelines have issues but they're less then alternative systems which WILL be implemented if we don't have a pipeline. Trucks crash and leak etc... and on balance you're voting for that over the other. Your idea has more environmental damage. Its anti environment.

4. Most of the people complaining about the pipeline don't live anywhere near it so I don't buy this nimbyism nonsense because it isn't even their backyard.

5. As to jobs and china.... I didn't say anything about either. That's you. I'm saying accept it because the oil will flow either way and all you're really doing is inconveniencing people, making things more complicated, and pissing people off.

Nothing more.

Re:Irrelevant... (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 7 months ago | (#46799593)

Cost of oil has nothing to do with Keystone pipeline and such, it is directly related to the value (lack of value) of the dollar.

But you can still thank your federal government with the Federal reserve for that. Just like you can thank them for the prices of food going up [slashdot.org] (and of-course all other prices, including the stock and bond and housing markets' prices, which is their intention in the first place)

Re:Irrelevant... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46799633)

Even if you adjust for inflation gas has increased in cost substantially. If the price of gas dropped to what it was 10 years ago adjusted for inflation most of the fracking operations around the US would be unprofitable.

These people don't understand that the market is a dynamic system. You change one thing and everything responds to it. They keep treating prices like static qualities that will sit still when you change things allowing them to patiently arrange everything one bit at a time until its just how they want it. Well, it doesn't work that way. The instant they move one thing everything else starts going up or down or sideways to respond. So rather then create order they just enhance the chaos at increasingly ruinous expense.

Re:Irrelevant... (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 7 months ago | (#46799703)

Wrong, wrong and once again: wrong. You can't adjust for inflation based on the mainstream definition of inflation, which is completely off the rocker. Real inflation is a number of times higher than the numbers that are being propagandised for the popular consumption. Quite the opposite, if you want to understand inflation, look at the prices of oil.

As to supply and demand, the world is producing much more oil and gas today than it produced previously and even with growth of demand, the supply is still able to cover the demand. What the supply cannot do is fight inflation.

after november... (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 7 months ago | (#46798901)

It seems he likes to make all of his decisions after november.

Re:after november... (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#46798965)

"It seems he likes to make all of his decisions" to benefit other countries and political systems, including Islam and Putin, in like "Tell Vlad I'll have more room to work with him after the elections."

"He" is not operating in the best interests of the U.S. in any way I can see

Re:after november... (1)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#46799487)

Hey, cut him some slack, he's evolving. One doesn't evolve overnight, it requires mediation time, time to kick the can down the road, time to figure out how to procrastinate in the hopes the current problem will go away all by itself due to magical influences such as pixie dust and clicking one's glittering slippers while uttering "We're not in Chicago anymore".

Re:after november... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799025)

Deja vu all over again. This administration is all smoke and mirrors. Considering how untransparent the White House is, there's a few announcements from previous election years that have made it in the news:

Gen. David Petraeus resignation announced just after 2012 election
In 2011 he delayed the decision on Keystone until after the 2012 election. The current delay is even with many government agencies approving the pipeline, including the EPA.
Solyndra layoffs announced just after 2010 election

I get the impression he's ready to make Al Capone smoky backroom deals, but only until after the November elections.

Re:after november... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 7 months ago | (#46799385)

It is pretty undisputed that the environmental impacts of building the pipeline are minimal, but don't strawman that as the only issue.

The bigger issue is that the pipeline is being built by a private corporation (TransCanada) which will be using it to confiscate U.S. land (part of immenent domain) at the expense of the U.S. in economic development, and if something were to fail in the pipeline or be targeted, it would hurt the U.S. and the onus would be on us to repair the environmental damage.

If that wasn't bad, there is no indication that TransCanada plans to do anything but what their standard business model is, which is move oil from Canada and sell it to China, which means that even though it cuts all the way across the U.S. to get from Canada to ports on the Gulf Coast for shipping overseas, the U.S. gets none of it or sees any benefit.

