What TransCanada’s CEO Is Not Saying About The Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline

TransCanada has lobbied the U.S. government to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, hoping to transport the heavy, bitumen-laden tar sands crude oil to coastal refineries in Texas. The corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said in an interview scheduled to air this weekend on Bloomberg Television that rejecting the pipeline would increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Girling said that currently, the U.S. imports more crude in tankers that run on oil — so approving the pipeline would allow the U.S. to use more oil from Canada, transported by pipeline and not by tanker. Girling said:

“If you deny the pipeline it’s a lose-lose. We lose jobs. We lose economic development and we lose energy security. And it likely leads to greater emissions in GHG.”

The problem is, this is not really what would happen if the pipeline is constructed. The State Department’s draft environmental assessment report said:

There is existing demand for crude oil, particularly heavy crude oil at refiners in the Gulf Coast area, but the ultimate disposition of crude oil transported by the proposed Project, and any refined products produced from that crude oil, would be determined by future market forces.

Which of course means that there is no assurance that the oil transported by the pipeline would not be refined and exported on tankers of their own, destined for other countries. The global oil market does not operate in nearly so zero-sum of a game. Morover, gas prices for U.S. consumers would increase, not decrease, according to recent reports.

Additionally, as the EPA made clear in its public comment submitted to the State Department’s draft report, the pipeline itself will emit greenhouse gases as tar sands crude is not going to pump itself down the length of the pipeline: power is required. EPA recommended using renewable resources, something TransCanada has not said it would do.

Furthermore, the emissions that would be released by the extraction, transportation, and burning of the tar sands oil in Alberta are not inevitable: Reuters found that the alternatives to the Keystone pipeline (like using trains) are so difficult and untenable that the pipeline is essentially the only feasible way those emissions would occur.

To be fair to TransCanada, it is easy to think a pipeline would be a more direct and safe method of getting a fluid from Point A to Point B. Yet the northern leg of the pipeline only exists in the hopes and dreams of TransCanada executives and lobbyists who think the project would be a huge boon — it is easy to think American citizens would have to wait until it is built to see who is right.

Fortunately, the United States already has a sort of test case: the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is more than 75 percent complete across stretches of Texas and Oklahoma, which developers expect to complete by the end of 2013. The project that has not been approved by the State Department and White House is the as-yet-unbuilt northern leg. How is the southern portion doing?

Not so well, it turns out. Public Citizen reports that in just one 60-mile stretch north of the Sabine River in Texas, landowners have observed TransCanada and its vendor Michaels digging up buried sections of the pipeline, reportedly to address “dozens of anomalies, including dents and welds.”

Per Public Citizen’s release:

The pipeline problems are marked with stakes. A marked section will have a stake that reads “Anomaly” and a number on one end of the section to be excavated, said Public Citizen’s Rita Beving, who has been working with landowners along this and other tar sands pipelines in Northeast Texas. A nearby second stake will often read “Dent” or “Weld,” she said. Residents saw these stakes and pipeline spray painted with “Dent” and “Cut Out,” and observed contractors spraying the new pipe with coating.

“The company does not have to reveal what happened, but seeing a completed pipeline having welds and dents cut out is reminiscent of other infamous low-quality pipelines built by a variety of companies that PHMSA has identified in the last few years,” said former TransCanada engineer Evan Vokes. “The odds are not favorable to avoid a leak when we are seeing problems such as these with a newly constructed pipeline, and a leak poses dangers for the people who live along this route.”

The first Keystone pipeline, originating in Canada and terminating in Illinois, had 12 spills in its first year, ranging from 2 gallons to 21,000 gallons. This is the largest number of spills during any U.S. pipeline’s first year in history. That such a new pipeline had so many problems directly refutes arguments that spills of older tar sands pipelines (like Exxon’s Pegasus spill in Arkansas in April) are a reason to build new, “safer” ones like Keystone XL.

So is this project (the northern Keystone leg) actually going to happen? TransCanada CEO Girling certainly seems to think so, telling Bloomberg Government: “I remain extremely confident that we’ll get the green light to build this pipeline.”

68 Responses to What TransCanada’s CEO Is Not Saying About The Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    Keystone XL: What Would Hillary Do?

    What would Hillary Clinton do regarding Keystone XL if she were president today? Would she approve it or deny it?

