April 19 News: TransCanada Submits New Route For Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

Our round-up of the top climate and energy news. Please post additional links below.

TransCanada Corp. submitted a reroute of its Keystone XL oil pipeline to the Nebraska state government Wednesday, moving a step closer to reviving the project after it was rejected by the U.S. government earlier this year. The reroute will avoid an environmentally sensitive area in the U.S. Midwest state, and comes a day after Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed a bill allowing the state’s review of the pipeline to continue. [Wall Street Journal]

U.S. coal exports to China could more than double to over 12 million tonnes in 2012 thanks to depressed freight rates and a fall in domestic demand in the United States, the chief of top U.S. coal exporter Xcoal Energy & Resources said. The expected increase in coal shipments could further push down coal prices in Asia where a supply glut following a deluge from the United States and Colombia has forced prices to slump recently. [Reuters]

Global warming, pollution and human activity in marine habitats are not generally regarded as good things — unless you’re a jellyfish. Then — according to a study of the jellyfish population by University of B.C. researchers — they have an upside. []

The National Park Service is launching a new initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its properties. Park service officials will discuss the program at a news conference Thursday at the Lincoln Memorial. [Washington Post]

The 14th Dalai Lama, named Tenzin Gyatso, needed few notes for a subject he is passionate about; the merging of scientific research into global warming with spiritual practice.  He was joined on stage by two world renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography researchers to discuss global warming and the need for environmental change. [Fox 5]

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) took on a brave new title on Wednesday: zombie killer. Standing alongside a giant photograph of a highway road sign flashing the words “Caution! Zombies! Ahead!!!”, Polis took to the House floor to warn his colleagues of “zombie” earmarks that have returned from the dead and crept into the transportation bill they were debating. The best way to ward them off, he said, would be to pass his amendment banning the return of once-killed earmarks. [Huffington Post]

In one of the least-shocking political developments of 2012, four major environmental groups simultaneously endorsed President Obama’s reelection bid Wednesday. [Washington Post]

Serious doubts have been raised over the prospects for carbon capture and storage in the UK in the first comprehensive investigation into the technology, just two weeks after the government launched a £1bn competition to build the first demonstration CCS plant. [Guardian]

27 Responses to April 19 News: TransCanada Submits New Route For Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

  1. prokaryotes says:

    You really do not want to know the number of investments made into clean coal technology.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    If somebody likes to play Roulette (We all do at least when it comes to Global Warming)

    Trade Facebook Options before IPO

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Newfield Exploration: Poised To Under-Promise And Over-Deliver

    Down from $75 a share a year ago, currently Newfield trades for $33. First Newfield shares sold down in the wake of the U.S. debt downgrade market sell-off last summer. In October, Newfield lowered 2011 production guidance and shares were hit hard. Then in February, Newfield gave full year 2011 results and 2012 guidance and investors sold the shares with abandon again.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Newfield Exploration (NYSE: NFX) is an independent company that specializes in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. Its operations in the United States include the Mid-Continent region of Oklahoma and northern Texas, along the Rocky Mountains, southern and coastal Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, and recently in Pennsylvania along the Appalachia Mountains. Newfield also operates internationally through numerous sites offshore of Malaysia and China. By the end of 2009, total proved reserves were 3.6 trillion cubic feet (1×1011 m3) equivalent with approximately 85% of those reserves being located onshore of the U.S. Newfield’s present base is estimated to be about 70% natural gas. Today, Newfield has an enterprise value of more than $8.5 billion.

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Is Exxon Mobil About To Waste $600 Million On Algae Research?

    Yet one of the unique success stories that is slowly unfolding in the algae realm is that of Solazyme. In its S-1 Filing, the company asserted that it reasonably could produce its product at $3.44/gallon if so done in a built-for-purpose commercial plant. Whereas most algae companies are struggling to conceptualize, prove, and scale their technology, Solazyme has been producing at a commercial level in 75,000-liter tanks through contract manufacturers since 2007. Even the US Navy has had a particularly keen interest in testing the company’s fuels. The Navy has already conducted numerous experiments utilizing the algae-base fuel in their own warships (frigate, destroyer, helicopter and marine riverboat).

