A report from Goldman Sachs said that Canadian tar sands oil extraction is likely not economically viable without the Keystone pipeline. [Wall Street Journal]
Extracting Canada’s huge deposits of oil sands in the next few years might not be economically viable without building the hotly contested Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S., according to new research that environmentalists said bolsters their view that blocking the project would shut off development of the energy source.
Environmentalists say producing Canadian oil sands releases more carbon dioxide than other kinds of oil and are pressing President Barack Obama to block the pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta and help it get to Gulf Coast refineries. The U.S. State Department, industry officials and some analysts counter that burgeoning railroad capacity will eventually give Canadian crude a way to reach global markets even if Keystone is blocked.
“The potential for Canadian heavy crude oil supply to remain trapped in the province of Alberta is a growing risk for the 2014-2017 period depending on the timing of new pipeline start-ups,” analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.07% wrote in a research report this past week.
Without adequate pipeline capacity, Canadian heavy crude will continue to trade at a steep discount to other grades of oil for the next few years, which could weigh on the economics of developing Canadian oil sands, according to the Goldman Sachs report and other analysts.
Environmentalists say Mr. Obama can help curb greenhouse gases by rejecting the pipeline, and they want the State Department, which is reviewing the pipeline, to take into account the environmental impact.
A new IEA report found that global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent in 2012, though U.S. emissions dropped 3.8 percent. [Washington Post]
After cutting carbon allowances, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the northeastern U.S. raised a record $124.5 million in its quarterly auction. [Bloomberg]
Climate scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth (with input from others) respond to Rep. Lamar Smith’s op-ed that got at least 7 things wrong about climate and energy with an op-ed of their own that gets much more than 7 things right. [Washington Post]
Tropical Storm Andrea broke rainfall records in the northeastern U.S. [LA Times]
Farmers that have dealt with years of drought in the Midwest are now plagued by floods, making it an awful spring for farming. [New York Times]
Last year’s storms, droughts, and extreme weather are a big contributing factor to Haiti’s hunger crisis. [Washington Post]
A Japanese study concluded climate change will worsen floods on rivers like the Ganges, the Nile, and the Amazon, while lessening them for the Danube. [The Raw Story]
Solar panel manufacturer SoloPower is moving its headquarters to Oregon, and is talking to South Korea about constructing a hub there. [Oregon Live]
Large utilities are arguing that homes without solar power subsidize the transmission lines for those who do, and want regulators to change pricing under net metering accordingly. [Washington Post]
Oil wells that were abandoned and not properly sealed raise concerns of pollution across Texas. [New York Times]
A new international climate agreement will be negotiated in 2015 and hopefully go into effect in 2020, but the International Energy Agency says we’ll already be headed for 5 degrees Celsius of warming by then. [Clean Technica]
Though landowners are suing them for bilking them out of royalties, an assistant Virginia attorney general has been assisting two natural gas companies, which “shocked” a federal judge. [AP]
Australia recently announced it will invest $400 million to build 150 megawatts worth of off-grid renewable projects for its rural areas. [Clean Technica]
The California firm Cool Planet Energy is working up to $100 million in funding to produce carbon negative biofuel — for $1.50 a gallon without government subsidy. [Clean Technica]
The Senate Environment and Public Works is competing with the Energy and Natural Resources Committee over which has jurisdiction over the renewable-fuels standard. [National Journal]
Edison electric said it would permanently shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant after a series of problems such as steam leaks and cracks. [Washington Post]
If hybrid cars use less gas (and pay less in the gasoline tax), should they have to pay for their use of roads through increased fees? [AP]