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Author Topic: Obama in Oklahoma: Make southern Keystone 'a priority'  (Read 944 times)
Torie
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« on: March 22, 2012, 06:13:35 pm »
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Assuming Obama is serious about this, rather than just spinning, color me confused. I mean if building the balance of the pipeline to where it need to go for it to make the slightest economic sense at all (to wit, to the Canadian border) is  a political football that is still up in the air, wouldn't that be like building a bridge that goes only half way across a river?  And who would be dumb enough to spend a lot of money building a pipeline, that may end up being a pipeline to nowhere, but with the private investors holding the bag, rather than the government at taxpayers' expense this time?

Can someone help me this this?  I am at a loss.
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 06:35:28 pm »
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My knee-jerk reaction without reading much on the matter is that this is a reelection campaign stunt. The Congress did not wait until an environmental impact assessment was done before putting this up to vote so the President was backed into the position of having to oppose it when, in fact, he otherwise probably would have lent it his approval. This seems like a rather reckless ploy to make, considering that the President may later get stuck in a bind where he will need to oppose the completion of the pipeline and thus have wasted all the capital sunk into the project.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 06:52:16 pm »
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IIRC, it was some of the northern portions (Nebraska sticks out) that had the potential issues on the route causing harm to water and the larger environment.  But yeah if the Northern portion never got green lit this would be a boondoggle. However, as an article in tomorrows NYTimes points out the Obama administration has been rather friendly to the energy industry, so I don't see it happening.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 07:14:30 pm »
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Even without the Canadian oil, there is a large glut of inventory at the storage facility in Cushing OK from domestic production alone, and thus there is demand for increased pipeline capacity from Cushing to the refineries on the Gulf coast. Other companies have new pipeline projects underway on this route without controversy, and TransCanada are simply trying to get their hands on some of this business. The economic case for this phase of the pipeline does not depend on the other phase from Alberta to Cushing.
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 07:25:42 pm »
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 08:32:45 pm »

As others have pointed out already, Keystone XL consists of two parts Keystone Phase 3 which Obama has effectively given the green light and Keystone Phase 4 which has some problems with its original routing in Nebraska due to concerns with the Ogallala Aquifer.  If Phase 4 were to be rejected in total, the only problem with going ahead with Phase 3 now would be that without Phase 4, a smaller cheaper pipeline for Phase 3 could have been built.   Still the fact remains that while Phase 4 needs Phase 3 to be built in order to be useful, Phase 3 is needed even if Phase 4 is never built.

Besides, while I think the concerns about the Ogallala have been overstated, I would be surprised that if Obama is reelected if does not approve a rerouted Phase 4 that avoids the Ogallala.  Of course, if the Republicans win in November, TransCanada may decide to wait for the new administration to come in so that it can approve a shorter route than Obama is likely to agree to.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 11:43:19 pm »
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Assuming Obama is serious about this, rather than just spinning, color me confused. I mean if building the balance of the pipeline to where it need to go for it to make the slightest economic sense at all (to wit, to the Canadian border) is  a political football that is still up in the air, wouldn't that be like building a bridge that goes only half way across a river?  And who would be dumb enough to spend a lot of money building a pipeline, that may end up being a pipeline to nowhere, but with the private investors holding the bag, rather than the government at taxpayers' expense this time?

Can someone help me this this?  I am at a loss.

http://www.transcanada.com/5730.html

The Keystone Pipeline from Alberta to the Nebraska-Kansas line and then eastward to Illinois was completed a couple of years ago.  The Keystone XL pipeline will go directly from Alberta to Nebraska, and then southward to Cushing, OK, which is a major oil hub (it is where the basemark price of oil is set).  Google a satellite map of Cushing.   And then a new pipeline will continue to Port Arthur area, and perhaps Houston.

The portion from Kansas-Nebraska to Cushing was completed a year ago.  After Obama blocked Keystone XL from Canada.  Transcanada said they would go ahead and continue building the southern link.

When I saw your article, I thought, "didn't they say they were going to build the southern portion two months ago?"
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 12:16:12 am »
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Assuming Obama is serious about this, rather than just spinning, color me confused. I mean if building the balance of the pipeline to where it need to go for it to make the slightest economic sense at all (to wit, to the Canadian border) is  a political football that is still up in the air, wouldn't that be like building a bridge that goes only half way across a river?  And who would be dumb enough to spend a lot of money building a pipeline, that may end up being a pipeline to nowhere, but with the private investors holding the bag, rather than the government at taxpayers' expense this time?

Can someone help me this this?  I am at a loss.

http://www.transcanada.com/5730.html

The Keystone Pipeline from Alberta to the Nebraska-Kansas line and then eastward to Illinois was completed a couple of years ago.  The Keystone XL pipeline will go directly from Alberta to Nebraska, and then southward to Cushing, OK, which is a major oil hub (it is where the basemark price of oil is set).  Google a satellite map of Cushing.   And then a new pipeline will continue to Port Arthur area, and perhaps Houston.

