I watched the developing story on the Keystone Pipeline with an interest that some may consider to be half crazy and half determination! I could not believe that Obama would turn down a deal that would bring oil from not just the Canadian oil fields, but also from our own oil fields to refineries along the Gulf. I wondered why did this happen, who was really behind this? What does the Keystone XL pipeline really encompass? I decided to just ask a few questions directly to the TransCanada people themselves. I sent them 8 simple questions and their Media Contact Shawn Howard sent me answers to the 8 questions I asked.
The following questions and answers are as they were presented to TransCanada in relation to what the Keystone XL Pipeline was about and the answers are listed as Mr. Howard gave them.
Question 1. How much per barrel is the oil that the Keystone Pipeline will provide?
Howard answers, “TransCanada is hired to safely transport or provide a product, based on our customers’ needs. We are not an oil and gas company, we are an energy infrastructure company. As a result, we are not involved in the development of the oil that will flow through the Keystone system, so we can’t say how much it will cost (each company will have their own costs).”
Question 2. I understand that some oil is being shipped by rail so which rail company is providing the tank cars for the transportation of this oil if it is being done this way?
“Without access to a pipeline, oil is typically transported by rail, truck or tanker,” wrote Howard. “Since we are not involved in the rail business, I cannot tell you all the companies who are involved, but even a quick look on the Internet would show that Burlington Northern, CN and some others do move oil products throughout North America.”
Question 3. How many EPA permits have been granted but now under Obama have been retracted?
Mr. Howard said, “Not all permits and approvals required for a pipeline project like this come from the EPA. There are many government agencies at the state and federal levels.”
Question 4. How many present pipelines does your company own have had problems in the past, if any, such as bursting, catching fire, or other Environmental problems attributed to them?
“TransCanada has been in the pipeline business for over 60 years and is a leader with one of the best pipeline safety and operating records in the industry,” Howard responded. “The biggest risk to pipelines are not corrosion or issues related directly to a section of line, but third-party strikes. This is why we are so active in supporting dial before you dig programs and landowner awareness along our entire pipeline system.”
“After the first Keystone line went into operation, we did have some releases of oil on some of our pump station sites,” he continued. “Most of these were less than five gallons and the product was contained on our lease. We did have one larger release, but the only oil that went off our lease was a slight mist – all of that grass was cut and taken away to be properly disposed of. There have been no environmental issues with any of these releases and there is absolutely no issue with the integrity or safety of the Keystone pipeline.”
“Each day in the U.S., more than 200,000 miles of pipelines move oil and other energy products safely to where they are needed – that’s enough pipe to circle the earth eight times,” Howard wrote.
“We monitor our pipeline system through a centralized high-tech centre 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” wrote Howard. “Keystone XL will use satellite technology that sends data every five seconds from 21,000 data points to our monitoring centre. If a drop in pressure is detected, we can isolate any section of our pipeline by remotely closing any of the hundreds of valves on the system within minutes. Since the pipeline is four feet below the ground, we can begin repairs immediately and effectively.”
Finally he wrote, “National pipeline statistics indicate that pipeline accidents are uncommon and that leaks tend to be small; most pipeline leaks involve three barrels or less, 80 per cent of spills involve less than 50 barrels and less than 0.5 per cent of spills total more than 10,000 barrels. According to the Association of Oil Pipelines, spills along hazardous liquid pipeline rights-of-way have fallen from two incidents per thousand miles in 1999-2001 to 0.8 incidents per thousand miles in 2005-2007, a decline of 60 per cent.”
Question 5. Will your company sell to Chinese interests if you cannot get approval for the pipeline Obama has stopped?
He answered, “The oil that we transport is not “ours” – it is always owned by our customers. Who they decide to sell to is their choice and in keeping with how a free market works.”
Question 6. Are you able and willing to wait until Congress forces the vote to accept the pipeline?
“The decision on when to re-file an application, or what that application (or applications) may look like is up to our customers and shippers,” he wrote. “As a business, if we do not have commercial support, then projects like this cannot proceed. Since the denial of the Presidential Permit at this time, we continue to talk with our shippers and customers to get their direction on how to proceed next.”
Question 7. Which government official in the Obama Administration is giving the most problems with your efforts to build this pipeline?
“We are working with many departments to advance the Keystone XL pipeline,” he answered. “We will continue to do so when we file a new application to secure approval of this critical piece of North American energy infrastructure.”
Question 8. How many pipeline does your company have running through the United States at this time?
Howard said, “TransCanada currently has about 1,600 employees who live and work in 33 U.S. states. We have been operating in the United States for more than 60 years – we are a truly North American company.”
He continued, “Here is a link to the pipelines section of our website – http://www.transcanada.com/99.html. You can see that we either own, operate or have a significant interest in 10 natural gas pipeline systems and one operating oil pipeline (Keystone) in the U.S.”