So, that sounds like it sucks, right? Why would we even be considering that project? Well, the only reasons I can see are that the Koch brothers, being heavily invested in the project and standing to make a profit, more or less bought support for it on both the GOP and DNP sides through donations and funding lobbying groups with TransCanada. That, and to gain public support, also both parties funded grassroots 'hearts and minds' and television advertising campaigns (which you might recall seeing in the 2012 election with the Keystone XL pipeline was a major part of Rmoney's election platform).

Benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799695)

A) Construction Jobs

B) Tax revenues

C) Lower energy costs (because oil is fungible, so it doesn't matter who they sell it to.)

Re:after november... (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 months ago | (#46799731)

The bigger issue is that the pipeline is being built by a private corporation (TransCanada) which will be using it to confiscate U.S. land (part of immenent domain) at the expense of the U.S. in economic development, and if something were to fail in the pipeline or be targeted, it would hurt the U.S. and the onus would be on us to repair the environmental damage.

TransCanada will NOT confiscate US land, and has ZERO ability to implement eminent domain. The localities/States that work together to implement the utility of the pipeline do have the power of eminent domain, and can use it to clear the way for the pipeline (a utility). And that does not leave TransCanada off the hook for any environmental damage from the pipeline. Ask any pipeline owner about eminent domain and their legal obligations to maintaining the pipeline and the land it uses.

Re:after november... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#46799493)

That's standard operating procedure, and the dumbass voters fall for it every time. I can't blame them for doing what works to get themselves reelected. This is how the system works.

Re:after november... (1)

MikeMo (521697) | about 7 months ago | (#46799679)

The man just has no balls. If he did, he'd make a call, one way or the other. If he believes one choice or the other is the "right thing" to do, for the environment or for the country, he should make the call regardless of the political risk.

Build refineries in ND (5, Interesting)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#46798909)

What they need to do is build refineries in North Dakota, where there is plenty of oil, and also natural gas to power them.
We don't want all the refining capacity of the nation to be in the Gulf where it could be all shut down by a hurricane. (stronger and more frequent due to climate change)

Re:Build refineries in ND (1)

Highland Deck Box (2786087) | about 7 months ago | (#46798941)

That's a good point, but why bother when the refining infrastructure is already existing, and transportation of oil is so cheap.

Re:Build refineries in ND (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 months ago | (#46799499)

The oil companies may eventually decide to break the idle refineries down and move them north to Dakota and Canada.

Re:Build refineries in ND (2)

SylvesterTheCat (321686) | about 7 months ago | (#46798957)

An interesting idea. Distributed refining capacity would sound like a good idea.

I suspect that it was considered. At least, I would hope that it was considered.
I wonder what the cost, lead time, environmental requirements, etc. are for constructing a refinery.

Re:Build refineries in ND (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 months ago | (#46799741)

It took the better part of a decade to get the EPA to decide the pipeline is acceptable; I'd hate to see how long it took to approve construction of a new refinery.

Re:Build refineries in ND (3, Interesting)

Major Blud (789630) | about 7 months ago | (#46798961)

This makes sense, but refineries takes years to build and perhaps a decade to come online. They also need to be built next massive water resources (which is why so many in the gulf are next to the Mississippi river) for cooling purposes and barge access.

Re:Build refineries in ND (3, Informative)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46799039)

This. It would talk longer to build the refinery than it would to build a transcontinental pipeline. In addition, if you think they're having problems trying to build a pipe from Canada to Texas to flow crude oil, wait till they try to build a large refinery in ND and then build the pipeline to carry the processed output across country. You'll have people pulling the NIMBY card for the refinery. The same people trying to stop the crude pipeline, trying to stop the gasoline pipeline. And lots of others complaining about the increased truck and train traffic carrying the hazardous chemical secondary production outputs and byproducts.

Re:Build refineries in ND (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 months ago | (#46799507)

Just put the refineries and the filling stations in North Dakota. Then people can drive 2000km from Texas to fill up...

Re:Build refineries in ND (1)

517714 (762276) | about 7 months ago | (#46799661)

Texans might drive 1500 miles to fill up, but they wouldn't drive one kilometer.