    This is a simple, concrete, and consequential question that should be posed to her, persistently, starting today. It should be posed to her by CAP, Climate Progress,, the Sierra Club, Move On, the NRDC, and other environmental and climate organizations as well as all Democrats and progressives who are deeply concerned about climate change and who want to make sure that any future Democratic nominee for president will be the right one for the task.

    It’s also a question that should be posed by the MSNBC folks (Rachel, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Matthews) and the CNN folks (Piers Morgan, etc.) if they are serious, if they are serious about climate change, and if they want to serve the American public by making sure that the views of would-be presidential nominees are understood by voters before the field is narrowed and it’s too late.

    Some might object to this idea by saying that it’s too early to press would-be candidates for president in 2016 with such specific questions about their views. Hogwash! Already, many Democratic and progressive pundits are touting Hillary as the clear and overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and practically worshiping at her feet, openly saying that other potential Democratic candidates are standing by to see whether Hillary runs, presumably planning to defer to her (in many cases) if she does. In effect, they say, Hillary is starting to run now; so we’d better find out in concrete terms what sort of president she’d be, regarding climate change.

    Some might object, saying that she would have this excuse not to answer such a question, namely that it would be inappropriate for her to answer it, having served President Obama until recently and given the fact that Keystone XL is his decision to make. Again, hogwash! She is no longer a member of the Obama Administration and she is free to state her own view; and it would be fair and appropriate for her to state it, and fair for the public to ask for it given that she is a prominent Democrat who seems to be a potential and likely candidate next time around.

    It would be far too easy, and a typical political copout, for her to wait for Obama’s KXL decision and then to comment on it (perhaps in vague terms) only after-the-fact and only in the months leading up to the Democratic primary. Doing so would be a copout, not leadership. Clearly, to do so would be to put her own political aspirations and politicking itself above the real concern: climate change.

    She has had plenty of time to consider such issues, to understand climate change, and so forth. If she can’t make up her mind about something such as Keystone XL, that would say a lot about her qualifications to be president. If she would actually approve Keystone XL, that should give us (the climate movement) all the information we need if we want to avoid getting ourselves into the same position in 2017-2020 as we are in today and have been these last four years, that is, with a president who we elected that is doing far too little to address climate change.

    Finally, I would say this: If her answer is, “If I were president today, I would deny approval to Keystone XL,” such an answer would do several things (in addition to showing leadership and demonstrating a willingness to be clear with the American people): First, it would be great for the climate movement, and it would begin to change the dialogue in politics and set the stage for discussions that must begin to happen, preferably sooner rather than later. Second, it would actually provide some degree of “cover” for President Obama if he is tending towards denying approval to KXL. He shouldn’t need such “cover”, of course, but he apparently doesn’t like to rock the boat, at least not alone. In any case, a clear and crisp statement from Hillary that, all things considered, she would deny approval to KXL, would not only show leadership on her part, and it would not only give us information that we should want to know, but it would also help the cause immensely as well as help or prompt President Obama to make the decision that he should make in any case.

    (To be clear, my point here is not that I support Hillary; for the most part, based on most of what I’ve seen so far, I don’t. Instead, my point is that we should want and demand to know her position on Keystone XL, a point that’s especially true for anyone concerned with climate change who might even consider her as a potential Democratic nominee and candidate for president.)

  2. @EcoSystemDown says:

    What a mess! Oil companies have proven repeatedly and relentlessly that profit is the number one priority. Everything else, including the truth, should be manipulated to increase profit. If there were a truly independent, objective analysis of the Keystone XL northern segment, it would never be built. Meanwhile, concerned citizens are trying to keep their land and water safe from the hazards of toxic tarsand sludge. People in Nebraska – NOT the elected politicians who are unofficial lobbyists for Transcanada – are racing to build cleaner, renewable energy sources in the path of the KXL. Read about the efforts of Bold Nebraska via the link. #nokxl

  3. Leif says:

    I agree Jeff.
    What TransCanada is really not saying is that a bunch of very rich ecocide exploiters will lose a whole lot of money. Reason enough to stop the venture. Let them transport water in the thing and leaks will not make any difference.