The portion from Kansas-Nebraska to Cushing was completed a year ago.  After Obama blocked Keystone XL from Canada.  Transcanada said they would go ahead and continue building the southern link.

When I saw your article, I thought, "didn't they say they were going to build the southern portion two months ago?"

Yes, they did. The news report I heard was that Transcanada was awaiting one final permit from the Corps of Engineers that was projected to be granted this spring. Obama was jumping onto the engine of the train as it was about to leave the station.
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 12:19:50 am »
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My understanding (from my environmental politics class which discussed this a couple months ago) is that Obama only had permitting control because it was an international border.

Ultimately, this is really only a campaign stunt.  It's a good thing to approve it, but so is the entire pipeline.  That being said, the GOP screwed it up by trying to rush it.  The new pipeline layout should be examined, and hopefully be approved in 2013.  Trying to force Obama's hand was a bad move, and both sides are guilty of playing partisan politics.

Ultimately, I don't fault Obama for doing this - he's playing partisan politics as a retort to the GOP doing it.  Two wrongs don't make a right, but if you don't play a little dirty, you lose.
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 11:18:41 am »
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My understanding (from my environmental politics class which discussed this a couple months ago) is that Obama only had permitting control because it was an international border.

Ultimately, this is really only a campaign stunt.  It's a good thing to approve it, but so is the entire pipeline.  That being said, the GOP screwed it up by trying to rush it.  The new pipeline layout should be examined, and hopefully be approved in 2013.  Trying to force Obama's hand was a bad move, and both sides are guilty of playing partisan politics.

Ultimately, I don't fault Obama for doing this - he's playing partisan politics as a retort to the GOP doing it.  Two wrongs don't make a right, but if you don't play a little dirty, you lose.

The Keystone pipeline is in the national interest. There is no point in delaying its construction, other than enriching Warren Buffet a bit longer. There was every reason to "force" the issue. If the overwhelming pressure of the American people isn't enough to do the right thing during an election year, why do think the pipeline would be approved in 2013 when it is no longer an election issue.

If the Canadians build a pipeline to Vancouver and ship the oil to China that will be a disaster for this country. It is not in our national interest to test their patience any longer.
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 03:33:45 pm »

If the Canadians build a pipeline to Vancouver and ship the oil to China that will be a disaster for this country. It is not in our national interest to test their patience any longer.

The difficulties in building a pipeline over the Canadian Rockies are sufficient that it could well be cheaper for the Canadians to continue shipping the oil southward via tanker rail car.  Also, of they were to construct a pipeline, it probably would be to Prince Rupert.
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 03:39:55 pm »
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 04:14:15 pm »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 05:24:18 pm »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.

Who would be crazy enough to put money in it, if there is uncertainty as to whether the government will permit its crossing over Nebraska? Would you, unless you were very confident that Obama will be defeated in November?
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 06:17:17 pm »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.

Who would be crazy enough to put money in it, if there is uncertainty as to whether the government will permit its crossing over Nebraska? Would you, unless you were very confident that Obama will be defeated in November?

Is this segment meaningless minus the part through NE? I thought it cleared a bottleneck of its own.
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2012, 06:34:01 pm »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.

Who would be crazy enough to put money in it, if there is uncertainty as to whether the government will permit its crossing over Nebraska? Would you, unless you were very confident that Obama will be defeated in November?

Is this segment meaningless minus the part through NE? I thought it cleared a bottleneck of its own.

From Oklahoma to Texas? How has Oklahoma been getting its oil to market all these years?
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2012, 07:18:57 pm »
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BigSkyBob, the pipeline is in the nation's best interest, but the original Nebraska path is unacceptable, and now that a new path was proposed, there's NO good reason to rush the approval before the Environmental Impact Study is done.
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2012, 07:23:20 pm »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.

Who would be crazy enough to put money in it, if there is uncertainty as to whether the government will permit its crossing over Nebraska? Would you, unless you were very confident that Obama will be defeated in November?

Is this segment meaningless minus the part through NE? I thought it cleared a bottleneck of its own.

From Oklahoma to Texas? How has Oklahoma been getting its oil to market all these years?

Yes, from Oklahoma to Texas. Of course there are pipelines on this route, but not enough to prevent excess inventory being stockpiled at Cushing. Surely a resident of the Los Angeles metropolitan area realizes that the existence of a transportation route is not enough to prevent a bottleneck. It is an issue of capacity relative to demand.

Indeed, this whole thing, even the northern sections, is about increasing capacity, not about brand new routes to new sources. There is already plenty of pipeline going to the southern US from Alberta.
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2012, 12:37:55 am »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.

Who would be crazy enough to put money in it, if there is uncertainty as to whether the government will permit its crossing over Nebraska? Would you, unless you were very confident that Obama will be defeated in November?
There are already plans to reverse one pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.   It is really worth it to do a Google satellite view of Cushing, Oklahoma.