Still need pipes (1)

stomv (80392) | about 7 months ago | (#46798981)

If you're going to extract tar sands of their crude, then refining the crude in ND doesn't change anything. You've still got to ship liquid petroleum products from ND to the rest of the country -- and, in fact, the rest of the world since the USA is a net exporter of refined crude -- be it pipe, rail, or truck. Moving the refinery doesn't change the need for transport.

Re:Still need pipes (2)

Kagato (116051) | about 7 months ago | (#46799051)

I think the OP is taking about skipping tar sands and refining the oil and gas in North Dakota. On the US side of the border there's hundred of BILLIONS of barrels of sweet light crude. Not to mention trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. So far the only pipeline out of there goes to a superior Wisconsin refinery. And that's just for the oil. Natural gas is just burned off. There's no pipelines currently to move the crude to the major refining states. It has to be moved via rail and truck, which is already saturated to capactiy.

Re:Still need pipes (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#46799357)

Hundreds of billions sounds like a gross overestimate. Most estimates of US proven reserves are around 30B barrels.

Re:Still need pipes (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 months ago | (#46799519)

Sure, but the reserve number never goes down. It always stays at 30 B or rises even more. Therefore, hundreds of billions of barrels is likely correct.

Re:Build refineries in ND (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799037)

Refineries are very expensive and time consuming to build, on the order of $5 billion and 10 years for simple refineries, up to $15 billion and 20 years for complicated ones like those to deal with tar sand oil.

Also, if you built the refineries in North Dakota, what do you do with the refined products? Are you going to replace one Keystone pipeline with a dozen different product pipelines to ship the oil to terminals in ports, so it can actually be shipped somewhere?

Re:Build refineries in ND (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | about 7 months ago | (#46799441)

Perhaps. But if they can't get a permit to build the pipeline, I suspect there's a chance only slightly greater than 0 that they'd get one to build a refinery. :/

Texas needs water, not oil (4, Interesting)

LordNimon (85072) | about 7 months ago | (#46798939)

Why can't we have a pipeline that brings fresh water, instead of oil? That would be a lot more helpful. We've been a serious drought for years, and there's no sign it will let up.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798987)

Because we a LOT more water than oil. A couple of orders of magnitude. And we pay far less. A couple of orders of magnitude.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (1)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46799065)

California and Texas need to learn two words: De-Salination. yes, it's expensive. You got choices... Thirst and dead crops or spend money on desalination plants. Well, there are two more options... (1) Invent a method to alter weather patterns and steal someone else's rain. or. (2) declare independence and go to war with the U.S., annex neighboring states and pipeline water from the Mississippi directly to Texas.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799465)

Or you could just leave.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799121)

How much are you and California and the rest of the desert dwellers willing to pay?

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (1)

dkf (304284) | about 7 months ago | (#46799327)

Why can't we have a pipeline that brings fresh water, instead of oil?

Just make it illegal to use water for fracking and agriculture while there's a drought on and you'll have plenty of water for people to drink. Oh, you really want the water to support those industries? Let industry pay for what it costs to get it if they rely on it so much.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799339)

Sure, ask Mexico to pipe you in some "fresh" water.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (1)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#46799521)

Yep, and where would this water come from? The Great Lakes perhaps...not on your grandmother's grave. The Great Lake states will not allow you to decrease the water level of those lakes because they need them for shipping. Aquifers? The farmers in Nebraska, Oklahoma Arkansas, and Texas are already draining the Ogallala Aquifer. And due to the drier conditions in those states due to increased temperature lately, the aquifer is not getting replenished as it should. The Mississippi River, see the Great Lakes.

Re:Texas needs water, not oil (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#46799525)

Why can't we have a pipeline that brings fresh water, instead of oil?

No money in it... It would saturate the market. The system doesn't work without scarcity, and contented people are hard to motivate. Every shortage we experience now is only due to a disagreement over the price.

Turtleman speaks (5, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | about 7 months ago | (#46798951)

Mitch McConnell is a riot. Always when the turtleman speaks one should verify the facts and when you look at the data [transcanada.com] from no other than TransCanada about the number of *permanent* jobs this specific pipleline will add to the US economy it tops out at around 3600. Meanwhile you have Americans suing to not have that pipeline cross their land or have their land commandeered by the federal government.