  4. Superman1 says:

    Jeff, with all due respect, that’s not the main question to ask her. According to Anderson, if we are to avoid exceeding the unrealistically high 2 C temperature ceiling in the transition period, we need to start reducing global CO2 emissions by about ten percent a year for decades. That would avert additional long-term accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  5. Superman1 says:

    So, the question for future President H. Clinton is: what is your plan to reduce CO2 emissions to a level where the ceiling (and climate cliff) can be avoided, and what is your plan to show leadership and exert pressure on other nations to do likewise, or even better?

  6. Jeff Huggins says:

    Superman1, I agree of course that there are larger questions to ask her, asap and also eventually, regarding climate change. We need to understand her stance in its entirety, and what she would do about it. My focus here on Keystone XL has to do with the fact that it is both a concrete and timely question, and the question lends itself to a simple ‘approve/disapprove’ answer, leaving no room for vague words or evasiveness, or at least making vague words and evasiveness show their ugly faces if that’s all she’s willing to offer. Too few times are there crystal-clear questions that can be asked and should be answered. KXL offers one of those opportunities. So, the concrete question should be put to her, clearly, until she either answers it or shows that she won’t. It will be our fault, and our fault only, if we don’t passionately put the question to her, starting now, until she is forced to show her stripes one way or another.

  7. Superman1 says:

    My only point is suppose she said yes, I will turn it down on my first day in office. How will that contribute to the twenty percent a year reduction in CO2 emissions we should be generating by that time? I want to hear her say today that her first act in office will be to ban all non-essential uses of fossil fuels. Like it or not, that’s our only choice if we want to avoid exceeding the interim temperature ceiling.

  8. Superman1 says:

    Even that may not be enough at this late date, but at least it’s a first small step!

  9. catman306 says:

    Canadian Neil Young already knew the facts in 1974:

    I’m a vampire, babe, suckin’ blood from the earth
    I’m a vampire, baby, suckin’ blood from the earth.
    Well, I’m a vampire, babe, sell you twenty barrels worth.

    I’m a black bat, babe, bangin’ on your window pane
    I’m a black bat, baby, bangin’ on your window pane.
    Well, I’m a black bat, babe, I need my high octane.

    Good times are comin’, I hear it everywhere I go
    Good times are comin’, I hear it everywhere I go.
    Good times are comin’, but they sure comin’ slow.

    I’m a vampire, babe, suckin’ blood from the earth
    I’m a vampire, baby, suckin’ blood from the earth.
    Well, I’m a vampire, babe, sell you twenty barrels worth.
    Good times are comin’.

  10. Superman1 says:

    This continual shifting of my comments fragments the message, and is unbefitting of a professional site.

  11. Jeff Huggins says:

    And Thus … (a Question For CAP)

    And thus (see my earlier comments) I would like to put the question to Ryan, Joe, and CAP: Does CAP agree that it (CAP) and we (the climate movement) should put the question to Hillary, ‘How would you rule on Keystone XL if you were president today?’

    This is a concrete, clear, and timely question. What is your view, Ryan Joe and CAP?

    We should all understand, by now, that it is vitally important for the climate movement to make sure that the right and best person occupies the White House next time around, someone who will show real and proactive leadership and effectiveness at addressing climate change, including leading the public dialogue about climate change and making the necessary tough decisions. The pending Keystone XL question, the fact that Hillary is thought to be the most likely “favorite” for the Democratic nomination for president next time around (and she’s already preparing), and the fact that the KXL question demands a clear ‘approve/disapprove’ answer, all combine to make this a question that should be asked of Hillary asap, not only in order to understand Hillary’s own view, but also to make it clear to any would-be Democratic or progressive presidential contenders that we will not allow them to get away with vagueness and evasiveness, and that we won’t support them with our efforts and votes if that’s what they feed us. No more!

    So I pose this clear question to Ryan, Joe, and CAP. Will you lead the effort to begin posing the KXL question to Hillary, as well as to any other serious would-be Democratic candidates that begin to show signs of interest in the nomination? It’s a clear and timely question.



  12. Frank Zaski says:

    The Keystone XL gets all the attention while this BIGGER tar sands oil pipeline expansion is overlooked.

    Enbridge, the Canadian company that leaked 1 million gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River, is planning to expand this tar sands pipeline from 570,000 bpd to 880,000 bpd. The Keystone XL capacity is 800,000 bpd.