    As a creator of renewable triglyceride oils, Solazyme creates a higher margin product when compared against petroleum. Such oils are able to be used in everything from jet fuel, to food, to cosmetics, to lubricants, to chemicals, and etc. In terms of margins, Solazyme has realistically asserted that it can produce 30-60% gross margins for its fuels, 30-60% for its chemicals, 40-70% for its nutritionals, and an impressive 60-80% gross margin for its skin & personal care divisions.

    For all the company’s success to come, Solazyme’s name (Solar + Enzyme) continues to serve as a consistent reminder of the photosynthetic origins of the company’s initial business model. Solazyme used to be a company that experimented in photosynthetic algae with the ambition to create biofuels. But despite their best efforts, the company soon realized it had to reinvent itself. For the founders a photosynthetic approach failed to be cost effective. And therein lies the current difference between Solazyme and most other algae companies. Solazyme’s algae technology no longer uses light. It utilizes a heterotrophic process, in which Solazyme feeds sugars to its modified algae strains, which in turn yields oil in an enclosed and scaleable environment.

    It’s this very story that should continue to raise the question of whether or not the traditional photosynthetic algae company can actually succeed at all? Solazyme found that it couldn’t when it gave it a try. Even to date, no algae company has been able to deliver the kind of product volume that Solazyme has been able to do or at a reasonable price tag.

    One begins to wonder then if Exxon Mobil inherently made a mistake in its avenue of research. Assuming the company can eventually bring the costs down with a breakthrough discovery, the issue of scalability remains an ongoing problem. The same goes with providing enough light exposure or consistency throughout a particular batch. Additionally, if the company pursues a strategy of open ponds, a video such as the one here is quick to remind of the abundant contamination issues that are sure to coincide.

    Is Exxon wasting its capital when it comes to exploring photosynthetic algae research? Only time will tell. As it stands, the technological accomplishment appears far from ready let alone the logistical infrastructure needed to implement it. But with each passing month, an algae company that isn’t reliant on photosynthesis that is ready now, such as Solazyme, stands active in pursuing additional production capacity.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Waste not, want not


  7. Joan Savage says:

    Are the coal exports to China a specialty hard coal?

    Twelve million tonnes is tiny compared to overall coal extraction rates in China and the US.

  8. prokaryotes says:

    $200,000,000 Solar Park Development LOI Signed by Wild Brush Energy Inc.

    is this ok to post clean energy market related news on this site? Or does this make you guys bored?

  9. prokaryotes says:

    The Solar Park has a targeted output of 150Mw, which could supply approximately 48,000 households with renewable energy, and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 110,000 tons annually. The contract, conservatively valued at US$200,000,000.00, could generate more than US$700,000,000.00 in revenue over its 20-year term.

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Global Solar production has been growing by nearly 30% per annum over the last 20 years. As alternative energy becomes more familiar to the populace and alternative energy parks become more frequent, it is estimated that solar park energy production could exceed $100 billion globally by the year 2014.

  11. Paul Magnus says:

    The fox article did not mention much on this… his whole talk was on GW….
    More than 4,000 people flocked to UC San Diego’s campus Wednesday morning to hear His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama talk about global warming and its implications.

    The audience was soon hushed, however, as the Dalai Lama began to talk about the perils of global warming, including rising sea levels and poor air quality. Using a simple but powerful metaphor, the Dalai Lama illustrated just how critical he feels the issues are.

    Each and every individual’s future depends on the entire humanity, especially right now.”

  12. Paul Magnus says:

    Heres how critical he thinks this is… from 2007….

    ‎”The political agenda should be sidelined for five to 10 years and the international community should shift its focus to climate change on the Tibetan plateau. Melting glaciers, deforestation, and increasingly polluted water from mining projects were problems that ‘cannot wait,’ but the Tibetans could wait five to 10 years for a political solution,” said the Dalai Lama.

    Dalai Lama WikiLeak: Climate Change More Important Than Independence Now
    In a WikiLeaked document, conversations between the Dalai Lama and the U.S. Ambassador to India indicate that the environment is to take precedence over independence, signaling a massive policy change for China and the region.