Transcanada already has built a pipeline from Canada to Cushing.  The reason that it has the current L shape is that Transcanada converted an existing east-west pipeline in Canada, and then dropped down through the eastern Dakotas and across Nebraska.  It took a while to get the permits from Canada, because the pipeline was intended to send oil to a foreign country, plus the oil is coming from tar sands.

But once the Canadians approved, it would look pretty foolish for the State Department to announce its opposition because it word auto workers in Ontario, undercut our friends the Saudis, and destroy the environment in Canada that its government doesn't care about.

So Obama needs a pretext.
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 12:57:45 am »
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Hasn't Obama already caved enough for 8 years?
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BigSkyBob
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 01:01:36 am »
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BigSkyBob, the pipeline is in the nation's best interest, but the original Nebraska path is unacceptable, and now that a new path was proposed, there's NO good reason to rush the approval before the Environmental Impact Study is done.

Yes there is: if we continue to dick the Canadians around they plan to build a pipeline to B.C. and sell the oil to China.
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2012, 01:05:23 am »
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I agree it's a stunt, but if it's only connecting OK to TX, convince me why I should care about it.

Who would be crazy enough to put money in it, if there is uncertainty as to whether the government will permit its crossing over Nebraska? Would you, unless you were very confident that Obama will be defeated in November?

Is this segment meaningless minus the part through NE? I thought it cleared a bottleneck of its own.

From Oklahoma to Texas? How has Oklahoma been getting its oil to market all these years?

Yes, from Oklahoma to Texas. Of course there are pipelines on this route, but not enough to prevent excess inventory being stockpiled at Cushing. Surely a resident of the Los Angeles metropolitan area realizes that the existence of a transportation route is not enough to prevent a bottleneck. It is an issue of capacity relative to demand.

Indeed, this whole thing, even the northern sections, is about increasing capacity, not about brand new routes to new sources. There is already plenty of pipeline going to the southern US from Alberta.

Well, either the added capacity goes West to B.C. and the oil is shipped to China, or the Keystone pipeline is build. Canadians are only going to pay exorbitant rates to Warren Buffet for so long.
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2012, 05:32:49 am »
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BigSkyBob, the pipeline is in the nation's best interest, but the original Nebraska path is unacceptable, and now that a new path was proposed, there's NO good reason to rush the approval before the Environmental Impact Study is done.

Yes there is: if we continue to dick the Canadians around they plan to build a pipeline to B.C. and sell the oil to China.

Waiting 10 more months to complete the EIS is dicking the Canadians around?  I disagree.
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2012, 09:39:34 am »
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BigSkyBob, the pipeline is in the nation's best interest, but the original Nebraska path is unacceptable, and now that a new path was proposed, there's NO good reason to rush the approval before the Environmental Impact Study is done.

Yes there is: if we continue to dick the Canadians around they plan to build a pipeline to B.C. and sell the oil to China.

Waiting 10 more months to complete the EIS is dicking the Canadians around?  I disagree.

In ten months the election is over, and with it any political pressure on Democrats to do the right thing. Those that claim that the question is approving the pipeline this year, or approving the pipeline next year are simply wrong. First, we may very well not have the option of approving the pipeline next year because the Canadians may have decided to build their own pipeline to the Pacific [and sell the oil to the Chinese.] Second, there is no more finality to an alleged deadline ten months from now than there is to the one that just passed this winter. The strategy of those opposed to the pipeline is to kill it by repeated delay because they know the vast majority of the  American people are against them, including both business interests and labor unions. That will still be their strategy ten months from now. Either Obama, and the Democrats will muster the political courage to do the right thing, or the Canadians will build their own pipeline. If they do, Canadians will build it, and the Chinese will buy the oil.

The person who benefits from delays is Warren Buffet.
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2012, 07:01:48 pm »
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BigSkyBob, the pipeline is in the nation's best interest, but the original Nebraska path is unacceptable, and now that a new path was proposed, there's NO good reason to rush the approval before the Environmental Impact Study is done.

Yes there is: if we continue to dick the Canadians around they plan to build a pipeline to B.C. and sell the oil to China.

Waiting 10 more months to complete the EIS is dicking the Canadians around?  I disagree.

In ten months the election is over, and with it any political pressure on Democrats to do the right thing. Those that claim that the question is approving the pipeline this year, or approving the pipeline next year are simply wrong. First, we may very well not have the option of approving the pipeline next year because the Canadians may have decided to build their own pipeline to the Pacific [and sell the oil to the Chinese.] Second, there is no more finality to an alleged deadline ten months from now than there is to the one that just passed this winter. The strategy of those opposed to the pipeline is to kill it by repeated delay because they know the vast majority of the  American people are against them, including both business interests and labor unions. That will still be their strategy ten months from now. Either Obama, and the Democrats will muster the political courage to do the right thing, or the Canadians will build their own pipeline. If they do, Canadians will build it, and the Chinese will buy the oil.

The person who benefits from delays is Warren Buffet.

The Environmental Impact Study hasn't been done yet, and won't be done until at least close to the end of this year.
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