    It will flow thru ND and MN to a Lake Superior port in Wisconsin. This is where it gets very dangerous. Tar sands oil will then be shipped on the very fragile Great Lakes to refineries. The lakes supply fresh water to over 10 million people and billions of dollars of recreation, fish and many jobs.

  13. Ed Leaver says:

    And whose to appoint the bi-partisan Board of Rationing that determines what is “non-essential”?

  14. Ed Leaver says:

    Coincidentally, from this morning’s Drumbeat:
    How the oil sands industry is distorting Canada’s economy, Thomas Homer-Dixon, The Globe and Mail: “…Small-c conservatism used to mean a commitment to prudence in public policy. But with respect to the oil sands and the related issue of climate change, the policies of the current Conservative government are radical and reckless. They could cause Canada enormous future harm.”
    Countered by Why Canada needs to develop the oil sands Konrad Yakabuski, The Globe and Mail: “Opponents of the oil sands warn that Canada will pay a hefty price if it allows the development of this vast resource to continue at its present pace. Persuaded of Stephen Harper’s fealty to the oil lobby and Alberta’s interests, they are asking U.S. President Barack Obama to save Canadians from their own government by killing the Keystone XL pipeline. In the pursuit of their goal of permanently shutting down the oil sands, they even warn that Canada risks becoming a “petro-state” akin to Iran or Nigeria…”

  15. Ed Leaver says:

    Joe mentioned recently this site’s design will undergo overhaul this summer. And who is this “Anderson” to whom you frequently refer? Gotta link? Thanks!

  16. Jackie says:

    keystone refuses the put safety in to assure protection from a spill. Keystone has paid lawmakers to get the bill passed and Speaker Boehner is trying to get votes to override Obama’s veto. If successful Boehner would see Keystone drill and cause a spill worse then Alaska and the Gulf. The heartland farms would be totally destroyed. Mitt Romney said he was ready to approve drilling know the disaster would happen but it would bring jobs for 8 months.

  17. @EcoSystemDown says:

    Almost unbelievable that people continue to approve of these tarsands projects – whether it’s building new pipelines or expanding or reversing existing pipelines. It’s not classified as oil, companies don’t pay taxes into the spill liability fund for it, it does not behave as oil and cannot be cleaned up like oil. No one knows how to clean it up. They were using paper towels in Mayflower, Arkansas! One of the most frustrating aspects is the astounding failure of elected officials and the people in agencies who are supposed to monitor and safeguard public health and well-being. Certain elected officials in Nebraska, for example, are doing a wonderful job as lobbyists for Transcanada while ignoring the wishes of their contituents regarding Keystone XL. Complete dereliction of duty. No wonder people are so cynical and taking matters into their own hands.

  18. Superman1 says:

    Ed, Kevin Anderson was Director, Tyndall Research Centre, Britain’s top climate research center, and is now a Professor at U of Manchester. In my view, he is the best at linking climate science to climate policy.

  19. Superman1 says:

    Ed, I remember the rationing in WWII; they found the Board to do it. What we need now is far more stringent, and the stakes are much higher. Anderson, whom I mention below, gives some idea of what we can expect if we don’t do these harsh cutbacks; it’s not pretty!

  20. Superman1 says:

    Who are the companies for which profit is not their #1 priority: Wal-Mart; Monsanto; Microsoft?

  21. langostino says:

    The last I heard, the majority of the American public supports Keystone XL. This is evidence that the mendacious PR campaign is working, for the most part.

    People mistakenly believe it will create thousands of permanent jobs. People mistakenly believe it will reduce gas prices. People have no idea how toxic this oil will be even if there isn’t an oil spill. And there will certainly be oil spills, over and over.

    When I say “people,” I mean the uninformed majority. The informed minority realizes what a disaster-in-waiting this pipeline is.

    Ah, the triumph of this quarter’s profits over the future.

  22. Mark Belgium says:

    What I miss on CP and many other sites is a nice an clear graph of a emission scenario (peak year and rate of yearly reductions) that will give a 100% guarantee that we avoid a 2 degree c temperature rise.

  23. Mark Belgium says:

    I agree.

  24. Mark Belgium says:

    I agree with superman about Kevin Anderson.

  25. prokaryotes says:

    You need to introduce a fee on everything which causes emissions and then people think twice before they use the “old method” or invent something new, which prevents emissions or reduces them.