  13. Paul Magnus says:

    ”The political agenda should be sidelined for five to 10 years and the international community should shift its focus to climate change on the Tibetan plateau. Melting glaciers, deforestation, and increasingly polluted water from mining projects were problems that ‘cannot wait,’ but the Tibetans could wait five to 10 years for a political solution,” said the Dalai Lama.

  14. Mike Roddy says:

    That’s inspiring about the Dalai Lama. I’ll bet his words weren’t mentioned on any of the other networks, either. The Pope is also against the dark forces here.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Think people who go solar are all tree-hugging, wealthy ex-hippies? One Blog off the Grid proves otherwise. Which fact surprised you the most?

  16. Yeah. Of all “spiritual leaders” the Dalai Lama exhibits clearest awareness of the c21st challenge. Still it sounds a tad passive to me. I’m not yet sure he grasps the challenge to Buddhist compassion:

    Not carbon negative, no bodhisattva.
    Not carbon negative, no sangha.

  17. prokaryotes says:

    Additionally, within the Bakken shale formation hydraulic fracturing is being used to extract the oil but the natural gas is being flared off. A New York Times article points out that more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas is being flared away every single day in North Dakota. That’s enough energy to heat half a million homes for a day. The flared gas also spews at least two million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, as much as 384,000 cars or a medium-size coal fired power plant would emit. Regulations on flaring are woefully inadequate as well in North Dakota and there are no current federal regulations on flaring for oil and gas wells.

  18. prokaryotes says:

    Fires in Siberia

    Numerous fires were burning west of the still-frozen Novosibirsk Reservoir when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on April 14, 2012. Most of the fires shown were lit intentionally and burning on farmland, though Russian media reported that as many as 13 wildfires had burned at least 162.5 hectares in the Novisibirsk region.
    Wildfires have occurred in areas beyond the vicinity of Novisibirsk as well. On April 17, Russian authorities reported that 77 forest fires were burning throughout Siberia. The intensifying fire activity has prompted Russian authorities to take active steps to prevent additional wildfires. According to a report from the ITAR-TASS News Agency, the Russian Ministry for Emergencies has set up hundreds of mobile and stationary posts to restrict access to forests. They have also escorted many people from the woods and held rallies in dozens of villages to highlight the importance of following fire safety rules.
    A man from Buryatia was recently fined 581 million rubles—$19.6 million—for discarding a cigarette that created a fire that burned 2,000 hectares in 2009. He reportedly saw the fire burning, yet did nothing to stop it.

  19. Joan Savage says:

    From Drovers Cattle Network:

    Proper soil management needed to combat climate change

  20. David B. Benson says:

    US coal exports to Asia have traditionally gone to South Korea and Japan.

  21. David B. Benson says:

    Today’s TNYT had an article about proposed coal export terminal at the Port of Murrow adjacent to Boardman, OR. 600 coal trains per year.

  22. David B. Benson says:

    More on coal export terminal projects in the Pacific Northwest:
    “NW coal debate centers on jobs, the future of energy”

  23. Speedy says:

    Some entirely unsurprising news from Switzerland:

    According to the Swiss Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications not replacing the existing nuclear powerplants with new nuclear at the end of their lives will cost billions and significantly increase CO2 emissions.

  24. Paul Magnus says:

    But, replacing them will cost billions and bankrupt the tax payers. And poision our world.

  25. Paul Magnus says:

    Oh oh. 2c is untenable…..

    Global warming kills old-growth forests at stunning rate
    Like · · Share
    Climate Portals Scientists have found that tree mortality has more than doubled in the last few decades regardless of elevation, forest type or tree size as pines, firs, hemlocks and other species are dying faster than new trees are growing.

    Climate Portals What’s worse, the stands surveyed were considered healthy and resilient, which suggests that the trees in mountain-pine-beetle-infested regions such as British Columbia and those hit by an increase in forest-fire rates are dying at an even more dramatic clip, researchers said. Last year, a Canadian Forest Service report found that the beetle outbreak in B.C. has done so much damage that, by 2020, the forest will release more CO2 than it absorbs.
    2 seconds ago · Like