Skip to content

Activists and scientists cry foul as Obama pushes ahead on Keystone XL

A major political victory for environmental activists was partially reversed Thursday after President Barack Obama appeared in Oklahoma to announce that his administration has fast-tracked the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, a massive project that aims to connect Canada’s tar sands to oil refineries on the Texas gulf coast.

Speaking to Raw Story, environmental author and activist Bill McKibben suggested the Obama administration’s latest move may be due to Washington rhetoric pushing the president to appear that he’s doing something to ease rising oil prices.

“The irony of [this situation] is that Keystone won’t bring down gas prices a bit,” he explained. “In fact, it will raise them significantly across the midwest, precisely because that glut of oil in the region is helping to depress prices for now. That’s one of many ironies. The biggest, of course, is that all this is happening on the week when America is seeing March temperatures completely unheard of in the historical record.”

McKibben isn’t the only one who maintains that opinion: An Associated Press analysis published this week concluded that even a vast uptick in domestic oil production in the U.S. or Canada would not affect prices in the near-term.

“That’s because oil is a global commodity, and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply,” the AP’s analysis found. “Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.”

In spite of this, Obama’s primary political rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R), has been hammering the president and his “gas hike trio” of advisers for the nation’s rising energy costs. Congressional Republicans, too, have insisted that the president’s policy of expanding subsidies for renewable energy research contribute to gas prices.

Rounding out the “Catch 22″ of Obama’s energy conundrum, his partial reversal on Keystone also has leading scientists crying foul.

“The vast majority of all [Canadian] carbon emission increases will be from oil sands development,” Nathan Lemphers, a senior policy analyst at Canada’s Pembina Institute, a leading climate change research center, explained to Raw Story. “A lot of the low-hanging fruit, in terms of technological efficiency, have already been addressed, so what you’re seeing is a shift to poorer quality reserves, which take more energy, and therefore emissions, to extract.”

Canada’s oil sands represent precisely that, he said, because it is more like sand-covered tar — much different in composition to what most Americans would recognize as oil. Oil sand, unlike the traditional light, sweet crude, is not easily transported and poses a very different environmental threat, apart from emissions.

“In order to transport it through pipelines, you either have to dilute it with a natural gas agent that reduces the viscosity of the oil so it can flow a bit more easily through the pipe, or you have to upgrade it to a synthetic crude oil… [which requires a] temperature that’s significantly higher,” Lemphers added. “The pressure is also quite a bit higher, and there’s a lot more grit, or sand, that’s being shipped, which has the potential to increase erosion of the pipelines.”

He pointed to that very scenario as contributing to the oil sands spill two years ago in Michigan, when oil not unlike what’s planned for Keystone XL flooded into the Kalamazoo river and, instead of floating, hardened and sank. Now some 20 months later, Michigan residents are still trying to clean up the river, and the company responsible has faced costs more than 10 times the normal going rate for oil spill mitigation.

“It’s very heavy and has a density that’s heavier than water, so what happens is… it actually sinks to the bottom of the water column,” Lemphers continued. “That presents all sorts of problems for spill cleanup and different technologies like skimmers and things like you saw deployed on the gulf coast — they would not be effective in an [oil sands] spill, so you would need to dredge the entire bottom of the river, not to mention [finding new ways to clean] the heavy metals and other toxins that exist in the oil sands.”

In Texas, where eminent domain proceedings are already underway to clear a path for Keystone, activists with the Sierra Club and Public Citizen said they would rally outside Gov. Rick Perry’s offices in the capitol on March 31 to demand a moratorium on the project.

Short of that effort succeeding — and it is absolutely a long shot due to Perry’s support for the project — McKibben added that his group, the climate change activist organization, would also begin focusing on oil and gas subsidies, opening another front against dirty energy companies.

“We’ll be launching [that] fight next week at, and looking forward to real leadership from, among others, Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-VT], who will introduce a bill targeting these breaks,” he said.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Climate Change, Politics.

Tagged with , , , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?