  26. QuaxMercy says:

    Exactly. Be ready! There will be mass civil disobedience, pending POTUS approval. Visit, sign up, co-ordinate locally. Do not let this scam roll on without a fight!

  27. Superman1 says:

    Mark, read the Anderson paper in the post right above yours; he gives these clear graphs. You’ll never see the proposers here do those analyses for their concepts; there’s no way they could avoid exceeding the ceiling, and exceeding it by plenty.

  28. Superman1 says:

    My answer to your request is in #15.

  29. prokaryotes says:

    Tar sands pipeline risks – examining the facts

    NRDC – information showing that pipelines moving tar sands are more likely to leak, that leak detection systems are unlikely to detect tar sands spills when they happen, that tar sands spills are significantly more damaging than conventional spills, and that conventional spills response measures are inadequate for containing and cleaning tar sands spills

    Pipelines in the U.S. with longest history moving tar sands diluted bitumen also have worst spill record.

    High temperature tar sands pipelines are at greater risk of leaks. Tar sands pipelines operate at higher temperatures that conventional pipelines and high temperature pipelines are more likely to spill due to external corrosion. We know that high temperature pipelines are more likely to rupture due to external corrosion because a small network of pipelines in southern California has provided us with an on point case study. Pipelines serving the Kern River field in California have transported thick heavy crudes to nearby refineries for several decades. In a ten year study of its pipeline network, California regulators found:

    “Operating temperature had a significant effect on leak incident rates. Generally, the higher the operating temperature, the higher the resulting incident rate.” California State Fire Marshalls, Pipeline Risk Assessment, 1993.

    Leak detection systems miss 19 out of 20 spills.

    Tar sands diluted bitumen spills are more damaging and difficult to clean. The 2010 Enbridge tar sands spill into the Kalamazoo River highlighted an industry that was unprepared to address the unique challenges associated with tar sands diluted bitumen spills. Nearly three years after Enbridge spilled a million gallons of tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River watershed and almost a billion dollars has been spent on cleanup, and 38 miles of that river are still contaminated.

    Conventional spill response methods have proven ineffective for tar sands diluted bitumen spills. During the Kalamazoo tar sands spill, conventional cleanup methods failed, and in some cases made the spill worse. EPA officials were forced to improvise, using extreme measures to recover oil from riverbeds and the nearby Morrow Lake. The spill cleanup continues, but now EPA officials have focused on ensure new areas are not contaminated, concluding that it would be too damaging to fully clean the nearly 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River that are already contaminated by tar sands.

    Tar sands pipeline industry’s argument against improved safety standards and practices are flawed

  30. prokaryotes says:

    Excluding the Public From Tar Sands Pipeline Decisions Could Backfire on the Federal Government

  31. Ed Leaver says:

    Oh, that Anderson… Look, if anyone took Prof. Anderson seriously, there’d be a lot of sacred cows on the block. Environmental cows included. And who was this John Tyndall character, anyway? Some ne’er-do-well tree hugger who dabbled in chemistry to support his alpineering jones? [/irony] But seriously, keeping in the spirit of the times, here‘s one to add to your own collection. Thanks!

  32. Jeff makes a lot of sense.

  33. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    What Clinton or any other mainstream politician says when after votes, and what they actually do when elected are increasingly likely to be two rather different things. It really is decades past time to face the facts concerning ‘capitalist democracy’.

  34. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Their duty, in which they are never derelict, is to the money power that owns and controls all capitalist states. The false consciousness that we live in ‘democracies’ where ‘the people’ rule, is, I believe, the primary obstacle to resolving the existential crisis of humanity. Democracy is a great idea-we ought to give it a go.

  35. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s always about ‘exerting pressure’ in the Right’s ideal world. Until the little guy pleads ‘Uncle’, eh, as Reagan said of Nicaragua.

  36. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    In such a complex, multi-factorial situation, I don’t think that 100% guarantees exist anymore, save that we are all going to be long dead before, and if, our lucky descendants have cleaned up the Augean mess that we are bequeathing them.

  37. S Binette says:

    Isn’t getting a verbal assurance from a politician just a little absurd? The demand should be of all current and future sitting politicians who are in a position of influence.

  38. Brooks Bridges says:

    Thanks so much for putting this up prokaryotes.

