Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 13, 2013
In an effort to curb carbon emissions, Canadian energy companies have started converting CO2 into products – taking carbon dioxide from processing oil sands, mixing it with wastewater and fed to algae, which then can be turned into cattle feed and other products.
Washington Times – China Will Surpass U.S. in Oil Imports
According to EIA data, China will take over the top spot from the U.S. as the world’s largest importer of crude oil by October, the newspaper reports. This shift in the global oil market – the first time the U.S. will not be the top importer or oil since the 1970s – “could transform geopolitics” as the U.S. shale surge continues.
Posted August 9, 2013
IHS CERA’s new environmental assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline and pipeline-related oil sands development sends a pretty clear message to President Obama as he decides whether to approve the full project’s construction: There’s not a climate rationale for rejecting the pipeline – and along with it, tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, economic uplift and greater energy security.
While the IHS report no doubt will have little effect on pipeline opponents – less than 15 percent of Americans in this recent survey – it should get the attention of the president, who has said the Keystone XL should be built only if it would serve the national interest and not “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Posted August 9, 2013
The new study by IHS CERA backs an earlier U.S. State Department analysis that the pipeline and pipeline-related oil sands development wouldn’t significantly affect U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted July 23, 2013
Over the nearly five years the administration has been reviewing the Keystone XL pipeline, a strong case has been made that the project is in the U.S. national interest – in terms of jobs and strengthening our country’s energy security through safe and responsible development and transportation of oil sands from Canada. To those points that echo throughout the long Keystone XL public debate, it’s extremely valuable to add unique perspective. Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, former national security advisor in the Obama administration, adds such perspective – from one who both fought for this country and later helped direct its military defense.
Posted July 17, 2013
The Associated Press reports the 430-mile Vantage Pipeline will supply about 60,000 barrels of ethane (a natural gas liquid) per day from the Bakken to Alberta’s petrochemical industry later this year. Ethane has a number of uses including the manufacture of plastics. The project’s approval is a good and welcome development.
Posted July 8, 2013
Reason - The Top Five Lies About Fracking
Science writer Ronald Bailey highlights five falsehoods about hydraulic fracturing, from flaming faucets to water contamination. “Over 500,000 gas wells are currently operating in the United States,” Bailey writes. “Most of them manage to avoid blowing up houses, poisoning drinking water, making it hard to breathe, causing cancer...”
Fuel Fix Blog – Oil to Flow Through Keystone XL’s Southern Leg This Year
While the northern leg of the pipeline is going on five years waiting on approval from the Obama administration, the southern portion of the project is nearing completion. By the end of the year, the pipeline is expected to carry up to 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Cushing, Okla., to the coast of Texas.
Posted June 28, 2013
Raise your hand if you’ve played “Whack-A-Mole,” the old staple of arcades and carnivals, where the object is bopping the heads of mechanical varmints with a padded mallet as they rapidly and randomly pop up through multiple holes in the game table.
The concept pretty well captures tactics Keystone XL pipeline and Canadian oil sands opponents have used to help delay the Keystone XL, a shovel-ready project that would create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, help grow our economy and make the U.S. more energy secure.
Posted June 25, 2013
An article of faith with the anti-oil sands crowd is that the crude from Canada is dangerous because it’s more corrosive to pipelines than other crudes and therefore more prone to cause pipeline failures, leaks, spills and … you know the rest. You can sample some of that rhetoric here and here. But then consider something so much more authoritative than rhetoric: science.
A new study finds that Alberta oil sands crude is, well, oil and just as safe to transport via pipeline as other types of crudes. From the report of an expert panel formed by the National Research Council (an arm of the National Academy of Sciences):
The committee does not find any causes of pipeline failure unique to the transportation of diluted bitumen. Furthermore, the committee does not find evidence of chemical or physical properties of diluted bitumen that are outside the range of other crude oils or any other aspect of its transportation by transmission pipeline that would make diluted bitumen more likely than other crude oils to cause releases.
Posted June 25, 2013
Wall Street Journal - Texas' Next Big Oil Rush
Refineries in Texas are seeing a much-needed boost as pipelines begin to carry landlocked crude oil from U.S. shale plays to the Gulf Coast. This increase in domestic crude oil is due to increased hydraulic fracturing and shale development across the country. (Subscription publication)
USA Today – Report: Oil Sands No More Corrosive Than Average Crude
A new report from the National Research Council found “no evidence … that Alberta’s pipeline contents are more corrosive than average crude oil.”
Posted June 21, 2013
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, explaining in a Washington Post op-ed why a self-identified “pro-pipeline senator” opposes the Keystone XL pipeline:
As a former mayor of Richmond, a city with a gas utility, I think it makes no sense to be anti-pipeline. But I oppose the Keystone XL project. Although the president’s decision is technically over whether to allow a pipeline to deliver oil from Alberta to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the real issue isn’t the pipeline. It’s the wisdom of using tar sands oil. … By most accounts, oil from tar sands is 15 to 20 percent dirtier than conventional petroleum, and the process of extracting and refining it is more difficult and resource-intensive. With so many cleaner alternatives, there is no reason to embrace the use of a dirtier fuel source. Approving the pipeline would send a clear signal to the markets to expand the development of tar sands oil. Such an expansion would hurt our nation’s work to reduce carbon emissions. We have to make energy cleaner tomorrow than it is today. That’s why the president should block Keystone. … Tar sands oil is the opposite of an innovative, make-it-cleaner approach. It represents a major backslide.
Sen. Kaine is right on a number of energy issues – supporting more offshore drilling for oil and natural gas as well as more natural gas development from hydraulic fracturing – but on the Keystone XL he’s just wrong. Let’s take a closer look.