If you haven’t heard of the debate about the Keysotne XL pipeline you have probably been living in a…pipe.
The Keystone Pipeline transports synthetic crude oil and diluted bitumen from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, and on to the U.S. Gulf Coast. (See Map) The “XL” designation is the expansion plan indicated in red.
This is a hugely controversial expansion both environmentally and politically. Keystone XL has faced lawsuits from oil refineries and criticism from environmentalists and some members of the U.S. Congress.
In 2010 The U.S State Dept. extended the deadline for federal agencies to decide if the pipeline is in the national interest, and now it is on President Obama’s desk. The political implications of his decision will likely be far reaching and 2012 significant.
The State Department’s inspector general has agreed to investigate his agency’s handling of the proposed pipeline, prompted by mounting accusations of a “pro-pipeline bias” in what’s supposed to be an objective review. The move adds to a growing cloud of uncertainty over the project, and could further delay a decision that was already being pushed to 2012.
Deputy Inspector General Harold W. Geisel will conduct a “special review,” pointing out that 14 members of Congress had requested an investigation, including Sen Bernie Sanders, (Independent-Vermont).
“At a time when all credible scientific evidence and opinion indicate that we are losing the battle against global warming, it is imperative that we have objective environmental assessments of major carbon-dependent energy projects.” Sanders said.
The objective of the review is to determine to what extent the Department, and all other parties involved, complied with federal laws and regulations relating to the Keystone XL pipeline permit process.
Why the State Dept.? …The State Department is tasked with approving or rejecting the plan since it would cross a U.S. border… critics argue the agency improperly favors the proposal and has ignored its own conflicts of interest. There is a lot of money being thrown at passing this issue…see below the supporters and their previous efforts in overturning a landmark California law.
Upon completion, the Keystone Pipeline System could provide 5% of the current U.S. petroleum consumption…maybe… that would be about 9% of U.S. petroleum imports. The debate is… access more oil from Canada or use less carbon-based burning of coal, Natural gas & oil, to help save our planet and lungs. If it burns it is killing us.
The Keystone XL expansion is slated to cost approximately US$7 billion. One wonders “If only half of that amount ($3.5 billion) was invested in alternative energy applications how much of that 5% of current petroleum use could be eliminated.
In February 2011, Reuters reported that Koch Industries were poised to be “big winners” from the pipeline. In May 2011, Congressmen Waxman and Rush wrote a letter to the Energy and Commerce Committee which cited the Reuters story, and which urged the Committee to request documents from Koch Industries which relate to the Keystone XL pipeline…if you don’t know who the Koch brothers are you really have been living in a pipe.
Koch Industries Inc. is a Kansas-based conglomerate that operates oil refineries in several states and is the company behind several brand names including; Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Lycra fibers and Stainmaster carpet. Forbes magazine ranks Koch Industries as the second-largest privately held company in the U.S,. The Koch brothers are worth billions, and have an attitude, that is …Not earth friendly.
Valero Energy Corp….the environmental co-enemy with Koch Ind…is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, with approximately 21,000 employees. The company owns and operates 16 refineries throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean with a combined capacity of approximately 3.1 million barrels per day… making it the largest refiner in North America. Valero is also one of the nation’s largest retail gasoline station operators with approximately 5,800 retail and branded wholesale outlets in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean under various brand names including; Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, and Beacon.
Charles and David Koch contributed $1 million to Proposition 23, a November 2010 ballot initiative to suspend California’s ground-breaking 2006 anti global-warming law. Valero Energy contributed over $4 Million to the effort as well. The Proposition failed allowing the Global-Warming Solutions Act (Prop AB 32 – 2006) statute to stand.
It appears the assault on an Eco-Green world is on-going …now in support of the XL pipeline …and a serious effort no matter what the issue. Green money is the only motivation to total elimination of a green Earth. We need to get involved and make our needs to survive known. There is nothing wrong with smart alternative energy.
TOUGH TO ENJOY THIS ARTICLE but it is Eco Significant.
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