    There is food for a dozen posts by Dr. Romm in this single video.

    Anderson makes so many points that appear crucial – including the 80/20 rule applying to demand side reductions in CO2 emissions – and how only immediate huge reductions in demand side reductions are going to give us a chance of avoid Hell and High Water.

  39. Frank Zaski says:

    Here is the connection between tar-sands oil and coal plants.

    Tar sands oil is piped to Detroit by Enbridge and refined by Marathon Oil. As a result, two huge piles of the resultant waste product, petcoke, have accumulating beside the Detroit River. They are owned by a company controlled by Charles and David Koch.

    Detroit Edison is conducting tests to see how much petcoke can be blended with coal at their Monroe electric plant.
    See P36 in

  40. Brooks Bridges says:

    There is a pdf of charts and graphs from Anderson’s video (prokaryotes #16) at:

  41. Todd In Norway says:

    Today’s tar sand production, transport and refining industry is basically in the same position as Kodak was in in the 1990’s.Kodak was still selling fantastic volume of analogue film, but a sneaky competitor was organizing an all-out war: digital cameras and home printing. Kodak made its last roll of Kodachrome in 2005, and went bankrupt last year. This is the fate of the tar sand industry. Car manufacturers around the world are now competing to produce EV’s and super- efficient hybrids, and there is no turning back. Global consumption of traditional petrol fuels is falling significantly, and this trend will only accelerate. Time is not on the side of Keystone, and if it is not approved in the next 2-3 years, it will be clear to all that it has no commercial future, and will never get built.

  42. Mark Belgium says:

    I found these scenarios from PIK. What I find worrisome is that in the most optimistic scenario negative emissions are necessary to obtain a chance in achieving a 2°C limit.

  43. Mark Belgium says:

    I find it hard to believe in negative emissions after watching this presentation : “another inconvinient truth “ .

  44. Mugsy says:

    OMG. “Tankers release more CO2 than a pipeline” and therefore, the pipeline means LESS greenhouse emissions?

    Anyone ever SEEN a Tarsands site? The number of backhoes, dump trucks, and other heavy machinery DWARFS the amount of machinery used in simple drilling. Add to that the CO2 released by the Conversion process and even the soil itself, and the idea that “tankers” release more CO2 than all that is beyond ridiculous.

  45. Tami Kennedy says:

    Wait… The oil to the coast will be exported on those same tankers contributing emissions to the environment. Obama better not bite that apple!

  46. Raul M. says:

    Thanks Prokaryotes, your website looks very nice with much information.

  47. Raul M. says:

    I think Kevin Anderson has not found public support for such measures to prevent, though, it is an interesting concept of consequential actions leading to everyday weather.

  48. Superman1 says:

    Mark, if you start with Anderson’s nominal 2 C ceiling and required 10%/yr global CO2 emissions reduction, add on positive feedback mechanisms, a 1 C ceiling being far less dangerous, increased climate sensitivities due to recent reports, and greater share being borne by advanced nations, the actual emissions reductions required in the near-term are out of reach. We can’t get there from here.

  49. Superman1 says:

    Anderson makes the point we cannot get through the near term by altering the supply mix; the only way is to reduce demand. As you can see by the numbers above, the demand reductions required are beyond draconian. When half the members of Congress are overt deniers, and many members of the other half represent covert deniers, the idea of any concerted effort for substantial demand reduction is beyond fantasy.

  50. Superman1 says:

    Brooks Bridges #29, those are excellent vugraphs. If we add on positive feedback mechanisms they excluded, a 1 C ceiling being far less dangerous, increased climate sensitivities due to recent reports, and greater share being borne by advanced nations, what can we conclude other than the most draconian reductions in demand now are REQUIRED if we are to have even a glimmer of hope of surviving the transition period?

  51. Raul M. says:

    I found draconian reductions are more closely tied to not having the money for the conviencies than concepts of co2 consequential actions. That solar elec. once installed adds the convience without further monthly cost is the win win. Adding fuel cell electric with easy on and off adds length of service to the fuel cell use and solar can make the hydrogen on site to fuel the fuel cell in the evening. That I think is closer to the proper use of consequential action theory.

  52. Brooks Bridges says:

    Anderson is supported by the IEA and Price Waterhouse predictions we are headed for 4 deg C as early as 2050. See PRice Waterhouse link for: “Too late for two degrees?”