Re:Turtleman speaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799139)

Thats 3600 more jobs than Obama has created with his "laser like focus on jobs"

Re:Turtleman speaks (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799255)

Actually the number of permanent jobs will be 35. http://www.newsweek.com/state-department-keystone-xl-pipeline-would-only-create-35-permanent-jobs-228898

let's start at the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799011)

"The Christian Science Monitors reports".....really?

Re:let's start at the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799591)

The Christian Science Monitor has had an excellent reputation for its journalism for a very long time.

You didn't know that? Really?

Tax Gift for Oil - ND Needs the Pipeline (5, Insightful)

Kagato (116051) | about 7 months ago | (#46799013)

North Dakota has saturated rail and road traffic trying to get it's crude out of the state. At the same time Natural gas is simply being burned off because there's no pipeline infrastructure to transport it. Pipelines that were being used to transport natural gas to the midwest from the east coast and gulf states will no longer be able to be used next year because they are being converted for use in transporting chemicals needed for tar sand conversion in Canada.

The reason big oil companies want the pipeline from Canada and not North Dakota is because there's a multibillion dollar tax loophole related to foreign oil processed in US refineries for export. Which is why the pipeline runs to the coast. Keystone Excel will have no effect on US fuel prices because it's not designed to sell fuel on the US market. It's quite likely that Keystone will result in refining capacity being taken out of the US market as it's used for export. All the signs point to this project actually costing the tax payer more at the pump in the end.

Let's also not forget the natural gas problems this creates for the upper midwest. They currently get their natural gas from Canada. Tar sand production need incredible amounts of natural gas. That's expected to increase prices people will be paying to heat their home. At the same time there's no plans now or in the future to bring more natural gas to upper midwest from the east coast. If anything they are losing capacity in order to support the tar sand production.

Re:Tax Gift for Oil - ND Needs the Pipeline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799113)

It's so refreshing to see someone here who actually gets it and doesn't resort to parroting talking points he heard somewhere in the media *couch*Fox News*cough*.

Blaming environmentalists, although they do add some friction to the regulatory process, are just to distract from the real reason - as so eloquently stated by the parent.

Environmentalists DREAM of having the power to stop things - if they REALLY did have that kind of power, fracking would have stopped a long time ago in this country.

Liability, government regulations, fear of lawsuits, or anything that the talking heads rant about are just distractions from the real reasons.

And getting tax breaks because of a loophole THEY lobbied for isn't the best PR for an industry.

Let's face it folks, if any of the distraction reasons REALLY held things up, big business would order their bitches in Congress to change the rules.

Updated Wire Service Headlines (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about 7 months ago | (#46799109)

Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

Canada ponders legalizing p2p filesharing for not-for-profit, personal use

Obama Approves Keystone Pipeline and Fast-Tracks Implementation

Re:Updated Wire Service Headlines (1)

green1 (322787) | about 7 months ago | (#46799709)

I wish, but the Canadian government doesn't have a track record of using anything but strong words against the US in these sorts of disputes.

Obama = Coward (3, Insightful)

optimus2861 (760680) | about 7 months ago | (#46799117)

I would have loved to been a fly on the wall in Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office when this non-decision was announced. Obama has once again taken the cowardly way out and punted a tough decision. He wants to continue to fundraise from environmentalists by saying "We're being tough on the Keystone pipeline and insisting it meets our environmental standards!" and then do the same with the big business crowd by saying, "We haven't said no to Keystone, we just want to make sure it meets our environmental standards." He doesn't actually want to make the decision, because then one crowd or the other will tell him to pound sand. Even though the entire job of being President of the United States is about making those decisions!

Worst president of my lifetime. Not even close.

Re:Obama = Coward (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799377)

Worst president of my lifetime

Have fun turning six. That's a great year.

Re:Obama = Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799605)

I remember distinctly when Obama was first elected President, many Canadians applauded and cheered his election. However, regardless if people like it or not, the oil sands is perhaps at this moment, the number one economic engine driving the Canadian economy. If not number one, then at the very least in the top ten.

