Category Archives: Oil & Gas

TransCanada Quietly Reapplies, Keystone XL Pipeline Planned On Original Schedule

We live in an age of zombie environmental nightmares, and the Keystone XL pipeline, slated to transport tar sands, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, from Canada to Texas, has just risen from the dead to resume its glazed-eyed walk across our landscape, defying tradition by crossing and endangering an estimated 101 bodies of water. Here are a few details from MarketWatch:

TORONTO -(MarketWatch)- TransCanada Corp. TRP -1.29% said Friday that it resubmitted an application for a U.S. permit for its controversial Keystone XL oil-pipeline expansion, rejected by the White House earlier this year after it became a political flashpoint ahead of this year’s presidential election.

The Calgary-based pipeline company said it will supplement its application, which was submitted to the U.S. Department of State, with a proposed, alternative route in Nebraska as soon as that route is selected. Nebraska became the focal point of some of the most vocal opposition to the line.

TransCanada has long maintained it planned to resubmit its application. U.S. President Barack Obama rejected the line after Republican lawmakers imposed an early deadline on the decision, part of a broader tax compromise with the president.

The reapplication doesn’t likely change the timing of an ultimate decision on the project. The White House said it would welcome a resubmission, but because of the time required to process and review a new application, a decision isn’t expected until after the November presidential elections.

Read the rest, if you have the stomach. Remember, this is from an investment web site; don’t expect much in the way of politics, either pro‑environment or pro‑fossil‑fuels. I chose it specifically for that reason.

Whatever Obama’s virtues… the primary one being that he is not Mitt Romney, and one of the two of them will be president next year… he’s always been a lover of fossil fuels. Remember how easily BP got off from the Deepwater Horizon disaster that effectively wrecked the Gulf Coast… Obama seems ready to let drilling companies go at it again. (There are a few conspiracy theories on the web that I do not believe: Obama, not a creature of malice, is simply a pro-business Republican-style president who isn’t going to let a massive Gulf-destroying oil spill get in the way of further drilling. Back in the day, his biggest sin was regulatory negligence.)

But Obama has another flaw… or virtue, depending on how you look at it: like most other politicians, he loves to look good to the public. Our task is to keep the pressure on him to do what he’s disinclined to do… reject Keystone XL’s permit application… especially after the election if Obama wins. (I consider the matter hopeless if Rmoney wins… there’s no pro-environment Richard Nixon in that man!)

What can you do? Try writing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (email: Find a petition and sign it; e.g., CREDO has one going here. Lather Reince; repeat… um, I mean, lather, rinse, repeat, several times between now and elections… and again, louder, after elections, if Obama wins.

A Krugman Column Title That Jane Hamsher Could Love… Or Maybe Not

The title: “Natural Born Drillers.” Krugman’s main point, among many, is that the oil market (unlike, say, the natural gas market) is a world-wide market, in part because oil can be (relatively) easily shipped*… and hence the price of gasoline is almost completely beyond the control of any part of a sitting US government. In particular, Mitt Rmoney [sic] is demonstrably lying when he blames Obama for high gas prices. “Drill Baby Drill” may make oil companies richer, but it will not ease American consumers’ pain at the pump.

Still, it’s no surprise GOPers are attempting this ploy: Republicans lie the way the rest of us breathe. If I recall correctly, GeeDubya Bush is thought to have attempted to prevail upon his buddies among Saudi royalty to assure low(er) gas prices in time for his own re-election.

That was then, and it worked; this is now, and you know they’re thinking the reverse of that strategery might work again. After all, those to whom lying equals breathing are not about to stop breathing.

* Notwithstanding drunk tanker pilots. Your, um, mileage may vary.

Medical Honesty In The US: Fracked By State Governments

You all know the long list of recent state laws attempting effectively to destroy a woman’s right to choose abortion, or to obtain contraceptives, or even to hear honest medical advice about the consequences of various options. If you don’t, please view the Planned Parenthood site. Yes, they do still exist, despite Mitt Romney’s stated intention to “get rid of” them. The short version: various state governments have legislated almost literal hoops a woman must jump through to exercise her constitutionally protected right of abortion, including a waiting period, a government-specified text that the doctor must read to the woman word-for-word (a document which, in Texas, contains blatant medical falsehoods), and/or a physically invasive transvaginal ultrasound procedure which the woman must have and the doctor must describe to her even if she refuses to look at it. As I said above, you already knew all about that.

But did you know that in Pennsylvania, there’s a new state law “forbidding health care professionals from sharing information they learn about certain chemicals and procedures used in high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing”?

So “awl bidness” profits, like the avoidance of abortion, somehow justify legally compulsory blatant violations of medical ethics.

Welcome to 21st-century America. Female serfs line up to the left for your burqas; male serfs to the right for your oil-drilling equipment. Dissent will not be tolerated. Medical care will be provided, or not, at our discretion and to our written specifications. Always remember: war is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength. Now get to work…