    He further points out that just the E7 emissions, by themselves, will soon sink 2 deg aims.

    Therefore, only immediate, drastic demand side cuts by G7 give us a prayer of a livable climate.

    He suggests that if the 80/20 rule holds and is run 3 times, just 1% of population is using 50% of energy so JUST that 1% needs to sacrifice life style to possibly save the planet.

    His 1% would include virtually everyone reading this blog.

  53. Brooks Bridges says:

    My comment #36 was intended to be a reply to Superman1 #31.

    The Reply feature seems broken.

    Answer to your question in #31 Superman1 is that I agree with you.

  54. Raul M. says:
    HannaFry at TEDxUCL
    Social movements such as shopping riots.

  55. nellieh says:

    Since there hasn’t been a refinery built in th eUS or Canada in two generations, why not build a refinery at the tar sand pits and not need a pipeline at all? Maybe just to join the gasoline pipelines already in existence. Just a thought. I’m not a petroleum engineer or transportation specialist but putting a refinery at the source of the raw material seems a no brainer to me.

  56. Russell Frege says:

    Some people live in a world where telling bald-faced lies is rewarded.

  57. Superman1 says:

    Brooks Bridges. “so JUST that 1% needs to sacrifice life style to possibly save the planet.”. Excellent observation! Unfortunately, that 1% controls the wealth of this planet, controls the major countries, controls their politicians and effectively controls their militaries. They would not hesitate to use the latter to continue their fossil energy profligate way of life and ensure their survival to the very end.

  58. prokaryotes says:

    Thanks Brooks Bridges, i added the link.

  59. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yes Mulga, our reductionist science is not up to dealing with systems. Unfortunately, systems science is not well known as mechanism has taken over so much of our thinking and working, ME

  60. Ginny in CO says:

    The potential dangers of the pipeline and oil being burned are very significant alone. The additional issue that is as important is cutting the investment in fossil fuel development. The current amount of fossil fuel in worldwide development pipelines is 5 TIMES the gigatons we might be able to burn without writing the death sentence for most life on the planet.

    The investors in these projects will fight tooth and nail to keep from losing their ROI let alone the funds they put in. We need to start investing and developing sustainable sources. The energy producers have claimed they are spending money on this. Actually, they have a history of buying patents for sustainable energy development and prototypes of items that are made to use it. Whether they destroyed them or filed for when faced giving up petroleum is a guess.

    The Alberta tarsands mining fields are the largest manufacturing project any where. Members of the Canadian Dene tribe that live on Lake Athabasca have had very significant increases in cancers and autoimmune diseases long linked to petrochemicals. They are dying. The fish in Lake Athabasca have tumors growing on them and the numbers are falling off. You can’t eat the fish or drink the water. A source of income and food for the tribe is gone.

    Since British Columbia’s provincial government denied the western route for a pipeline the end of the week, the developers are even more at risk to lose everything. The eastern route is likely to meet even more resistance due to higher population concentration plus pollution of the Great Lakes. This is a BFD.

  61. Wrexie says:

    This is a great comment, Jeff.

  62. David Smith says:

    Jeff; please add to your simple question that she/they demonstrate their commitment publicly, now and for the 3 1/2 years until the election.

    Actions speak much louder than words.

  63. David Smith says:

    How about this; “Global Warming – You may be willing to bet our world for short term profits, but I’m not!”

    I find it frustrating that more people don’t just say it’s global warming stupid.

    It’s not the water. It’s not the first nation. it’s not the polar bears. It is not corporate stupidity and greed. It’s not property rights.

    It’s everything.

    Until we speak openly and directly about global warming as the actual motivation for our actions, the issue will be watered down continually until it is unrecognizable.

  64. David Smith says:

    Nobody said it was going to be easy.

  65. David Smith says:

    No one said it was going to be easy.

  66. David says:

    Putting all other reasons aside for a second….
    Why would we want to allow another Canadian oil pipeline
    to be built in the U.S. When a Canadian company responsible
    for the most expensive tar sand pipeline spill in U.S. history has
    been balking at the idea that they need to clean up the mess
    they made. Now 3 years after this spill, almost a million gallons of
    heavy bitumen oil is sitting on the bottom of the Kalamazoo River.
    And they still refuse to pay to clean it up.