Every time I see another delay, I see attitudes towards Obama change just a little bit more and more, and mostly on weighted average against the man. The reason being not so much concern from environmentalists, because even some people who think that way are looking at the big train fire in Quebec ( the Lac-Mégantic derailment ) last year and we see the effects from trains moving oil.

But also, almost everybody in Canada, or so it seems or feels like, has a friend or family member or a friend of a family member who has a job working on or for the oil sands in some capacity. When it hits home personally that you hear your family/friend is not getting work because of this delay, your mind and mood towards Obama changes. You begin to wonder not just what is wrong with the President, but what is wrong with Americans in general. We are supposed to be your #1 friends, #1 neighbours and your #1 allies in the world, and yet, one of the most important economic projects in our history sits idle. Gee, thanks "friends"

one last word - a friend of mine who works in the oil fields, his thought was this: "Feels like the Americans are just sitting their backside over top of us and having a giant dump. But you know, that's okay, because the Chinese want our oil too." I don't know how far up the ladder that opinion goes, or how wide spread it is, but I do know every time another "non decision" comes out, that point of view grows.

Partisan Attacks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799287)

The constant partisan attacks from shills straight from Fox News make me fucking sick.

YES, this is obviously a political ploy, but at least they arent shutting down the entire fucking federal government just to prevent poor people from getting healthcare.

Some jabs in jest are fine, but this is just fucking ridiculous. The right would love that Jim Ardis, for example, not actually be a Republican; too many posts in his thread were talking about "Democrats - Totalitarians, All of them!" and slamming the left when he's from the far right! The left isnt perfect, but at least they arent constantly trying to rewrite history or punish everyone in the country by throwing temper tantrums. The right are the only one that consistently create a false narrative to support their view while ignoring all of the facts, just like geocentrists and creationists (who are also politically right - shocking, I know).

Yes, the left are scum too, and being the lesser of two evils doesnt make them anything to be proud of, but the right is doing a serious disservice to their party and the people who actually believe in the policies they claim to support (fiscal conservatism, small government, etc) by driving away everybody with half a brain cell.

Re:Partisan Attacks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799427)

"People who showed up to help Bundy in Nevada are domestic terrorists" - Harry Reid
"People complaining they are having issues with Obamacare are outright liars" - Harry Reid
"The only reason to oppose Obama is because of racism" - Jimmy Carter
"People protesting against the ACA were waving their flags around like Nazis" - Nancy Pelosi
"Help me to get reelected to destroy my political enemies" - Barak Obama

Lets see. I can list a ton of quotes from the LEADERS of the DNC. If you want I'll go on and list some from Bill Maher that you won't be able to match from anyone on the right. Perhaps you can show examples of the GOP doing the same? No? For how bad they are you can't find anything?

Perhaps if you weren't such a twat you would see that the partsianship is being instigated from the leadership of the DNC, period.

Re:Partisan Attacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799497)

Responding to a post complaining about partisan attacks with an endless stream of partisan attacks.

Way to show that "your side" isn't full of vitriol and hatefulness.

Re:Partisan Attacks (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 7 months ago | (#46799583)

Fascinating. Quoting people on the other side directly is tantamount to "attacking them".

If you think that, you might consider what you think about people who say such things.

State Department Report was writen by Oil Execs (2)

corezz (1603659) | about 7 months ago | (#46799437)

I like how articles forget to mention that the State Dpt. reports were made up of people who had ties to, or paid by those in the gas and oil industry. That is why environmentalists are still up in arms. Feel free to look up who put the report together and see who they work for. It's all there.

Dither dither dither dither feckless dither (4, Interesting)

WCMI92 (592436) | about 7 months ago | (#46799599)

Obama only acts fecklessly after endless dithering.

THAT is why you don't elect a "community organizer" (the politically correct term for "street agitator") President. They don't know how to lead.

I wonder who profits... (4, Interesting)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 7 months ago | (#46799603)

Even if the pipeline was canceled, it said, the oil sands crude was likely to be extracted and brought to market by other means, such as rail, and then processed and burned.

Hmm, I wonder if our beloved President 1% knows any 1%ers who, say, owns a railroad company?

Oh.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/... [bloomberg.com]

I wonder how Burlington Northern's doing on this latest news.

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