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Government United States Politics

Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again 206

Posted by timothy
from the you-can't-divorce-politics-from-government dept.
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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Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

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  • Does. Not. Compute. (Score:4, Informative)

    by stomv (80392) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @08:07AM (#46798975) Homepage

    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.

  • by confused one (671304) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @08:30AM (#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:Not at all (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @08:31AM (#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:Turtleman speaks (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 20, 2014 @09:33AM (#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

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