“We are one of the largest natural gas pipeline operators – delivering about 20 percent of the natural gas that is consumed in the U.S. every day,” Howard concluded.
As can be seen by the answers to these questions, this project seems to have met all of the prior requirements, except as shown in question number 6, which states, “Since the denial of the Presidential Permit at this time.” Here it is very clear that the “Presidential Permit” is the problem and this goes directly to Obama himself!
Why is Obama holding up the progress that would help ease our dependence on foreign oil? Why has Obama gone and stopped a project that would help the United States? Only Obama himself can answer these questions, but upon digging into this I have also found out that there may be some conflict with Warren Buffet. Remember this is very speculative at the moment, but the question does pop up especially since Warren Buffet owns Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which has interests in a number of different companies, including ones such as GEICO Auto Insurance, Fruit of the Loom, and several other companies. However, the ones that bring questions are the ties to the MidAmerican Energy Holding Company which has several different businesses that may conflict with a pipeline, since they may well be in competition with KeystoneXL. Warren Buffet has interests in a pipeline that was never interfered with coming out of Wyoming and crossing Utah and Nevada without much news coverage over it, if any at all! This project is called the Kern River Gas Transmission project.
Has anyone ever wondered why it is that the Kern River Gas Transmission Pipeline was never given the same scrutiny that the Keystone XL was given? Could it be that the reason was because the Kern river pipeline was owned by Obama’s friend, Warren Buffet? Nothing can be shown here that this is true in any way, but the question has never been asked and few if any even know about this natural gas pipeline. It just makes one wonder why is the Keystone project being stopped while the Kern River project was done with very little fanfare?
Another subsidy of MidAmerican Energy is called Northern Natural gas. This company has pipelines going through the very states that are now complaining about the Keystone XL project! This company has pipelines that go through Texas, Okalahoma, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, and South Dakota to mention just a few. I am positive that many other pipelines go through nearly every state in the United States, but the big question arises when it comes to the closeness of these companies to the Keystone XL pipeline and why this one project was stopped by Obama.
Now Prime Minster of Canada Stephen Harper is in discussion with the Chinese about oil sales and some other economic ties since President Obama turned down Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Now it looks like Canada will just build a pipeline to the Pacific and ship that oil to China. Once again, Obama has sent jobs to China when people here in our borders are desperate for jobs. Our nation absorbs some 97 percent of Canadian oil imports, but now China may take some of that away from us because Obama has chosen to stop the KeystoneXL pipeline. The Chinese have invested some $16 billion in Canadian energy and are now looking to obtain more. If Obama does not move now, our nation will once again lose to China. Prime Minister Harper is now even more determined to build a pipeline to the Pacific coast so Canada can move the oil that could have been moved through the Keystone XL Pipeline to China through his proposed Pacific Pipeline.
Jack Gerard, the CEO and the President of API stated,
“What we see and what we hear from this administration are two different things. No place is this more clear than the decision today on the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama said last year that many of the shovel-ready jobs imagined by his stimulus program were ‘not as shovel-ready as we expected.’ But the Keystone XL pipeline would create 20,000 new U.S. construction-related jobs over the next two years. More importantly, it would help support the creation of half-a-million new jobs by 2035. But today … in a clear abdication of presidential leadership, the president will reject the Keystone XL pipeline. How can you say you are for jobs and reject the largest shovel-ready project in America today? Mr. President, what are you thinking?”
Gerard also stated;
“The president has had three years to make a fundamental decision: Is this in the national interest?…The president has missed an easy opportunity to do what’s in the best interest of the United States.”
Now how can anyone even consider the fact that Obama said he wants to help our nation when he makes these types of dumb decisions based solely on “politics” alone? This is not what a President does when he really wants to help the people! The President is supposed to lead, but Obama has failed with the KeystoneXL pipeline. Even the very Unions that Obama is “supposed” to help made complaints about what Obama did when he turned down this project and maybe sent the oil that could decrease gasoline prices to China.
Terry O’Sullivan , the General President of Laborers’ International Union of North America stated,
“We are completely and totally disappointed. This is politics at its worst. Once again the President has sided with environmentalists instead of blue collar construction workers – even though environmental concerns were more than adequately addressed. Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.”
This is in the nations best interest, but Obama does not consider the pipeline as a national interest, yet oil from near and within our borders is in the best interest of our nation. Obama decided that his re-election was a much more important issue then a pipeline that would not only provide jobs, but also is in the best interest of our nation. Has Obama made the decision that it would be better to obtain oil from Communist China then from our neighbor to the north? Why does Obama politics have to be a determination to the best interest of our nation’s use of fuel? Come on now, we need oil and jobs and the Keystone XL project would not harm anything at all!
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